Manchester City added another win to their Premier League tally on Saturday, beating Everton 3-1 at Goodison Park after Riyad Mahrez gave them a crucial second-half lead in a tight affair.
Gabriel Jesus gave the defending champions the lead after 24 minutes, but the teams were level at half-time after Dominic Calvert-Lewin equalised. Mahrez converted a free-kick after the break, and Raheem Sterling secured the three points inside the final 10 minutes.
City remain second in the Premier League, five points behind leaders Liverpool.
The visitors threatened inside of the first minute, with Mahrez testing Jordan Pickford.
The Toffees faced an early setback when Theo Walcott took a ball to the head and was unable to continue. Per Stuart Brennan of the Manchester Evening News, doctors were not taking any chances:
Two minutes after the substitution, Ilkay Gundogan somehow failed to open the scoring from close range, instead hitting the crossbar.
Mahrez tested Pickford again with City dominant in possession, and while Gylfi Sigurdsson threatened with a shot that was well saved by Ederson, the Sky Blues always seemed most likely to open the scoring.
It was Jesus who did so after 24 minutes, courtesy of a great cross from Kevin De Bruyne:
Everton were not disheartened, however, and started to grow into the half. Sigurdsson again threatened with a strong drive, and just past the half-hour mark, the Toffees deservedly tied things up:
While Calvert-Lewin got the final touch on the ball, it was Seamus Coleman who did the heavy lifting:
The last chance of the half fell to the visitors, but Jesus couldn’t keep his shot on target after good work from Mahrez and De Bruyne.
City upped the ante early in the second half, with Gundogan and De Bruyne both having good chances, but Ederson still had to be at his best to deny Yerry Mina from close range.
Sterling went agonisingly close to giving his side the lead, but he couldn’t keep his composure in a one-on-one with Pickford. Per Brennan, it was in line with his performance after the break:
Pep Guardiola introduced Sergio Aguero after 66 minutes, but it was Mahrez who broke the deadlock five minutes later when he curled a free-kick past the wall and Pickford. The strike was on the same side as the Everton goalkeeper, but he failed to keep it out.
The Independent’s Miguel Delaney weighed in on the England No. 1’s poor form since the 2018 FIFA World Cup:
Calvert-Lewin nearly got his second to level the match but found Ederson in his path, and the Brazilian made another excellent save minutes later from a Mina header. Those misses would prove costly for the Toffees when Sterling doubled the lead with six minutes left to play, smuggling the ball over the line on a rebound.
City will be in action on Tuesday against Dinamo Zagreb in the UEFA Champions League before a clash with Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday. Everton face Burnley away a day earlier.