Manchester City 2-0 Everton: 5 Hits and Flops as Erling Haaland’s brace takes City top of the league | Premier League 2023-24


Manchester City secured a straightforward 2-0 win over Everton at the Etihad Stadium to return to the top of the Premier League.

The hosts entered this contest on the back of an incredible run of form. With nine wins and a draw in their last 10 games, City were on a roll. They scored 15 goals in their last five games and conceded just four. Pep Guardiola fielded a strong lineup for this fixture as he looked to take his team back to the top of the league.

Everton, on the other hand, were in a dismal vein of form prior to this fixture. They had won just once in their last 10 games, with five defeats and four draws. Additionally, their last five games were very low scoring with the Toffees netting just four times and conceding four as well. Sean Dyche fielded his strongest XI as they looked to get away from the relegation zone.

The first half saw Manchester City make a strong start and dominate possession to a point where Everton barely saw the ball. However, their forwards lacked accuracy in front of goal as none of their 10 first-half attempts were on target. Despite having 74% of the ball, City did not threaten their visitors’ goal enough as the teams were goalless at the break.

The story in terms of possession was similar in the second half. However, the game saw it’s first shot on target directly in the 71st minute. Erling Haaland scored off Nathan Ake’s pass with a thumping effort to put Manchester City 1-0 up. The Norwegian then doubled the hosts’ lead from a pass by Kevin De Bruyne to make it 2-0 in the 85th minute.

City held on to secure the win despite 10 minutes of stoppage time. On that note, let’s take a look at the five hits and flops from the game.

#5. Hit – Nathan Ake (Manchester City)

The Dutchman had a great game on both ends of the pitch and made valuable contributions. He won five of his six duels, making two tackles in the process. Ake passed the ball with 92% accuracy, including one key pass and one long ball.

He also provided an assist for Manchester City’s opening goal with an awkward but accurate knock-down for Haaland to score from. He played the entire 90 minutes and mostly took up positions on the left side of the pitch.

#4. Flop – Ashley Young (Everton)

The veteran winger struggled to get into the game as he looks way past his prime and as if he is unable to keep up with the pace of the proceedings. Young played nearly 80 minutes but had just 22 touches of the ball and completed just five passes with 55% accuracy.

Moreover, he failed to make any impact in the opponent’s half either, failing with both his dribble attempts and winning just one of five duels. The 38-year-old was playing as a full-back until recently and clearly struggled in a more offensive role against City. He also lost possession of the ball 10 times.

#3. Hit – Kevin De Bruyne

De Bruyne played the first game of the season for Manchester City against Burnley but missed several months since due to injury. He only returned in a substitute appearance against Newcastle United in January but has made an instant impact since.

The Belgian has provided at least one goal contribution in each of his Premier League games since, with four assists and one goal in four games. He replaced Matheus Nunes in the 57th minute and made sure he leaves the field having made a mark on yet another crucial game for City.

#2. Flop – Vitaliy Mykolenko

Mykolenko put in a weak performance on the left flank and was run ragged by Manchester City’s wingers. He won just one of eight duels and was dispossessed seven times. He passed the ball with 84% accuracy with two long balls.

The Ukrainian looked a shell of himself as he struglled to make a positive impact on the game for Everton. He also committed three fouls and was lucky to escape without a booking.

#1. Hit – Erling Haaland

Haaland played a crucial role in Manchester City walking away from their clash against Everton as winners. The hosts were struggling to even attempt shots on target before the Norwegian took matters into his own hands. Haaland scored a brace with goals in the 71st and 85th minute to help City seal a 2-0 win.

Following these goals, he now has 19 goals and six assists just 24 appearances across competitions. He will look to maintain this form and look to win another Premier League Golden Boot.

Edited by Arnav Kholkar

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