Manchester City v Everton preview

Man City 2 Everton 0


90+4 Webb brings the game to a close. City go back to the top of the table, for now.

90+4 Defensive shambles from City as Hart and Lescott leave the ball to each other, but Savic comes to the rescue to clear off the line from Fellaini.

90+3 Good effort from Saha from the edge of the box but Hart plucks it out of the air at his near post.


90+3 Another sulk from Balotelli as he gets nothing after going to ground following a challenge from Baines.

90 Four minutes of added time will be played.

89 Terrible error from Drenthe as he gifts the ball to Silva, who shows his supreme class with an inch-perfect pass to Milner, who fires beyond Howard. Game over.


87 Jagielka goes through the back of Balotelli – possible retribution for earlier foul – and inevitably sees yellow.

86 City have the ball in the net again after Balotelli’s cross-shot is turned home by Silva but the Spaniard is in an offside position.

84 Great first-time effort from Toure as he forces Howard into a sprawling save to his left with a curling strike from 25 yards out.

84 Final change for City with Savic replacing Nasri. Carlos Tevez does not get a look-in today.

83 Hart fists clear from Osman’s corner, before Drenthe’s shot from outside the box goes over the top.

82 Fellaini attempts to break into the box but Kompany clears, before Baines earns a corner.

81 Moyes makes his final switch, with Vellios on for Coleman.

80 Balotelli has a right strop after being penalised for a foul on Distin. Would have put some toddlers to shame with that one – beating his fists on the turf.

80 Nice ball into the City area from Drenthe, but it is just too far ahead of Coleman as he arrives at the far post.

78 Another change for City, with Aguero making way for James Milner.

78 City are now happy to play keep-ball despite only having a slender lead.

76 Everton have strong appeals for a penalty waved away as Kompany challenges Saha. David Moyes is not impressed.

74 The pace of the game has picked up since the goal with Everton now having to be more adventurous as they target an equaliser, leaving more space for City to exploit.

74 Everton make their second change with Royston Drenthe coming on for Phil Neville.

73 Balotelli is in all the action and he catches Jagielka with a late challenge on the edge of the area which leaves the Everton man limping. Cahill, meanwhile, is on the bench with a massive ice-pack round his ankle.

72 Praise must go to Mancini for that change. Many people expected Tevez to come on, but it was Balotelli who got the nod and he delivered within eight minutes of his arrival.

71 Balotelli goes close again with another shot from range which has Howard diving, but the ball is always going at least a yard wide.

70 OFF THE POST!!! Silva is a whisker away from making it 2-0 as he drives a low shot off the base of the upright with Howard beaten.

69 Superb finish from Balotelli from outside the area as he side-foots home beyond Howard after being set up by Aguero’s backheel following the Argentine’s run across the edge of the box.


67 Saha is immediately into the action as Everton break. He finds Fellaini, but Clichy is back to seize possession.

66 Nasri works Howard with a good strike from the edge of the area, while Saha joins the fray for Cahill.

66 Louis Saha is ready to come on and Cahill remains off the field and clearly in pain. Looks like he may have damaged his ankle in that clash with Kompany.

64 Silva momentarily gets away from Rodwell and tries to find Balotelli, who goes to ground but Webb is not interested.

63 Webb has his cards out and Cahill is booked as he gets up, before being ushered off the pitch for treatment.

62 Cahill is left writhing in the turf after a clash with Kompany. The Everton man looks to be in some pain after having his ankle stood on, but was late into the challenge himself.

60 First change of the day with Balotelli coming on for Dzeko.

60 Nasri and Aguero attempt a one-two, but are on totally different wavelengths and Distin brings the ball out.

59 Richards ploughs his way into the box, brushing off the Everton challenges, but Jagielka clears.

59 Mario Balotelli is about to join the fray. He’s left his i-Pad at home today.

57 Momentary scare for the home side as Jagielka puts Hart under pressure under his own crossbar from the corner, but City are able to clear.

56 And now a third.

56 Swiftly followed by their second. Only four men in the box for it though.

55 Everton win their first corner of the game.

54 Half-decent chance for Everton as they hit City on the break with Coleman’s dangerous cross into the box headed over by Tim Cahill.

