After losing at Newcastle and falling five points behind, the blues beat Arsenal on Sunday to move two points behind the leaders, who then drew their second successive game 1-1 at West Ham to leave City just three points behind. Victory for the blues at Goodison will take City to the top of the table for the first time since December.
To do that, they must orchestrate a win on Merseyside against the reds bitter rivals, with some questioning whether or not Everton will want to beat the blues and risk Liverpool wining the league. But how have City performed in the past? Let’s take a look at the stats.
The blues have had a bit of a chequered history at Goodison, and the fans never really know what to expect from a visit to the blue half of Merseyside.
The two teams have met 94 times on Merseyside, with City winning just twenty of those matches, while Everton have won on 49 occasions, with 25 games drawn, so City really have some ground to make up on the Toffees. The good news is that, on the last two occasions the blues have won the Premier League, it has involved a win at Goodison, so that is hopefully a good omen.
In the league, the blues have lost one of the last five visits – a 4-0 hammering in January 2017 which was manager Pep Guardiola’s first season in England. City’s 3-2 victory at Goodison on May 2014 on their way to the league title ended a run of four successive defeats at the hands of the Toffees, which was the joint longest losing run at Goodison. The other two were April 1900-April 1904 and February 1914-February 1921.
City’s longest winless run stands at fifteen matches between September 1906 to February 1926, and started with the blues heaviest defeat to Everton – 9-1. City also conceded six goals on two occasions during that run; September 1908 (6-3) and December 1923 (6-1). Oddly enough, City’s biggest win at Everton ended this dreadful run thanks to a 6-2 win in September 1928.
The longest unbeaten run is currently at four matches, achieved between December 1979 and October 1981, when the blues won three and drew one, the solitary draw coming in the FA Cup, although City won the replay on their way to Wembley.
In all matches, City have kept just sixteen clean sheets, and have only kept two clean sheets at Goodison since the creation of the Premier League, and have failed to score in nine Premier League visits. Overall, the blues have failed to score in 37 games, including a run of five successive games between February 1986 and January 1991 when the blues failed score. In total, City have scored 96 goals, and conceded a huge 163.
The two teams have met ten times in February, but never on the 6th. They have met on the 4th, 5th and 7th, with the blues losing all three, 3-0, 2-0 and 1-0. It’s time we won one around this date.
Will the blues claim victory on Merseyside and reclaim top spot?