Extending on their Premier League title charge, Erling Haaland fired Manchester City to a 2-0 victory against Everton on Saturday lunchtime.
Although Pep Guardiola’s men might have failed to find any real clinical edge for large spells prior to the half-time break, it was the returning Haaland who briefly dragged City to the top of the table.
With Manchester City’s attacking talisman power home on the 71st minute, the Norwegian icon quickly wrapped things up as he produced a slick finish just 14 minutes after his opener.
Although Everton might have largely frustrated the defending champions throughout the first half, Saturday’s guests once again left the Etihad empty-handed.
Still sat one-point adrift of Premier League safety, the Toffees have now recorded just a sole victory from any of their last 11 straight meetings against top-flight opposition.
On an afternoon when Manchester City briefly climbed back to the top of the Premier League table, we have taken a look at the main talking points.
City extend on their domestic romp
Although Manchester City might have found themselves at the heart of a domestic wobble prior to November’s international break, the Sky Blues have certainly hit top gear at a crucial time.
Making real history last season as they became the first English club since 1999 to be crowned treble champions, Guardiola’s side are riding a remarkable wave of momentum.
Breezing their way to another Champions League knockout stage ticket over the festive period and once again tipped as a leading European contender, City should find the mood in their camp at a red-hot high.
Briefly finding a route back to the top of the Premier League table on Saturday lunchtime, the Sky Blues have won all of their previous 10 straight appearances across all competitions – a run that stems all the way back to a 2-2 stalemate against Crystal Palace on December 16th.
With their sights set on making more Premier League history in 2024, the former Barcelona boss has seen his squad send a real statement of intent to the likes of Arsenal and Liverpool.
Haaland is back with a bang
If Manchester City were to drag themselves to a 10th consecutive victory here, then it almost seemed inevitable that Haaland was going to be the man to finish the job for Guardiola’s men.
Only making his return from a long-term foot injury during City’s 3-1 victory against Burnley on January 31st, the Norwegian superstar was certainly back to his clinical best on Saturday lunchtime.
Producing a pair of wonderful second half finishes at the Etihad, Haaland’s return certainly couldn’t have come at a better time for the defending Premier League champions.
Notching a brace here, the ex-Borussia Dortmund marksman has registered 51 goals in his first 50 Premier League starts – more than any other player has recorded in their first 50 starts in the competition.
Reigniting his astonishing partnership with Kevin De Bruyne, there is no doubt that Haaland will once again have a major role to play in City’s charge to make even more history this season.
Everton are fighting for their life
Hit with a hugely controversial 10-point deduction back in November, it is no secret that Everton find themselves at the heart of another public Premier League struggle this season.
While Sean Dyche’s side might have shown some real signs of life on either side of November’s international break, the Toffees have come crashing back down to earth in a worrying fashion.
With a potential second point deduction hanging over their head, the former Burnley boss is facing a real uphill battle in their bid to avoid an infamous relegation in 2024.
Although Saturday’s guests might have snatched a last-gasp point against Tottenham last weekend, Everton have claimed just a single win from any of their previous 11 meetings against Premier League opposition.
Failing to open their top-flight account since opening the New Year and crashing out of the FA Cup last month following a 2-1 defeat at home against Luton, Dyche’s men will end this weekend’s fixtures still sat in the drop zone.
Manchester City: Ederson, Stones, Akanji, Dias, Ake, Nunes, Rodri, Foden, Alvarez, Doku, Haaland
Subs: De Bruyne, Walker, Silva, Grealish
Everton: Pickford, Godfrey, Tarkowski, Branthwaite, Mykolenko, Garner, Gueye, Young, Harrison, McNeil, Calvert-Lewin
Subs: Beto, Chermiti, Coleman, Onana, Dobbin
Goals: Haaland (71’, 85’)
Yellow Cards: Gueye, Garner
Red Cards: N/A
Referee: Anthony Taylor
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