Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughCity 2 Everton 0 - My Verdict - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough City 2 Everton 0 - My Verdict - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

City 2 Everton 0 – My Verdict

This wasn’t a vintage performance from Manchester City in the early afternoon kick-off, but this 2-0 victory against a resilient Everton side could prove pivotal, come the end of the season.

The away side started the brighter of the two teams with some nice build-up play from the likes of Leighton Baines and Jack Rodwell. It wasn’t long before City took control, with the Toffee’s continuing tactic of not playing a recognised striker hindering any chance of a real threat on goal.

The Eastlands outfit dominated possession and territory but with the Barclays Premier League Player of the Month, Edin Dzeko, having his poorest performance in a City shirt this season and player maker David Silva being marked tightly by Rodwell, chances were scarce.

No quarter was being given by David Moyes’ side, with plenty of committed challenges being made which resulted in bookings a-plenty. The home side weren’t afraid of dishing out some bruised limbs, with one tackle from Yaya Toure on Seamus Coleman particularly unsavoury.

City did create some openings in the first half but none of them really challenged Tim Howard in the Everton goal. As Howard Webb blew the whistle to bring first-half proceedings to a close, both managers and fans a-like would have been looking for better when the sides returned for the second half.

Unfortunately it didn’t get much better for either side in the opening minutes of the second half, and with the game needing a much needed injection the enigmatic Mario Balotelli entered the fret. The Italian replaced the disappointing Dzeko and immediately looked more assured and lively in possession.

The mercurial talent then showed the watching world what he’s capable of. As Sergio Aguero tried to find an opening on the edge of the Everton penalty area, the Argentinian played the ball behind him to his new strike partner. With the confidence of a man beyond his years, Balotelli placed the ball first time with pace and accuracy through a crowd of players and past Howard into the corner of the net.

Balotelli made a beeline to his compatriot and manager to share in the celebrations. It was a rare public show of respect and solidarity. For once the Italian was making the headlines for all the right reasons.

The goal inevitably forced Moyes into some changes and with more space being created and Rodwell having to relinquish his reign on Silva it didn’t look long before City would extend their lead.

City did extend their lead. Silva found space on the counter attack and just as though it seemed the breakaway may have petered out, the little Spanish magician found the run of James Milner with a nonchalant flick of his left foot and the England international did the rest.

With the second goal and three points secured, a huge sigh of relief was felt over east Manchester. It also secured City’s place at the top of the league, for the next few hours at least.

Mancini will know his side can, and will, play better this season but it was important to win after the disappointing 2-2 draw against Fulham last weekend. For Everton, it doesn’t get much easier with the visit of city rivals Liverpool next up.

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