Haaland's double downs Everton and sends Man City top

Erling Haaland’s late double sent Manchester City top of the Premier League as they beat Everton 2-0 to extend their winning run to 10 games in all competitions.

The striker rifled home the opening goal with City’s first shot on target following a corner in the 71st minute before adding a breakaway second from substitute Kevin De Bruyne’s pass.

Everton had defended doggedly before that, despite Sean Dyche’s absence from the dugout as he served a touchline ban, but City’s quality told as top scorer Haaland found the net in the Premier League for the first time since November, taking his tally to 16.

The victory puts Pep Guardiola’s side a point ahead of Liverpool, who host Burnley in a 3pm kick-off, and ensures Everton, deducted 10 points earlier this season, remain in trouble in 18th place and without a win in seven Premier League games.

Player ratings

Man City: Ederson (7), Stones (7), Akanji (6), Dias (7), Ake (7), Rodri (7), Nunes (6), Foden (7), Alvarez (6), Doku (7), Haaland (9).

Subs used: De Bruyne (7), Walker (7), Bernardo Silva (7), Grealish (6).

Everton: Pickford (6), Godfrey (7), Tarkowski (7), Branthwaite (6), Mykolenko (6), Young (6), Garner (7), Gueye (7), McNeil (6), Harrison (6), Calvert-Lewin (5).

Subs used: Coleman (6), Beto (5), Onana (6), Dobbin (6), Chermiti (6).

Player of the match: Erling Haaland

How Haaland broke Everton’s resistance

Everton claimed a point in this fixture last season, holding the champions to a 1-1 draw, and they picked up where they left off at the Etihad Stadium with an obstinate first-half performance.

Team news

  • Man City boss Pep Guardiola dropped Kevin de Bruyne and Bernardo Silva, with Jeremy Doku and Matheus Nunes starting. Erling Haaland also started.
  • Sean Dyche named the same Everton team as in the 2-2 draw with Tottenham but Amadou Onana returned to the squad as a substitute.

City, missing the thrust and quality of the benched De Bruyne, struggled to create any chances of note, with their only meaningful openings coming on the rare occasions Jeremy Doku was able to escape Ben Godfrey and Ashley Young’s attentions on the left.

Haaland headed over from one Doku cross but was otherwise a peripheral figure, with City’s approach play lacking speed and incisiveness against their well-organised opponents.

Phil Foden shoots under pressure
Phil Foden shoots under pressure against Everton

Everton sought to break forward when possible, causing occasional problems for the hosts, with Jack Harrison firing one half-chance over at the far post. For the most part, though, they were focused on protecting their own goal.

There was a string of Everton blocks in the first period, including one by James Tarkowski from a close-range Manuel Akanji effort which had City optimistically appealing for handball.

And the visitors continued to frustrate City after the break, with Guardiola’s side mostly reduced to speculative long-range efforts as Julian Alvarez and Rodri fired over the bar.

Erling Haaland celebrates with Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden after scoring his side's second goal
Erling Haaland celebrates with Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden after scoring his side’s second goal

Guardiola leant into City’s formidable strength in depth, however, as the rested De Bruyne and Kyle Walker came on for Matheus Nunes and Akanji, and finally the breakthrough arrived.

It resulted from a set-piece as City’s initial header was blocked and Everton failed to clear their lines, allowing Haaland to smash a first-time shot into the net past Jordan Pickford.

Everton tried to muster a response but substitute Beto wasted their best openings by twice drifting offside and their efforts to find a leveller left more space for City, which they exploited on the break as De Bruyne’s early pass released Haaland for the second.

Manchester City's John Stones challenges for the ball with Everton's James Garner and Dominic Calvert-Lewin
Manchester City’s John Stones challenges for the ball with Everton’s James Garner and Dominic Calvert-Lewin

The big Norwegian outmuscled Jarrad Branthwaite to go one-on-one with Pickford before stroking a calm finish into the far corner to wrap up the win and move two goals clear of Mohamed Salah at the top of the Premier League scoring charts.

City had a chance to add to their lead in the closing stages as De Bruyne’s attempted lob of a stranded Pickford landed on the roof of the net. But the win was already assured, adding to City’s momentum and extending Everton’s winless run.

Pep: Body language not good in first half

Man City boss Pep Guardiola to TNT Sports: “These types of victories count more than the other ones. We were there and we didn’t concede a shot on target and of course they are incredibly well organised.

“In the end, the changes in the second half gave us another rhythm and of course Erling (Haaland) is back. To have this player, when the ball is there from a corner. The finishing was amazing.

“In the first half, our body language was not good, we were always complaining. In the second half, we were more positive. If you want to give the best of yourself, the body language has to be right. In the end. we took a massively important three points.

“Kevin [De Bruyne], since he came back, is so fresh in his mind and legs and that is why sometimes I don’t want to start him and the impact is higher than the beginning. It is important how many chances the opponents have. This is the key point and the average is not much.”

Dyche: We didn’t do enough offensively

Everton boss Sean Dyche to TNT Sports: “We did well at containing them, with that side of the game, but not as well in turnovers and transitions, which was frustrating because you’ve got to play both parts of the game.

“It was pleasing that their goal was their first shot on target, from the defensive perspective, but the transitions are massive. We gave the ball away so many times in good positions.

“We won the ball in good areas and then, getting to the final third, didn’t have the same kind of conviction.

“That’s why they are a top side, of course. They do both sides of the game very well, and if they’re not doing it very well, they bring five players on who can.

“The second goal is such a cheap goal and a cheap moment to give it away.”

On Everton’s seven-game winless run, he added: “I don’t think my noise changed when we had four wins on the trot. I think I stayed [even]. It’s no different to me. It’s a season’s work, even more so this season with all the noise about the 10 points – and we’ll see if that changes. But the commitment is very good.”

Man City’s deadly duo – Opta stats

  • Kevin De Bruyne’s 12 assists for Erling Haaland is the most of any Premier League player for a specific team-mate in all competitions since the start of last season.
  • Erling Haaland’s opener ended his run of 17 shots and 418 minutes without scoring a Premier League goal. The Norwegian has scored in all three of his league appearances against Everton (four goals).
  • Kevin De Bruyne has been involved in 23 goals across his last 23 appearances for Manchester City in all competitions (six goals, 17 assists), either scoring or assisting in six of his eight games this term.
  • Manchester City scored with their first shot on target in this game in the 71st minute, their longest wait for an attempt on target in a Premier League match since September 2021 vs Southampton (90th minute).
  • Everton are now winless in seven Premier League games (D3 L4), having won four on the bounce directly before this run, while no side has failed to score in more top-flight matches than the Toffees this term (10).

What’s next?

Man City are back in Champions League action on Tuesday as they travel to Copenhagen in the round of 16; kick-off 8pm.

They return to Sky Sports next weekend as they host Chelsea in the Premier League on Saturday Night Football; kick-off 5.30pm.

Saturday 17th February 5:00pm

Kick off 5:30pm

Everton’s next game is also live on Sky Sports when they welcome Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Monday Night Football on February 19; kick-off 8pm.

Monday 19th February 6:30pm

Kick off 8:00pm

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