As it happened: City's routine victory over Everton takes them back to the top
Photo: Getty Images - Rich Linley/CameraSport

As it happened: City's routine victory over Everton takes them back to the top

Matchday live text commentary blog from the Etihad Stadium as Manchester City face Everton in the Premier League, Oliver Miller reports

oliver-miller
Oliver Miller
Sign Off!
Thank you very much for your company this afternoon in the Manchester drizzle. There will be plenty of post match content across VAVEL UK in the coming days, and don't forget we will have coverage of tomorrow's clash between Liverpool and Manchester United - I am personally very excited to be at Anfield for that one. However, for now it is goodbye and I'll speak to you soon.
Full Time Analysis
Over to you Liverpool. City take up the leadership of the table with a relatively easy win for the hosts. They were dominant and in control for much of the match, keeping possession without much of a challenge from Everton.

However, the visitors did create a fair few chances but they were wasted. Everton could have made it much less comfortable for City but they were too pedestrian to really rattle their opponents.  

It was not the most thrilling of encounters but importantly for City, it was a victory. Jesus' goals will only add to his confidence whilst Sterling deserved that goal given the week that he has had. It was a good watch and a routine victory for the reigning champions.

Full Time
City win 3-1, it was comfortable for the hosts and Everton have now only picked up one point from their last three matches.
91'
Everton are finishing the match deep in City territory; a mix of free-kicks and corner-kicks are keeping them there but no clear chances on goal though.
90'
Four minutes of stoppage time to be played at the end of the second half.
87'
We are now at walking pace. And there's a sense that both sides want this to finish now. Suddenly, however, Richarlison breaks forward and takes on the shot as he approaches the City goal, but Otamendi gets a block on it and it's out for a corner. If Everton were a little more considered and clinical when applying the final touches to a move, the scoreline could have been very different today. But then again that's the difference between the best and the rest.
83'
Good cross by Walcott, and it's an unconventional touch by Calvert-Lewin who was in between the goalposts. He tried to flick the ball on, but his touch took the pace of the ball and, in truth, wasted the opportunity.
81' Everton Substituion
Sigurdsson is being replaced by Davies.
80'
Lookman takes on a rather speculative effort from outside the area, he misses. But it must be said that the Everton substitute has applied himself well since coming off the bench. 
78'
We are back to training session mode now. City passing, Everton sitting off them, deadly silence.
77'
Nasty tackle by Delph on Calvert-Lewin, just a booking though. It was after the whistle had gone for a separate foul, but that was unnecessary from Delph.
75' Man City Substitution
And he's back. De Bruyne comes off the bench to replace Mahrez and he is welcomed on with a round of applause.
74'
Another Everton chance! Lookman delivers a sweeping cross form the left and Walcott runs on to it but doesn't quire connect properly - the two substitutes combining. It was right in front of the travelling Toffee supporters as well.
68' Goal! Man City 3-1 Everton (Sterling)
And he scores...having only just come on. And it's another header too. This time it is the fine work of Fernandinho on the left side and his dinked cross that was headed in by Sterling. That should now be the game.
66' Man City Substitution
Sterling is on for Sane.
65' Goal! Man City 2-1 Everton (Calvert-Lewin)
A rare Everton attack brings their first goal of the contest. A whipped ball from the right side is headed in by Calvert-Lewin. Questions have to be asked about Delph's defending of that, he allowed the Everton striker to get in front of him, the ball may even have come off Delph but it's an Everton goal nonetheless.
62'
Gundogan could have made it three there. Good defending by Keane to put the pressure on the City midfield following a nice one-two.
59'
This game could potentially fizzle out. It has become very pedestrian and slow; will the changes made by Silva have the desired impact on his side?
57' Everton Substitutions
Double change for the visitors: Walcott replaces Coleman whilst Lookman comes on for Bernard.
52'
Nasty collision between Sigurdsson and Laporte, the French defender certainly came off the worst but he is back up now - looking slightly dazed it must be admitted - and ready to return to the action.
50' Goal! Man City 2-0 Everton (Jesus)
Now they're cheering... that's 2-0 and it's Jesus again. Sane delivers an early ball from the right side and Jesus out-jumps Mina in the Everton defence to fire the ball past Pickford with his head. The top of the table awaits City, whilst a testing second half is to come for Everton.
49'
This is just how we left it, City being allowed to play around Everton with very little fuss. There is an eerie quietness around the stadium today, I think the home supporters are waiting to be entertained before they commit to any aural support.
46'
Richardson has swapped sides at the start of this half, possibly a tweak from Silva to allow the Brazilian to cut in from the right. Meanwhile, Gomes is limping slightly following a collision - I'll keep an eye on him.
45'
The second half at the Etihad is underway. Let's see if Everton can withstand another half of unrelenting City pressure.
Half Time Analysis
City completely in control, Everton have had one or two chances but they are sitting deep and inviting City on to them by playing out from the back, unsuccessfully. The visitors have had a few spells of promising possession but they have, in the whole, been dispossessed to easily. One positive for Silva is that the score is retrievable, however, going off the first half it looks like a City second will come before an Everton equaliser.
Half Time
City lead at the break thanks to Jesus' goal.
42'
Mahrez has been instrumental in the last five minutes. He's now just thread through an accurate pass to Jesus who spun and shot past Pickford into the net, however, the Brazilian was offside and rather belatedly the linesman flag is raised. Still 1-0.
40'
Pickford to the rescue for Everton! Mahrez tees up a shot around the penalty spot, he fires it more or less straight at the Everton keeper but Pickford's reflexes were tested to get his hands up quick enough to parry away. 
35'
This is now just wave after wave of City attacks. When Everton do win the ball back they are too quick in giving it back to their opponents.
30'
Everton a sitting fairly deep now, the back-three is certainly a back-five for the time being at least. It is bringing City on to them.
26'
City are comfortable in possession, patiently playing around Everton and finding spaces in between the centre-backs and the wing-backs.
22' Goal! Man City 1-0 Everton (Jesus)
And there it is... one poor pass from Everton and City are in, punishing their opponents for it. Everton try to play out from the back, Mina just punts a hopeful pass forward but hands possession to the City midfield and they take full advantage. Mina plays Jesus onside, he slots it past Pickford and City have the lead.
22'
SO CLOSE! Pickford has to react to a shot at goal as the ball comes off his own defender and nearly nestles in the bottom corner. City are getting closer. There's a goal coming - I can feel it in the air.
2'
An early goal in a contest like this is certainly the worst case scenario for Everton, they will be careful not to expose themselves to much in the opening stages. A neat piece of interplay by Walker and Fernandinho almost got City into a promising position.
Kickoff
City get the match underway, both sides are in their customary blue strips. Everton are playing from right to left in their deeper shade, whilst City are in their sky blue number.
Players are out!
Today's referee Craig Pawson leads the two sides out onto the Etihad pitch; this promises to be a very interesting match. We are now just five minutes away from kickoff.
Team News Thoughts
There is a lot of talk in the Etihad press box concerning the Man City bench; following their respective injuries, both Sergio Aguero and Kevin De Bruyne return to the Manchester City squad for today's match.

