It wasn’t pretty on Wednesday night by all accounts but Pep Guardiola’s team know how to win when it counts. Goals from Aymeric Laporte and Gabriel Jesus secured a vital thee points in the title race as City went back to the top of the table at Goodison Park, for the first time since December
All the talk pre-game was of Everton and how they would approach this contest, knowing full well that win could well and truly enhance their City rivals chance of a first league title in 29 years. All this was put to rest inside a couple of minutes as the home side hassled and harried all over the pitch. Despite Goodison generally being a cauldron of atmosphere, the stadium seemed a little subdued such where the circumstances however it was clear to see that Marco Silva’s side were working to potentially save his job.
Chances came few and far between for the home side and other than a Laporte header that went glaring wide, the game was relatively closely matched. Ilkay Gundogan had an effort that struk the post after a half hour but it was he Frenchman who came up with the breakthrough on the stroke of half-time. A whipped ball by David Silva was met beautifully by the head of Laporte to glide past Pickford, ensuring City would go into the break one ahead.
As the second half started, City looked wary of their recent form of throwing away leading positions and were keeping it tight. the Champions did look sloppy though and could of paid the price after a number of lapses in concentration by Kyle Walker. As the game drew nearer it’s end, the nerves and tiredness where beginning to show. The visitors looked happy enough to hold onto their one goal advantage and seemed willing to hold the ball in the corners.
Gabriel Jesus and Kevin De Bruyne were introduced late on to give City some much needed legs, and it was the combination of the two that led to the late goal to secure all three points.
De Bruyne controlled the ball beautifully on the half turn and slipped Jesus in, the Brazilians dinked effort was originally saved but as the ball looped up in the air, Jesus was on hand to nod it into an empty net to send the travelling fans wild and City to the top of the table.
Liverpool now play first on Saturday as they welcome Bournemouth to Anfield while City must wait until Sunday to play Chelsea at the Etihad. Theres still a long way to go yet, but it’s going to go right down to the wire.