Manchester City claimed a 3-1 win against Everton earlier today to move into second place in the Premier League.
The home side rode their luck though, as the visitors had two penalty appeals turned down, while City were given a rather soft spot-kick.
City’s performance was far better than their midweek Champions League hammering at the hands of Bayern Munich.
However, the home side did not look completely in control of the first half, until striker Sergio Aguero fired home on the stroke of half-time.
The goal deflated the undefeated Toffees and City enjoyed a rather more comfortable second half. City’s third goal had more than a pinch of luck about it. Full-back Pablo Zabaleta went down easily under a challenge from Seamus Coleman and referee Jon Moss pointed to the spot.
Sergio Aguero’s spot-kick was saved by Tim Howard, only for the ball to hit the post and cannon back into the back of the net off the unlucky Everton keeper.
Jekyll and Hyde
Manchester City have been the Jekyll and Hyde team of the Premier League this season. The Citizens produced a fantastic display against Manchester United to win 4-1 against their arch-rivals at the Etihad Stadium, yet last weekend they threw away a lead to lose 3-2 at Aston Villa.
It was not the first time that City have disappointed this season. City also lost at Cardiff earlier this season, in relatively similar circumstances. City’s midweek display against European champions Bayern was also disappointing, but that was more of a case of poor tactical decisions from City boss Manuel Pellegrini.
As you would expect for a club that have spent so much money on new additions in recent years, City have lots of quality within their ranks. The likes of Yaya Toure, Sergio Aguero and David Silva have quality in abundance.
City have really missed Silva’s guile and skill in midfield. On-form the Spain international is one of the best players in the Premier League. Silva had made a good start to the season prior to picking up an injury that has sidelined him in recent games.
The mercurial playmaker made his return to the City team with a cameo appearance as a substitute against Bayern in the Champions League. His arrival signalled a far improved performance from City. Suddenly the Citizens looked like a major threat to the German team.
Maybe if Silva had been fully-fit then City would have performed far better. His availability may have forced City boss Manuel Pellegrini into playing with one striker, rather than the ill-advised two up front.
Anyway back to the Premier League. Silva was the key to City’s victory over Everton. He was involved in everything good about what City produced. Keeping the Spaniard in peak condition could be the key to City being successful this season.
He is the brains of the City midfield, without the former-Valencia playmaker the Citizens are a far weaker side.
This season the Premier League title race is the most open of recent years. It looks unlikely that there will be a team that breaks away from the chasing pack. Manchester United broke clear last season and were far better than everybody else.
However, with Chelsea, United and City all having new managers there is a lot of upheaval at the top of the table. At the moment Arsenal are the in-form team at the top, but that could change very quickly.
City do have the quality to win the league, but have not yet completely became accustomed to the methods of new boss Manuel Pellegrini, who is a highly-rated tactician.
Manchester City have everything in place to win the league. They have a top-class boss, some really top players and the funds to strengthen their squad in January if they need to. All City need to do now is find the sort of consistency that wins you titles, whether they can do that remains to be seen.
The bookies obviously believe that City can claim the title, as the Citizens are now 9/4 to claim the crown. However, I am not so sure.
Can Manchester City find the consistency to win the Premier League?