53 Dzeko shows quick feet to get away from Neville, but his attempt to find Aguero is cut out.

52 Baines links with Osman and looks to get away down the left, but Richards gets a toe in to put the ball into touch.

50 Tevez, who looks like he has about 15 layers on under his training bib, is warming up on the sidelines.

49 Hart has some rare work to do as Osman’s effort from outside the area is straight into his gloves.

48 Aguero then tries a shot from the edge of the area, but despite going for precision over power, he gets it all wrong and is way, way off target.

47 The City corner comes to nothing and Howard clears his lines with a goalkick.

46 Great skill from Aguero as he twists and turns on the edge of the Everton area before firing over a low cross which Distin dives to head behind at his near post.

46 Everton get us under way again at the Etihad Stadium.

The two teams are back on the field for the second half.

Silva is finding it hard to have his usual say on proceedings with Rodwell doing a man-to-man job on the Spain international. That puts more onus on Nasri to create, but he has been very quiet.

One worry for Moyes will be that Rodwell, Neville and Osman are all on yellow cards, particularly as referee Webb has been very quick to go to his pocket this afternoon.

Everton will be more than happy with their efforts from the opening 45 minutes. City have been restricted to very few clear opportunities and need to find a way of breaking through the visiting defence.

45+3 Webb bring the first half to a close with the teams locked at 0-0.

45+2 Coleman attempts a raking cross-field pass to Osman, but only succeeds in putting the ball out of play.

45+1 Another shot off target from Toure as the board goes up to show there will be two added minutes.

45 Hart and Richards get in a tangle at the far post as they attempt to deal with a high, hanging cross, before Baines’ deep cross is headed back in by Coleman and the goalkeeper gathers.

44 Richards thinks he is in behind the Everton defence, but the flag is up for offside and Howard was first to the ball, anyway.

43 Distin is alert again to clear from deep inside his own area with Dzeko lurking.

42 Toure’s attempt to cut through the Everton defence with a neat pass is cut out by Distin.

41 Nasri finds himself in some rare space just outside the Everton area after being found by Richards, but is forced away from goal by Distin. He pulls the ball back to Clichy, but his shot is woeful.

39 Baines gives away a free-kick for a blatant body-check on Aguero. Now that could easily have been a yellow.

38 Nasri skips away from Neville in his own half and then finds Dzeko, with the big striker advancing towards goal before firing well wide when he had team mates in support either side.

36 Everton are now on the back foot and Barry is the next to sting Howard’s palms with a shot from outside the box.

35 Great save from Howard as City keep the pressure on and Aguero’s curling effort from out on the corner of the box is turned behind bravely by the Everton keeper with Dzeko closing in.

35 Silva forces a corner as his attempted cross is deflected behind by man-marker Rodwell.

34 Half a chance for City as a spell of possession ends with Richards crossing low into the box only for Dzeko to stab his effort from eight yards out well over the bar.

31 Yaya Toure goes into the book for a very late sliding challenge on Coleman. Attempts to claim it was his first foul. Not sure what difference that makes….

29 Leon Osman becomes the third Everton player to go into the book for a shoulder charge on Richards. Webb is not having the best afternoon so far.

28 Jagielka is left in a heap as Silva challenges the Everton defender as he clears, but Webb takes no action.

26 Sliding challenge from Neville on Silva just outside the Everton box is perfectly timed.

25 Phil Neville goes into the book for an off-the-ball clash with Silva. Replays show the Spaniard was rather theatrical there. And that’s being polite.

24 Coleman attempts to get away from Clichy down the right flank but is ushered out of play by the French full-back.

22 Rodwell walking a tightrope here. Arrives late on Silva again as the gifted Spaniard plays the ball away.

20 First booking of the game goes to Rodwell as he catches Silva from behind. That man-to-man job just got more difficult. Toure back on the field now.

19 Problem for City here with Toure limping off for treatment.

18 Aguero shows superb skill to work a yard of space on the edge of the Everton box after being found by Toure, but his left-foot shot is rushed and goes harmlessly over the bar.

