Two late goals saw Manchester City book their place in the FA Cup semi-finals at the expense of Everton at Goodison Park on Saturday evening.
It looked as though the Citizens were going to be frustrated by the hosts until Ilkay Gundogan netted with just seven minutes of the clash remaining with a diving header. Substitute Kevin De Bruyne then climbed off the bench late on to finish off a lethal counter-attack and indeed the match.
Here are three things we learned from Manchester City’s victory:
Gundogan steps up again
It’s fair to say that Gundogan’s impact at Manchester City this season cannot be understated. Prior to the meeting at Goodison, he had already hit 15 goals in all competitions, by far the highest-scoring season of his senior career. His hot streak has been a huge reason behind Manchester City’s impressive run form.
He continued that stunning run on Merseyside once again, scoring with an instinctive diving header after Phil Foden’s original effort had bounced back off of the crossbar.
Whilst the former Borussia Dortmund man proved key in the victory with his goal, Gundogan’s defensive contributions were vital as he racked up two tackles, one interception, a clearance and a block.
Stubborn Everton almost get there
It certainly took quite some time for the current Premier League leaders to find a way through and secure their place in the Wembley semi-finals. That was down to an excellent defensive showing from the home side.
Deploying a back three of Mason Holgate, Yerry Mina and Ben Godfrey, the Toffees trio were highly impressive. They contributed seven tackles between them, with Mina and Godfrey racking up three each. Meanwhile, they also kept the ball out of their penalty area on numerous occasions, racking up a huge 14 clearances between them, as well as winning a further four aerials.
Whilst Carlo Ancelotti will be slightly frustrating having seen his side eliminated, he will surely be delighted with the performance of his defenders.
Quadruple still on?
It seems like simply nobody can stop Manchester City right now and they just find a way to win, no matter what competition they are in. With a Carabao Cup final date with Tottenham to come, as well as looking odds-on favourites to lift the Premier League crown once again, they are now into the last four of the FA Cup. That’s not even to mention the fact that they have also secured their place in the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League, where they will now meet Borussia Dortmund.
With no side in English football history having been able to scoop the quadruple, Pep Guardiola’s troops now look the best bet to achieve that unprecedented achievement.
Following their victory at Goodison Park, they can be backed at a price of 8/11 with Betfair to scoop the FA Cup come the end of the campaign.
Everton: Virginia (7); Godfrey (6), Mina (6), Holgate (7) (Iwobi (N/A), 87′); Digne (6), Allan (6), Gomes (6), Sigurdsson (6), Coleman (6); Richarlison (5), Calvert-Lewin (6).
Manchester City: Steffen (7); Zinchenko (6), Laporte (6), Dias (7), Walker (6); Fernandinho (6), Gundogan (7) (Rodri (N/A), 90′), Silva (6) (Mahrez (7), 64′); Foden (7), Sterling (6) (De Bruyne (7), 80′), Jesus (6).
Goals: Gundogan (84′), De Bruyne (90′)
Referee: Michael Oliver
Yellow Cards: Allan (23′), Fernandinho (57′), Gomes (75′)
Red Cards: N/A
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