Gabriel Jesus has been Everton’s kryptonite in recent seasons, making it seven goals in six Premier League games against the Blues. Even Sergio Aguero can’t compare to the Brazilian, with a meagre two in fourteen appearances.
And so it was today as well.
Carlo Ancelotti went with a three-man backline, giving Seamus Coleman the start ahead of Michael Keane, and was trying to play four in the middle with three upfront, but Yerry Mina clattered into Bernard in the pre-game warmups and he had to be replaced by Tom Davies, making it more of a 3-5-2 with two wingbacks.
That seemed to make all the difference as Manchester City were able to isolate Everton’s front two of Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison, with the Blues incapable of holding the ball and stringing together more than two passes in the City half.
In the defensive half, this game definitively proved that Gylfi Sigurdsson is simply out of his depth playing in midfield against any competent Premier League side, let alone one as proficient as City. As for Fabian Delph, clearly he’s well past his best or not fit enough to play - either way, he’s not good enough for a team that has top six ambitions.
The inept midfield play allowed Kevin De Bruyne and Ilkay Gundogan - no slouches themselves - all the time and space to pick apart the hapless Everton defence, with Gabriel Jesus and Riyad Mahrez time and again getting behind the backline. Jesus grabbed a brace and could have easily had twice that were it not for Jordan Pickford and the woodwork.
Carlo Ancelotti’s gameplan looked simple enough - try and hold City scoreless until the hour mark before throwing on some forwards and grab a goal or two. Unfortunately his defence couldn’t hold and with City up 2-0 and looking to run riot, Omar Bravo helped the Toffees with a comical display of trying to play out the back.
Richarlison got his foot to the clearance, Moise Kean dawdled on the ball too long before passing to Theo Walcott who fired at goal, the shot was deflected to Richarlison and he tapped home into an open goal. Looked like game on, but the hosts continued to use their superior passing and movement to keep the ball from the Blues and seal the game.
Everton did have a few chances from set-pieces, who continued to fail to take advantage of those opportunities, definitely an area for improvement and one that Ancelotti will likely be working on.