Manchester City fans were left feeling frustrated after the recent let down of a match against Everton. There were many things to take from this match, and most of those are actually positives!
City once again played with a plethora of possession. They dominated Everton from start to finish. The stats speak for themselves, with 72% possession and nineteen shots on goal, eight of which were on target. The Sky Blues were pummeling the Toffees with pressure, however, credit must be given where it’s due: Everton defended fantastically. Although they sat back for the majority of the clash, they had much to do. Maarten Stekelenburg put in a breathtaking performance, but if the squad had taken their chances, it could have been a cricket score.
The two clearest opportunities missed were the penalties. In this league, you will be punished for not taking advantage of the gifts given to you. The two penalty takers, Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Agüero, took virtually identical shots, and both were saved in a similar manner. De Bruyne went for power over accuracy, and Agüero appeared to be short of confidence. In hindsight, Iheanacho should have taken the first penalty, and Sergio’s midweek mishap should have been accounted for in the second half.
In short, the squad’s showing was impressive, but the finishing was not. If the players work on hitting the back of the net, then they will be a force to be reckoned with.
The two standout players were Leroy Sané and David Silva. Leroy, making his first start in a City shirt, started the game fantastically with some great ball retention. He continued to excite the fans by cutting in and out of the Everton defence and creating goal opportunities. His pace left the backl ine for dead, and we have now seen glimpses of what the German has to offer.
David Silva once again left everybody in the stadium speechless. His passing and midfield control was staggering. The Spaniard played a key role in City’s consistent dominance, able to get the ball forward, cutting the defense open at times with his passing skills. He assisted birthday boy Nolito’s equalizer with a very good cross, which ended up saving the Blues a point. The Magician bagged himself another Man of the Match performance, and it was thoroughly deserved.
Another notable appearance was that of Vincent Kompany’s. Coming off the bench, the longtime City skipper returned from yet another frustrating injury. Fans will hope he can begin to play consistently once again.
What Went Wrong?
We really shot ourselves in the foot on Saturday. While we really should have won, though, it is hard to say Everton’s point was undeserved. They did a brilliant job of keeping our attackers out, and Maarten Stekelenburg deserves a shout for the amazing saves he made. Not capitalizing on our control of the game and Phil Jagielka’s poor decision-making in the box has cost us two points, simple as that. If we are going to win titles, improvement in that area will be absolutely imperative. Pep Guardiola is an intelligent man, and the squad has surely gotten an ear-full regarding these mistakes.
In the coming fixtures, we will see a significant difference in the way we take our chances. We also need to be wary of counter attacks. Romelu Lukaku put away Everton’s lone goal in one simple counter, and left the players and us fans stunned. If a team is going to commit that much pressure, they must also be aware of what could happen at the back. Our unawareness hurt us today, and that can go on the list of issues that need addressing. We can be confident the squad will be enhanced by the time our next opponents come knocking on our door.
We played mostly well. Certain players stood out while others had bad days at the office. This match has given the players and staff plenty to work on, and we should not panic. There is still a long season ahead, and by the time it’s over we will probably be too busy celebrating a title to remember the slip-ups.