Man City battle back to beat Everton on return to Premier League duty
EPL

Man City battle back to beat Everton on return to Premier League duty

Dec 28, 2023

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Manchester City came from behind to beat Everton 3-1 on their return from the Club World Cup on Wednesday and move five points behind Premier League leaders Liverpool.

Pep Guardiola’s men, chasing an unprecedented fourth consecutive English top-flight title, were in deep trouble when trailing 1-0 at Goodison Park, courtesy of a first-half strike from former City player Jack Harrison.

But Phil Foden fizzed a shot past Jordan Pickford in the 53rd minute and Julian Alvarez put the visitors ahead from the penalty spot.

Bernardo Silva capped a brilliant second-half performance for the champions, taking advantage of an error from Pickford in the closing minutes to lift the ball over the Everton goalkeeper.

City, who had won just one of their previous six league games, have a game in hand over Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool, who are two points clear of second-placed Arsenal, in action against West Ham on Thursday.

Elsewhere, Chelsea’s Noni Madueke scored a late winner from the penalty spot in a 2-1 win against Crystal Palace to lift spirits at Stamford Bridge while Wolves hammered Brentford 4-1.

City sparkle

City came into the match against Everton on a high after winning the Club World Cup last week — their fifth trophy during an extraordinary 2023.

But they have not had their own way in the Premier League in recent weeks and face a fierce battle if they want to hold onto their crown.

City forced Sean Dyche’s Everton onto the back foot early but could not make their domination of possession count, with Pickford making some fine saves.

Instead it was the battling home team who engineered a breakthrough when City failed to clear.

Rodri gave the ball away in his own box and Dwight McNeil picked up the free ball, producing a fine cross for Harrison to steer home.

Harrison almost doubled the lead minutes later, forcing a fine fingertip save at full stretch from Ederson in the City goal.

Everton held their lead until the break but City came out full of intent.

They got the reward their dominance deserved when Foden found himself in space at the edge of the penalty box and hit a rocket into the bottom corner, giving Pickford no chance.

Referee John Brooks pointed to the spot about 10 minutes later after Amadou Onana was penalised for handball and Alvarez made no mistake.

Silva sealed all three points to lift City into fourth place when Pickford was closed down by Alvarez and the ball was deflected into his path.

A second straight defeat for Everton — docked 10 points last month for breaches of financial rules — leaves them just one place above the relegation zone.

Madueke won and converted an 89th-minute penalty to claim victory for stuttering Chelsea after three losses in their previous four top-flight matches.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side had taken an early lead through Mykhailo Mudryk but Michael Olise pegged the hosts back.

South Korean international Hwang Hee-chan scored twice as Wolves came away from Brentford with a 4-1 win.

Hwang took his Premier League tally for the season to 10 as Wolves followed up their Christmas Eve win over Chelsea in style.

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