Everton went to the Etihad this afternoon with an unusual lineup, thanks in large part to the absence of Idrissa Gueye. Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Kurt Zouma entered the XI for Theo Walcott and Gana, which meant that the Blues lined up in a back five formation.
It didn’t help.
In the end, Everton suffered from from the same malady that has stricken them in previous matches against the top six this season. They created enough chances in attack to be competitive, but didn’t convert them. They made a number of individual errors at the back, which City took advantage of.
Andre Gomes and Gylfi Sigurdsson did not do a good job of dealing with Manchester City’s pressure, and Yerry Mina had a very poor performance alongside Michael Keane and Kurt Zouma. The Colombian’s errors led to Gabriel Jesus’ opening goal and contributed to Raheem Sterling’s marker later on. Jordan Pickford was at fault for neither, despite what some mouth breathing Twitter users would lead you to believe - not much he can do from point-blank headers a few yards out.
Truth be told, Everton really could have overcome some of the defensive mistakes with more composure in front of goal. Richarlison took three horrible shots on three glorious chances, and Dominic Calvert-Lewin was slightly offside very early on in an instance where he could have had a goal.
The Blues showed some impressive fight late on, even going so far as to get it back to 2-1 on Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s powerful header. It simply wasn’t enough, and listen up: that’s okay.
Sure, there were some regrettable occurrences and performances, but Everton did some good things in this game. There is zero shame in losing a competitive game on the road at the best team in Europe. It does not mean that Marco Silva did a bad job, or that the season is off the rails.
Spurs, on the other hand, are quite beatable, so everyone just calm down.