Everton looked organized for the most part away at Manchester City but for the handful of mistakes they made, and they were ruthlessly punished by the defending champions who won 3-1.
The Blues went into the break behind to a Gabriel Jesus goal from a Yerry Mina error, and then soon after the break the deficit was two with Michael Keane caught out in no-man’s land. A Dominic Calvert-Lewin header halved that lead, but within a minute or two Raheem Sterling scored an easy header with the Blues’ defence out at sea again and that was that.
After that game, manager Marco Silva rued the timing of City’s goals.
“The match went like we planned until the moment we made a mistake and they scored. We were really good [before City’s first goal], although not with as much of the ball as we would have liked.
“Against these teams, if you are not effective with one big chance, and concede from your first big mistake, it is more difficult. I told our players at half-time we needed to keep our good organisation and at one moment we would take more risks.
“One of the keys was conceding the second goal too early in the second half. And after we scored, we conceded the third too fast. That was the key [the timings of the second and third goals].”
The first big chance of the game had fallen to Richarlison but he blazed his volley well over, and then saw City take the lead through his countryman instead. With Jesus scoring his second and the game virtually over, the Blues belatedly showed more initiative.
“We had to take more risks [in the second half]. That’s our way to play. Lookman and Theo, especially Lookman, did really well when they came on.
“We had three against one in our box for that chance and when you have Michael (Keane) and (Yerry) Mina against Jesus and they score that means we could do better.
“They score too fast the 3-1 and after we have three clear chances to score. When you have chances like Richarlison, Richarlison again, Theo and Dominic, you have to score.
“We showed strong character again. We brought it back to 2-1 and had three clear chances to score goals. We have to score more goals if we want to get a different result. You have to be more effective. We knew before the match about Manchester City’s qualities. We needed to be perfect in defence.”
xG map for Manchester City - Everton— Caley Graphics (@Caley_graphics) December 15, 2018
so... uh... city aren't back just quite yet maybe pic.twitter.com/5JOKnfnCyW
There was no doubting which team should have had the win though.
“City deserved the three points. They were more effective than us. The chances they created, they scored and because of that they deserved the points. Until they scored the first goal, the game was within what we expected and planned. They did not shoot once.
“The biggest chance until that moment was Richarlison’s chance, a big, big chance. After that, it changed. We knew they had the quality to command the match. We had to be almost perfect in our defensive organisation.
“It was a big game, tough like we expected. We were playing against the best Premier League team, a side with a lot of quality, not just individual quality but their way, how they break and are organised.”