Manchester City returned to the top of the Premier League after late goals in either half from Aymeric Laporte and Gabriel Jesus secured a 2-0 win at Everton on Wednesday night.
Laporte made up for planting an early header wide by rising to nod David Silva’s free-kick beyond Jordan Pickford from eight yards with the last kick of the first half at Goodison Park.
Everton were much improved from their woeful home defeat to Wolves at the weekend but lacked the guile to unlock the City defence and continued to look vulnerable from set pieces, with Leroy Sane also going close from a corner in the first half, while in open play Ilkay Gundogan struck the bar from close range.
After half-time, the visitors controlled possession and always looked the more dangerous, with substitute Gabriel Jesus wrapping up victory in the seventh minute of added time from a perfect slide-rule Kevin De Bruyne pass.
Having trailed by 10 points barely a month ago, the result allowed Manchester City to take advantage of Liverpool dropping four points in two games to go top of the table on goal difference. Jurgen Klopp side’s do have a game in hand, but it is away at the Premier League’s in-form side Manchester United on February 24
After Sane had fired wide from the edge of the box when a corner was half-cleared three minutes in, City looked like they were feeling the pressure of the chance to go top and Everton gave as good as they got in the opening stages.
What City lacked in fluid play, down in part to Everton’s compact 4-5-1 out of possession, they did make up for in chances and should have made the most of the hosts’ woeful record from dead balls when Laporte headed Gundogan’s excellent corner to the back post wide when unmarked.
Everton had already conceded a league-high 11 games from set-pieces but City came even closer with their next attack from open play, as David Silva’s cutback was turned onto the woodwork by Gundogan, who was no more than eight yards out.
For the most part, the hosts frustrated their visitors while sacrificing their own attacking intent, and looked like they would be vindicated by going in level at the break – only for David Silva to deliver a perfect free-kick into the middle in the dying seconds of the half and Laporte made no mistake in firing the ball home. – Sky Sports.