Bookings abound for both sides
Both Everton and Man City fell victim to controversial second yellow cards in a match that featured seven bookings, four of which added up to red cards.
Kyle Walker felt the wrath of referee Robert Madley. A mere two minutes after receiving his first yellow, Walker was sent off just before the half after throwing a shoulder under the chin of Dominic Calvert-Lewin while battling for the ball. At a quick glance, the booking seemed a bit dubious, but the replay showed Walker sneaking a look at his opponent and then made no effort to go after the ball, instead looking to cheap shot the Everton forward.
Madley was largely able to resist further bookings, despite Manchester City’s best efforts to dive until an Everton player was shown a card. Unfortunately Sergio Aguero put on an Oscar-worthy performance for Morgan Schneiderlin’s tackle and the Everton midfielder was shown a controversial second yellow to even both sides up at 10 men.
The referee’s poor call will now leave Everton without a preferred defensive midfield option heading into a tough stretch of games. Muhamed Besic could be in line for a start son at this rate.
DCL puts in an impressive shift
With Sandro out with a knock and the striker who was promised yet to be signed, it was up to Dominic Calvert-Lewin to start up top with Wayne Rooney. While it was Rooney who scored the goal, it was the 20-year-old who spent the evening putting in a workman-like shift and notching an assist on the Toffees lone goal.
Calvert-Lewin did a lot of the unseen hard work over the course of the match. In an attempt to break Man City’s press, the youngster was making runs at the opposing defense, proving to be an excellent target man for Everton’s long balls. As City’s wing-back’s pushed up the field, it was Calvert-Lewin who settled into the space they left behind.
Ronald Koeman’s faith in youth seems to have once again paid off and Calvert-Lewin is carving out a nice role for himself in this new-look Everton squad.
Luck runs out for Everton
For a while there, it really seemed like things were going to bounce Everton’s way. A shot off the post, scuffed finishes and last ditch tackles kept Everton ahead against a dangerous Manchester City side. Despite being a man down, City were probing Everton’s defense with speedy runs and dangerous through balls. Even up a man, it seemed a miracle that Everton were still in the lead.
That luck did eventually run out after a poor clearance by Mason Holgate allowed Raheem Sterling to make up for previous misses by burying a volley in the bottom corner of the net. And while luck did have it’s say in today’s match, Jordan Pickford still put in a massive performance for Everton. Stopping shot after shot and distributing the ball with Manuel Neuer-like precision, Pickford looks to be worth every cent of the record fee that Everton spent on the former Sunderland keeper.