Premier League Goodison Park Att:39221 Saturday, March 31, 2018 4:30:00 PM
de Jesus 12'
- Paul Tierney
- Rooney Davies 57’
- Unused subs
- Vlasic, Baningime, Martina, Robles, Niasse, Funes Mori
- Santana de Moraes
- Luiz Rosa
- De Bruyne
- de Jesus
- Unused subs
- Nmecha, Zinchenko, Bravo, Gündogan, da Silva, Adarabioyo, Veiga de Carvalho e Silva
One more step.
Victory against Everton represents one more step taken towards domestic glory, and means there is just one last hurdle to climb.
The win at Goodison Park, courtesy of a stunning trio of goals from Leroy Sane, Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling, means that City can now clinch the Premier League title in the derby against United next Saturday.
City last played a distant 19 days ago - but any thoughts we might need some time to rediscover our rhythm were comprehensively dispelled inside four minutes.
The goal was City's Premier League season in a nutshell so far; scintillating, clinical and unstoppable.
Pep Guardiola's men pressed high to win back possession, Silva fed Aymeric Laporte who slid in the perfect return ball. The Spaniard raced to the byline to hook the ball back for Sane to slam the ball in on the volley and send the travelling City fans wild.
Shortly after Everton had a good chance to equalise but when Yannick Bolasie headed over from close range City made the Toffees pay a heavy price.
From the restart Ederson pinged a nonchalant but precise pass to Sane, and he flicked the ball over Phil Jagielka before releasing Kevin De Bruyne. Our Belgian assist-king duly delivered the perfect cross for Jesus, who headed past Jordan Pickford from point-blank range.
It was a stunning goal. From back to front the efficiency, speed and accuracy of play was a joy to watch and the strike put City firmly in control with just 12 minutes on the clock.
A mesmeric City passing play was the story of the match, with the Blues enjoying particular success down the left. Laporte slotted in effortlessly at left-back, and combined with Silva's guile and Sane's pace, Everton's defence was breached on numerous occasions.
Sane was a constant outlet for the team, with Nicolas Otamendi firing a series of 60-yard switch balls in his direction, while elsewhere De Bruyne was conducting play from deep in midfield.
The third goal duly arrived after 37 minutes. Neat work from Sane and Fernandinho combined to put Silva through down the left and he crossed for Sterling, showcasing more of his excellent movement, to finish at the back post.
City's dominance continued after the break - despite Bolasie's well-struck goal just after the hour - and the Blues secured a victory that was Guardiola's first over the Toffees. The corresponding match last season was a painful 4-0 defeat, but the transformation here could not have been starker.
The stats are frightening. Sane now has 13 goals, Gabriel Jesus 12 and Sterling 21 in all competitions. The top three Premier League assist makers are all from City; Kevin De Bruyne now has 15, with Sane and Silva on 11.
City have now won 13 away games in the Premier League this season, a Club record, and this was Guardiola's 50th Premier League win. The Blues are 16 points clear with seven league games remaining.
But forget about the numbers for a moment and enjoy the football - it's simply breath-taking.
One more step!
Matchday App star man: David Silva
Two more assists and a near flawless technical display from El Mago.
Key moment: City’s second goal
Mere seconds after Bolasie’s header sailed over Jesus was planting the ball in the back of the Everton net. Instead of a potential 1-1 scoreline it was suddenly 2-0.
Guardiola opted to play Laporte at left-back, with skipper Vincent Kompany and Nicolas Otamendi in the centre-back spots. Kevin De Bruyne sat deep to conduct the play with Silva in a more advanced role in midfield. The game came too soon for injured trio Sergio Aguero, Benjamin Mendy and Fabian Delph, while John Stones was forced to sit out after suffering concussion on England duty.
What it means?
City are now 16 points clear with seven Premier League games remaining – and victory against United next week at the Etihad Stadium would secure the title.
City take on Liverpool (7.45pm KO) at Anfield in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-finals on Wednesday, before the Manchester derby on Saturday at the Etihad Stadium (5.30pm KO). The second leg of the Champions League follows on Tuesday 10 April to complete a mouth-watering trilogy of games.