Man City outclass Everton to move back second

Manchester City claimed a comfortable victory over Everton to move back up to second in the Premier League and within touching distance of leaders Chelsea.

Raheem Sterling’s first-half effort set City on their way, marking his 300th top-flight appearance with a deft finish from Joao Cancelo’s sublime outside-of-the-foot pass.

Rodri’s thunderous drive extended their lead after the break and Bernardo Silva tapped in late on in a one-sided contest.

Everton, who had benefitted from a first-half video assistant referee decision to overturn the award of a penalty when Sterling fell under Michael Keane’s challenge, toiled throughout.

With four key players already sidelined, Rafael Benitez’s side rarely looked capable of posing the hosts any problems in attack and Demarai Gray added to their mounting injury concerns by limping off early on.

The only crumb of comfort for the visitors, who remain 11th in the table, was that the margin of defeat was not greater.

Ilkay Gundogan headed against the crossbar for City and Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford made excellent saves to prevent Silva and Sterling from adding to the scoreline.

With Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Abdoulaye Doucoure, Yerry Mina and Andre Gomes all out injured, a depleted Everton side initially did well to negotiate most of the first period on level terms.

While the hosts dominated possession, they were largely frustrated and there were audible groans of discontent from the home supporters when Sterling miscontrolled the ball inside the Everton penalty area as half-time approached.

However, seconds later that disappointment turned to elation as Sterling spun in behind the Everton defence to break the deadlock and wheel away in delight.

From there on in, City went in cruise control with Everton’s response limited to a brief five-minute period after the interval in which they attempted to press the hosts back. They built some pressure but could not create any realistic chances to score.

That minor nudge only served to refocus City, who recycled the ball in an assured fashion and had the look of a team that were always confident in the final outcome.

Rodri emphatically extinguished any hopes Everton had of returning to Merseyside with a point and Silva added the gloss.

There was also a nod to the future as James McAtee made his Premier League debut late on to replace fellow 19-year-old Cole Palmer, as City warmed up for Wednesday’s Group A Champions League contest against Paris St-Germain with their third consecutive win in all competitions.

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