Full time, Everton lose 2-1 at Manchester City. A brave fight back is too little too late.
90+3’ - Pickford pumps the ball forward and Digne’s cross is cut out for a corner. This is it.
Walcott goes to take it, make it an inswinger.. doesn’t beat the first man and that should be that.
90+2’ - Everton can’t equalize without the ball, and City are playing keep away very well.
They bring on Raheem Sterling for Riyad Mahrez to kill more seconds.
90’ - It’s going to be four minutes of time added on.
86’ - DCL goes sliding in on the Master of the Dark Arts himself, Fernandinho. Gets a booking. Worth it.
On the other end, sub David Silva wins a freekick deep down the Everton right. De Bruyne’s inswinger is cleared for a corner. Taken short, and eventually shepherded out of the Everton half.
84’ - Davies cross into the box wins a corner on the left. Digne sends it in, but Davies heads it wide.
80’ - Davies now booked after bringing down Foden in the middle.
Jesus fires another shot in on Pickford, this time from outside the box, Pickford palms it away at full stretch.
79’ - Now Jesus gets away again and his snapshot beats Pickford and comes right back off the post! Whew!
77’ - Cross into the box is straight to Kean who has some space, he goes for an extravagant flying kick and mishits it, wide.
Drama on the other side as Foden waltzes past the Everton backline, Sidibe slides in with a crucial ball-winning tackle. The Etihad is adamant that’s a penalty, but VAR decides it’s not.
73’ - Jesus gets away from Mina but his header is straight at Pickford who makes the save.
70’ - City punished! Bravo makes a mistake trying to play sweeper out of his box, Richarlison intercepts and it falls to Kean who looks to have held it for too long, but Walcott’s deflected shot falls to Richarlison and he taps home, game on?!
67’ - Moise Kean is Everton’s second sub, on for Sigurdsson.
58’ - Jesus loves Everton. Gabriel Jesus that is, scoring again. Mahrez finds him getting in between Mina and Coleman, and Pickford is wrong-footed as it goes into the near post. 2-0, too easy again.
Powerful, first time, left-footed shot from Gabriel Jesus! pic.twitter.com/CXgwLGlLpk— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) January 1, 2020
Coleman goes off and Theo Walcott is on now. The horse has already bolted at this point really.
53’ - Immediate pressure from DCL on Fernandinho wins the Blues a corner. DCL gets his head to it, and wins another corner. Second one in is cleared too.
50’ - Gundogan finds Jesus with a seeing eye pass between Holgate and Mina, he stops and places it into the far corner.. Pickford gets a hand to it but can’t keep it out. Too easy.
Wonderful turn and finish from Gabriel Jesus! pic.twitter.com/vvR2iDKSld— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) January 1, 2020
46’ - Second half underway, no changes from either side.
Halftime Thoughts - The Blues need to get better with their passing, they’ve been let down by poor accuracy and City is not the kind of team to let that slide.
45+2’ - Blues win a cheap corner on the right, outswinger from Siggy is won by Mina but he heads it well over. For the number of aerial challenges he wins in the area, you’d think he’d be scoring a lot more goals than he does. And there’s the halftime whistle, Toffees lucky it’s still 0-0.
45’ - Only two minutes to be added on, should’ve been four really with the two long VAR checks.
Everton finally get the ball in the City half after a Davies interception, but first DCL then Sigurdsson lose possession way too easily.
44’ - Another great diagonal ball to Mendy, his high cross into the box falls to Mahrez and Digne, no real contact and Pickford can gather.
42’ - Cancelo with a great through ball to Jesus who draws defenders to him, plays it across for Mahrez to shoot unchallenged, and it’s poor and wide. Everton lucky again.
39’ - City passing the ball slickly, and once again they get free down the left with Mendy, his cross into the box is right at Jesus’ feet, but he makes a hash of it and shoots wide.
33’ - Everton have looked completely impotent with the ball. Richarlison and DCL all alone up top are getting eaten up and the Blues have had no effective possession in the City half since the first ten minutes.
31’ - Now City look to break through the middle and Mina brings down De Bruyne clumsily, the Everton defender goes in the book.
28’ - Mendy gets in behind both Sidibe and Coleman, his centre is to Mahrez who dallies with the Everton backline scrambling, shot blocked for a corner.
