City Beat Everton To Keep Europe Dream Alive
Saturday April 25th 2009, 3pm
Manchester City's Brazilian talisman Robinho scored one and created another, as City edge closer to seventh position and Europa League qualification.
The £32m Premier League record signing got on the end of Brazilian compatriot Elano's through ball to open the scoring just 35 minutes into play, slotting the ball through Tim Howard's legs and into the back of the net.
Robinho created the second goal, playing in the unmarked Stephen Ireland with a beautifully flighted ball who dispatched from 16 yards to put City 2-0 up and well in control.
Four minutes into an incredible seven minutes of injury time, Everton substitute Dan Gosling got a late consolation goal but Everton were consigned to defeat with a bad injury to Phil Jagielka to mull over before their FA Cup final game.
The win today was City's first win at Goodison Park in almost 17 years and pushes City up to ninth, three points away from seventh position and European qualification.
City looked sharp from the outset with Robinho looking more and more like the footballing genius City fans were hoping for when he was signed.
The Brazilian had an early penalty claim waved away after he got the better of the dreadful Tony Hibbert in the box and was brought down by a clumsy challenge from Leon Osman.
Everton had the odd attempt on goal but they never looked like threatening and Everton were constantly under pressure from dangerous City counter-attacks.
Just past the half-hour mark a fantastic block from Leighton Baines prevented Stephen Ireland from putting City ahead, but just minutes later, Mark Hughes' men got the breakthrough goal.
The rejuvenated Elano made the goal, the midfield maestro finding Robinho with a sublime 40-yard through-ball who raced down the left wing before leaving Phil Jagielka for dead and slotting the ball through Howard's legs at an impossible angle.
Half-time: Everton 0 Manchester City 1
David Moyes must have had a word or two to say during the break as Everton came out guns blazing, Segundo Castillo nodding wide before Shay Given was called into action with the save of the game to deny Marouane Fellaini, who turned in the box to fired a powerful volley towards the City goal only to be denied.
For all of Everton's efforts, it was another classic City counter-attack on 54 minutes which put Everton further behind.
It was Robinho who made the goal, swinging the ball out to Ireland from the left with the City man taking one touch before slotting home past the onrushing Tim Howard from 16 yards out.
Phil Jagielka missed a fantastic opportunity to pull one back for Everton only moments later when he headed marginally over, leaving the City keeper glued to the floor. Jagielka's day got worse when he had to be stretchered off minutes later leaving Everton down to 10 men after Moyes had used all three substitutions.
Manchester City came close to piling the misery on Everton after man-of-the-match Robinho danced his way into the box only for his effort to be saved by Howard.
Everton finished strongly after the referee had given a Fergusonesque seven minutes of injury time.
Young substitute Dan Gosling struck deep into the endless injury time to give Everton a consolation goal and himself a fantastic goal in his fledgling career.
It wasn't enough for Everton and City rode out the last few minutes to give Mark Hughes some breathing space and Manchester City a much needed three points in their quest for Europe.
Full-time: Everton 1 Manchester City 2
Share Your Thoughts
The win today was an extremely important one and moves us ever closer to that heavily contested European qualifying position.
I feel that this was a turning point in the season and it is better late than never. Hughes and the team proved that they could put in a quality performance away from home and that game will silence the critics for another week.
I know a lot of people will be saying that we should have been winning many more of our games away from home and I do agree. However, I will say that the mentality of winning away from home is something which is difficult to achieve with 40 odd thousand fans against you.
Seventh place could all depend on the away game to Tottenham and could be a must win if Tottenham succeed in beating Manchester United today.