The pair are both on the City bench along with Raheem Sterling and John Stones. Fernandinho returns to the starting line-up.

Everton are without Idrissa Gueye while Dominic Calvert-Lewin comes into the side for Theo Walcott. The visitors are going to line up in a 3-5-2 formation and will look to push their opponents back with a compact midfield and energetic wing-backs.

Welcome to the Etihad!
Good Morning from Manchester, and it is a very, very cold Manchester today. Let's hope a good match will warm us up.

The team lineups have been confirmed...

MAN CITY XI: Ederson, Walker, Laporte, Otamendi, Delph, Fernandinho, Gundogan, Bernardo Silva, Sane, Mahrez, Jesus.

Substitutes: Muric, Stones, Sterling, Aguero, De Bruyne, Zinchenko, Foden.

EVERTON XI: Pickford, Coleman, Keane, Zouma, Mina, Digne, Sigurdsson, Gomes, Bernard, Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison.

Substitutes: Stekelenburg, Baines, Schneiderlin, Davies, Walcott, Tosun, Lookman.

We'll be back from around an hour before kick-off for confirmed starting XIs and more build up. 
Press conferences
Marco Silva spoke to the media ahead of Saturday's early kickoff:

"We have to improve on our offensive set pieces and we are working on that because we have the conditions to score more goals in those moments."

"[Goals from a variety of sources] is something we want, and our central defenders are part of this process."

"The main thing for them is to keep our team solid - not just them, everything [defensively] starts up front."

"But they are part of our offensive process, too, and it is something I want more from our central defenders because they have the capacity to score more goals."

Everton team updates
Everton midfielder Idrissa Gueye was substituted against Watford on Monday night because of an apparent injury and he is a doubt. Apart from that, manager Silva has a fully-fit squad at his disposal.
City team updates
All teams suffer injuries at this stage of the season but City's busy treatment tables are having a cumulative effect. To be without the ingenuity of both David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne at the same time could be a title race leveller. 

Sergio Aguero could return, however, for this match having been absent for four matches with a groin injury. Fernandinho and Danilo might also be fit enough to be back in the matchday squad.

Everton's challenge is therefore apparent but they are a side unbeaten in their last three league visits to the Etihad Stadium, Evertonians will experience an unusual feeling of their own this weekend - having Liverpool fans cheering them on for this one. There is no doubt that Marco Silva is putting together one of the most promising and exciting Toffees sides for some years. This has the prospect of being a very good watch for the neutral.
Invincibles City may be not, but they are a tough opponent for anyone to face - even Hoffenheim's attacking and at times wild approach in the Champions League on Wednesday could not stop a City comeback thanks to a brace from Leroy Sane. City's squad depth is being tested with Guardiola making five changes in midweek; the ease with which City have glided through matches in recent months has slightly faded. But there is no doubt that they are still in the driving seat when it comes to the league.
Preview
Man City have only won two of their past seven league and cup games against Everton, keeping a solitary clean sheet (D3, L2), and this is far from an ideal match for the hosts to try and regain their winning feeling in the league. Last weekend's defeat at the hands of Chelsea means that Liverpool are the only team to remain unbeaten in the league, but City are still very much the favourites when it comes to claiming the title in May.
Hello!
Hello and welcome to VAVEL UK's live text coverage of the Premier League match between Manchester City and Everton from the Etihad Stadium. I'm Oliver Miller and I'll be keeping you updated with the latest from Manchester as Pep Guardiola's side aim to return to winning ways following last weeks defeat to Chelsea. It is a 12:30pm kick-off on Saturday and you can bookmark this page to stay up to date with the latest updates and team news as the match approaches.
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