The Ped Report - Everton 2-1 City
City once again succumbed to their anti-christ team, Everton at Goodison Park today.
This was the first of three matches that could ensure that City end the season in the Champions League and win the FA Cup. Instead we can now once again start to look over our shoulders and have delivered to the onlooking Tony Pulis one of the keys to next week's match...as if he hadn't already suspected.
City got off to a great start dominating possession and keeping Everton quiet all around the field. Midfield maestro Silva was awesome as his array of passes and football ability bordered on the extraordinary.
It was little surprise that everything good about City in the first half came via him and it was less of a surprise that he had a hand in an excellent goal well taken by Yaya Toure in 27 minutes.
The puzzle was that once again didn't use that as a spring board to bound into Europe. Chances were squandered, indeed Silva himself should have bagged one and Dzeko another. By half time time this game should have been done and dusted..but it was only 1-0.
City have found a new resilience this term and it looked as though it might come forth again today. Indeed it did until the 70 minute mark.
Whatever tricks if any Everton had were kept under wraps although they did get a fair share of deadball situations from red softy Phil Dowd. So it was perhaps inevitable that any efforts on goal would come from those sources.
After 72 minutes Arteta's free kick was nodded home by Dusty Bin although I think Hart should have done better. This lit the royal blue touchpaper with Everton now sensing once again that they could upset what was now an ineffective City.
And so it proved when a similar threat was neatly headed just inside the post by Osman. From a seemingly comfortable lead, albeit only 1-0 suddenly within 7 minutes City had surrendered the match.
Mancini threw on the artillery if that's what you can call Jo, but Everton were at their masterful best, milking everything they could out of Dowd and winding down the clock at every opportunity.
This game could have got out of hand early on with some of the Everton antics, especially Neville's stamp on Kolarov and it nearly did explode when Rodwell did his impression of a combined harvester in chopping down de Jong, a sequence of play that got Kompany cautioned as well as Rodwell. At the end there was also a bit of potential as Kolarov and Neville had words.
The bottom line is that City fell at the first hurdle of the three. We might say that Everton is our bogey team, but we don't beat Spurs too often, nor for that matter Stoke. This had better not be a long week!
Stoke manager Pulis must have loved two free headers from two long crosses, hasn't his team got that in their locker? Until then Kompany and Lescott looked formidable and unbeatable,but come on guys we should be able to do better than that.
Milner had perhaps a better game than usual and de Jong was again exceptional. Once again however David Silva was the inspiration but just couldn't keep it going when aq tactical change by Moyes pitched him up against Neville remebered best for his scything challenges on Reyes once against Arsenal where once again he was given the benefit of the doubt by a lenient referee, when he should have been in the showers ahead of half time.
Dzeko still looks out of sorts and his game would have come together had he taken his first half chance.
We'll need to do better on Tuesday where if we go 1-0 up we'll need to play for the full 90. Watch for 'Arry sending in Crouch to see if he can get any free headers in our box!!
A disappointing start ot what should be the best week in our recent history.