Tuesday, 27 September 2011

City battle to win over dogged Everton

Goals from second half substitutes Mario Balotelli and James Milner ensured City overcome a defensively good Everton in a 2-0 win.

With David Moyes's side keeping Manchester City at bay brilliantly for an hour, Roberto Mancini's decision to leave the unhappy Carlos Tevez on the bench paid dividend's when the Italian Balotelli opened the scoring.

Everton, who have won on their last four previous trip's to Manchester City, started the brighter and Maroune Fellaini caused Joleon Lescott problems early doors, however they failed to test Joe Hart in their dominant period

Jack Rodwell did a good man marking job on Manchester City's David Silva, and with the Spaniard being marked out of the early proceeding's, the pressure was on Samir Nasri to take ahold of the game, however the former Arsenal player was quiet as City failed to create any clear cut chances in the first half.

Manchester City came out of the blocks quick in the second half and Sergio Aguero was starting to get more into the game, however it took the change of Balotelli for them to open up a resolute Everton.

Consistant pressure from Mancini's side resulted in the opening goal as Aguero kept ahold of the ball to find the Balotelli whose shot took a little knick of Phil Jagielka giving Tim Howard little chance in the Everton goal.

The goal ensured Everton had to come out and look for a leveller, and David Moyes was furious that a Vincent Kompany apparent trip on Louis Saha wasn't given on the edge of the area.

Despite some spells of pressure Everton didn't look like breaking down City, and it was infact the Manchester side who scored the second goal of the game. Royston Drenthe gave the ball away in the midfield and Silva, who started to lose the shackles of Rodwell after Balotelli's opener, slid a perfect pass through for another sub in James Milner who beat Howard well.

A late clearence from Stefan Savic off the line prevented Fellaini from reducing the defecit in stopage time.

The win for Manchester City was a deserved one and shows the club has the character and patience to break down sides who are going to come and try and frustrate sides at the Etihad Stadium.

Manchester City player ratings: Hart 6, Richards 7, Kompany 7, Lescott 6, Clichy 7, Barry 6, Nasri 6 (Savic 5), Silva 8, Y Toure 7, Dzeko 6 (Balotelli 7), Aguero 8 (Milner 7)

Everton player ratings: Howard 7, Hibbert 7, Baines 7, Jagielka 7, Distin 7, Neville 6 (Drenthe 5), Coleman 5 (Vellios 5), Cahill 6 (Saha 6), Osman 7, Felliani 7, Rodwell 7

Sergio Aguero (right) and Leighton Baines battle for the ball

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