18 Barry tries to thread the ball through to Dzeko, but Everton have bodies in the way.

16 An Everton throw into the City box is flicked on via Fellaini’s impressive barnet, but Kompany is on hand to clear once again.

15 Richards attempts to clip a ball forward to Aguero, but his touch is far too heavy and Howard is able to claim easily.

14 Rodwell looks to have been handed the role of doing a man-to-man marking job on Silva. I wouldn’t fancy that gig!

13 Silva tries to play a one-two with Nasri on the edge of the Everton box, but the Frenchman’s touch lets him down at the vital moment.

12 After Everton’s very bright start, City are now seeing more of the ball, but are up against a very well-organised and disciplined Toffees side.

10 Nasri finds Aguero in the box and he twists and turns before being forced out wide. Silva then takes over and wriggles free before firing in a low cross which is half-cleared. Nasri then shoots from outside the box and sees it go wide of Howard’s goal.

9 Awful pass from Toure gifts the ball to Cahill, but he collides with Barry and Webb gives the free-kick in City’s favour.

8 Chance for City as Jagielka’s poor header back lets in Dzeko, who rounds the keeper but takes the ball too wide and the Everton centre-back gets back to clear up his own mess.

7 Aguero gets possession out on the left and floats a cross into the box, where Silva escapes the attention of Rodwell, but cannot bring the ball under control.

6 Baines cuts in from the left flank and tries a right-foot shot under pressure from Richards, but it goes way wide of Hart’s goal.

5 Baines finds Osman with the resulting free-kick into the box, but the midfielder cannot control and Kompany hacks clear.

5 More Everton pressure and Baines earns a free-kick by smashing the ball into Richards’ hands.

3 Everton are seeing plenty of the ball in the opening moments and are knocking it around nicely. Rodwell tries his luck from range but is well off target.

2 Everton immediately try to find their danger man Tim Cahill, but former Toffee Joleon Lescott is alert to the danger and heads clear.

1 City get us under way here.

Manchester City will aim to end their miserable run against Everton when they lock horns at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

The Manchester Blues host the Merseyside Blues in the lunchtime kick-off, which you can follow live here on, looking to get back to winning ways in the Premier League after Fulham came from behind last Sunday to draw 2-2 and end City’s 100 per cent start.

Roberto Mancini named an entirely different starting XI for Wednesday’s Carling Cup tie against Birmingham and fit-again midfielder Owen Hargreaves announced his arrival at the Etihad Stadium by setting City on course for a 2-0 win with a fine debut goal. The German born, Canadian reared English international was on fire during the week and remains a beacon of intelligence and wit against the normal footballer interview with his brilliant dismantling of Man United’s medical staff after the game.

His form was a welcome boost for City with Mancini having complained about a shortage of central midfielders following the Fulham game, and with their bogey side next up this weekend.

Everton have won their last four games against City, winning 2-1 home and away last season, and since losing 5-1 at City in the final game of the 2003/04 season, the Toffees have won 10 of their 14 meetings.

David Moyes’ men also progressed to the Carling Cup fourth round in midweek, beating West Brom 2-1 after extra-time, which took their unbeaten run to five since losing at home to QPR in their opening game.

Everton left it late against Wigan last Saturday before young Greek striker Apostolos Vellios and loan signing Royston Drenthe both scored their first goals for the club to secure a 3-1 win and send the Toffees up to seventh.

Former Cambridge United player Moyes has again been forced to shop at the pound shop unlike Mancini’s Harrod’s sprees with the Goodison club bringing in mad cap American Marcus Hahnemann as cover for Tim Howard.

City’s 2-2 draw at Fulham leaves them two points behind neighbours United but being the early kick-off, they have the chance to go top and put some pressure on their derby rivals.

And just five rounds into the new season, it’s already looking like that could be the story of this season’s title race – a see-saw scrap between City and United

Kolo Toure is in contention after the City defender returned in midweek after serving a six-month suspension for a failed drugs test, but Roberto Mancini has already decided Owen Hargreaves is not yet fit enough for back-to-back games.


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