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Manchester City 3-1 (4-3) Everton: Quick Thoughts

Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Manchester City are through to the Capital One Cup Final at Wembley on February 28 against Liverpool. Tonight's 3-1 victory was well deserved even though City's second goal was controversial. However, Manchester City was denied a stonewall penalty in the first leg so perhaps these calls even out over time.

Some quick observations:

City much more efficient without Toure

The evidence was clear from this match that the Blues were much better after Toure came off for Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva dropped back into a hybrid central midfield role.

Navas critical

As has been the case in multiple games this season, Jesus Navas pace changes the complexion of matches. Thankfully chasing the tie. Manuel Pellegrini did not wait until minute 60 or 75 to insert the Spaniard, but did so at halftime. It made all the difference.

Sterling can play centrally

Raheem Sterling's ability to draw defenders and create space for himself when he pushed inside was impressive. Though Everton's continued inability to close down spaces, a recurring theme in league play for Roberto Martinez's side probably had much to do with it.

Nervous wait on De Bruyne

Samir Nasri is still at least six weeks from a return and if De Bruyne is out long-term with David Silva far from his best recently it could spell trouble for the Blues. If he's out really long-term Belgium, one of the Euro 2016 favorites will need to be nervous as well.

Otamendi Shaky

Martin Demichelis had a solid game but his compatriot Nicolas Otamendi was a mess. Largely responsible for the Everton goal he also had some borderline reckless challenges in desperate defending mode in the second half.