Manchester City 3-0 Everton - Rodri thunderbolt helps Citizens past lacklustre Everton
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 21: Bernardo Silva of Manchester City celebrates after scoring their side's third goal during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Everton at Etihad Stadium on November 21, 2021 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Manchester City got their busy festive period off to the perfect start, as they brushed past a lacklustre Everton side on Sunday afternoon.

Goals either side of half-time from Raheem Sterling and Rodri put the hosts in control, before Bernardo Silva wrapped up all three points for the Citizens, who remain three points adrift of league leaders Chelsea.

Story of the Match

It was all too simple for the hosts in the early exchanges, who enjoyed a lions share of the possession, toying with the Everton defence whilst they awaiting an opportunity to get in behind the back line.

Both Phil Foden and Sterling went close with headed efforts before Jordan Pickford denied Bernardo Silva an opener on the half-hour mark.

Sterling was the danger man for the hosts in the first half and he looked to have gifted them the perfect opportunity to open the scoring when Stuart Attwell pointed to the spot after the Englishman was brought down by Michael Keane.

But, after a lengthy review and a check on the pitchside monitor, Attwell overturned his decision, adjudging that there was insufficient contact to award a penalty, much to the dismay of the some 50,000 City fans inside the Etihad Stadium.

With half-time fast approaching it looked as though it was going to be another one of 'those halves' for the hosts - who had failed to break down a stubborn Crystal Palace defence in the last home Premier League outing - but Joao Cancelo had other ideas.

The Portuguese international has been one of the Premier League's standout performers so far this season, having chipped in with a number of assists from his unorthodox fullback role. None come close to this one.

Some 35-yards out, Cancelo split the Everton defence with an inch perfect ball that found the run of Sterling, who himself finished expertly, firing a first-time effort past a helpless Pickford.

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It was little more than City deserved heading into half-time, and the second half spelt more of the same for Pep Guardiola's men.

Whilst the opener was a thing of technical brilliance, the second was equally pleasing on the eye.

Allan's half-hearted clearance fell to the feet of Rodri some 25 yards out and, despite the wishes of his manager, the Spaniard showed little hesitation in firing a thunderbolt into the top left corner.

The intensity of the game dwindled somewhat following City's second, with both managers wringing the changes ahead of a busy festive period.

Riyad Mahrez' second half cameo had just about everything other than a goal, although the Algerian will be left ruing two gilt-edged opportunities to get his name on the scoresheet.

Despite their attractive brand of attacking football, there is always room for one or two scruffy goals, as we saw for Manchester City's third.

The impressive Cole Palmer's attempted shot deflecting into the path of the gracious Bernardo Silva, who lifted the ball over Pickford to put the game beyond any doubt.

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The result kickstarts a busy week at the Etihad for the hosts, who welcome Paris Saint Germain in a crucial Group A clash on Wednesday, before West Ham United visit on Sunday afternoon.

Manchester City: Ederson; Walker, Stones, Laporte, Cancelo; Rodri, Gundogan (C), Bernardo, Sterling, Foden, Palmer

Ederson: Pickford; Coleman (C), Godfrey, Keane, Digne; Delph, Allan, Townsend; Gordon, Grey, Richarlison

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