Foden earns his goal
Pep Guardiola has been asked a few times about Phil Foden’s performances recently.
The Manchester city star has been carrying out the No.9 role effectively in the absence of a recognised striker, but the role hasn’t seemed to bring the best out of a player who is so good with the ball at his feet running toward the goal rather than with his back to it being crowded out by defenders.
If he has looked below his best in the last few games, the 21_year_old was the sharpest City attacker at Goodison. He looked more than anyone like breaking the deadlock so it was no surprise when he nipped in to take advantage of Everton uncertainty in the box to poke in what could be a huge goal in the title race.
Stones justifies his selection
Kyle Walker could probably feel a little hard done to as the only member of the back four that malfunctioned against Tottenham to be dropped, yet it was clear from the first whistle how important Stones was going to be at right-back.
The former Everton player may not have the pace that his England teammate possesses, yet he is as comfortable on the ball building up play from the back. As importantly, he was useful in both defending and attacking set-pieces in a game where they were crucial.
Stones may rather play at centre-back but Guardiola has turned to him a number of times this season as a full-back, and he has improved markedly in that position from when he used to turn out there at Goodison.
It is certainly another option for the manager moving forwards.
Goodison plays their part
Goodison can be the last place Everton players might want to be when things aren’t going their way, but the supporters rallied around the team brilliantly to prove just how difficult the Premier League can be.
However, despite the fact that Frank Lampard and his squad are fighting the unlikely prospect of relegation, the effort they put in against the champions convinced the home fans to rally behind them and make life difficult for Manchester United in the coming weeks.
Every light-blue shirt that was dispossessed or clattered into elicited a roar from the crowd, and no one allowed City to get comfortable on the pitch.
The city has improved its defenses.
Despite the anxiety that Everton were able to create, this did not translate into a threat to Ederson’s goal.
Richarlison should have done better with the ball when it was provided to him in the box, but that was the only shot on target the home side mustered during the whole of the game’s ninety minute duration. Overall, they had only four shots on goal, two corners, and had only 31% of the ball control.
Despite the fact that the attack struggled, City’s title defence was a welcome return to the control of games that has made them so dependable at the back in recent seasons.