The corner is somewhat cleared, Gundogan then fires a shot from distance on goal but it’s straight at Pickford and he gathers.
24’ - Poor giveaway in the middle for the Blues and City move the ball up quickly, Gabriel Jesus with a shot from outside the box, and it’s just over.
18’ - Digne beaten by Mahrez and then runs into his man in the box, looks like he played the ball as the forward went down, but it’s offside and the discussion is moot.
Or is it, VAR is reviewing... offside is the call. Could’ve been a handball, should’ve been a dive, both on Mahrez.
VAR check for a potential penalty on Riyad Mahrez but ref decides otherwise, play continues pic.twitter.com/etlR7GlEhB— DZfoot English (@DZfoot_EN) January 1, 2020
13’ - The hosts stroking the ball around with ease, Mahrez finds Cancelo open on the right, his precise cross through the six-yard box beats the goalie and Phil Foden coming in behind beats Seamus Coleman, and City lead 1-0.
But wait!! VAR intervenes, and judges Mahrez as offside, still 0-0!!
11’ - City with a ball behind the backline, Pickford rushes out as Jesus is about to receive, fumbles it and Mina clears.
9’ - Everton passing the ball around well on the right, and Sigurdsson lofts a beautiful ball into the overlapping Coleman, he controls and tries to chip Omar Bravo, who palms it over for a corner.
The corner swings in but is cleared, Digne ensures there’s no counter attack.
5’ - With Davies in the Blues have just reverted to a three man midfield and Richarlison accompanying Dominic Calvert-Lewin up top.
1’ - Blues get us underway in the dark away/third kit.
Update - Bernard goes down clutching his knee in warm-ups after a collision with Yerry Mina, looks like he’s out and Tom Davies will replace him in the starting lineup. How will this change Ancelotti’s plans?
Youngster Anthony Gordon joins the bench, he would have been more of a like-for-like substitution, but what a Premier League debut start that would have been, away at the defending champions.
Lineups - Carlo Ancelotti goes with the three-man backline (5-2-3 out of possession, 3-4-3 with the ball) for the trip to Man City, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Fabian Delph (against his former side) in the middle.
The Blues have had some good fortune finally with injuries as more and more players have become available to Ancelotti as the weeks have gone on since early November. We’re about halfway through the busy festive period and the manager is going to have to work out how to rotate his squad for this game, especially with a crucial Merseyside Derby coming up on Sunday in the FA Cup.
City have not been their usual dominating selves this season, and have watched as the gap between them and league leaders Liverpool has continued to extend. Pep Guardiola has a multitude of riches in his deep squad, and could field a completely changed XI from midweek and still have a lineup almost entirely composed of internationals. Phew.
Competition: Premier League Matchday 21
Date and start time: Wednesday, January 1st at 9:30 a.m. PT / 12:30 p.m ET / 5:30 p.m. BST
Stadium: Etihad Stadium, Manchester, England, United Kingdom
Weather: 40°F/4°C, cloudy, 8% chance of precipitation, 4 mph winds
How to Watch/Listen
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Starting XI - Pickford, Coleman, Sidibe, Holgate, Mina, Digne, Delph, Bernard, Sigurdsson, Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin
Subs - Stekelenburg, Baines, Keane, Davies, Walcott, Tosun, Kean
Starting XI - Bravo, Cancelo, Fernandinho (C), E Garcia, Mendy, Rodrigo, Gundogan, Mahrez, Foden, De Bruyne, Jesus
Subs - Carson, Walker, Sterling, Aguero, Angelino, Bernardo, Silva
The first City line-up of the decade!— Manchester City (@ManCity) January 1, 2020
Bravo, Cancelo, Fernandinho (C), E Garcia, Mendy, Rodrigo, Gundogan, Mahrez, Foden, De Bruyne, Jesus
Subs | Carson, Walker, Sterling, Aguero, Angelino, Bernardo, Silva
#MCIEVE #ManCity pic.twitter.com/sqzmVWLn6F
Everton’s last visit to the Etihad was in December last year didn’t go well, with recent nemesis Gabriel Jesus grabbing an early brace after twenty-odd minutes then adding a second soon after the break. Dominic Calvert-Lewin pulled one back on 65 minutes but before you could say comeback Raheem Sterling put the result beyond doubt with a third.