Everton – Manchester City: Glorious Gündoğan Puts The Crown Within Reach (0-3)
Control. It’s something that Pep Guardiola craves most, so this performance should go high in his books. Manchester City pierced through a compact low block down the left side and magical touches from İlkay Gündoğan stole the story: even if expected goals tried to tell something different.
Tactical analysis and match report by Joel Parker.
A foregone conclusion is impossible to make within football’s great fluidity. A week earlier, this could be deemed as a comfortable fixture for Manchester City, but with crazy high stakes come more bizarre outcomes.
Everton fans had travelled to Brighton with not much hope but came out having dismantled one of the league's top performers. Sean Dyche’s game plan was perfect, unresponsive to the bait and countering in the spaces left wide. Three huge points took them out of the relegation zone, but with three games left just one point separated them from Leeds United and two points from Leicester City below.
Countering City to the same success would take a great effort: a team that is more geared on the counterpress and whose rest defense is a lot more effective. However, this game fell between two Real Madrid ties (and all in the balance from the first leg) making this a great time for Goodison Park to host the league leaders, who still need to secure the domestic crown with a few games left remaining.
Dyche made just a single change to the team that beat Brighton 5-1 last weekend . . .