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West Bromwich Albion
West Ham United
5 October 2013
• Etihad Stadium, Manchester
Referee: J. Moss
• Attendance: 47267
S. Agüero 45'
T. Howard 69' (own goal)
R. Lukaku 16'
Anyway, that'll be all from me, Sam Wells, today. I hope you enjoyed today's game as much as I did and, until next time, farewell!
Everton, meanwhile, will be both disappointed and encouraged by today's showing. They were perhaps unlucky to go into the half-time break a goal down, after a first-half showing that illustrates that they can compete with the very best on their day. However, their second-half showing was fairly limp - they didn't cause Manchester City many problems. Still, there was cause for optimism in today's performance and, despite the end of their unbeaten record, Martinez will be confident that his side can bounce back from this defeat.
Manchester City, despite a tetchy start, recovered well and played some lovely football on their way to a well-earned win. Their second-half display was confidence personified as Everton wilted under the pressure of their technically superior counterparts. Pellegrini will be delighted with that win as it sends his team second in the league - the perfect way to bounce back from that already infamous Bayern Munich defeat.
90' + 4'
Nasri is close to making it four at the death! He's put through on goal by Toure but he can't quite find a way past Howard, tipping the ball away adeptly. And with that action, the game is concluded! A sterling performance from Manchester City, particularly in the second period, means that they take three points from this tie - it finishes 3-1 at the Etihad!
90' + 3'
Negredo almost gets on the end of a through ball but he can't quite make contact, allowing Howard to gather the ball unchallenged. The striker has done really well today; he looks a constant threat and teamed up well with Aguero before the Argentinian's withdrawal.
90' + 1'
Everton have a rare effort on goal in this second period through the substitute Arouna Kone but his effort, in all honesty, is tame. Hart claims the strike with consummate ease as this game appears all but over going into the final two minutes.
As four minutes added time is announced, Everton attempt to get forward down the left but Lescott plays the ball off Naismith for a goal kick - nothing has really gone right for the Toffees in this second period.
City continue to press doggedly but Coleman does really well under pressure, indulging in the second piece of lovely skill in three minutes, matching Zabaleta's piece of showboating with a run followed by a tidy nutmeg on Toure. Fernandinho brings his foray to an emphatic end, however, flooring the right back, earning himself a booking in the process.
Yellow CardSteven Naismith
Manchester City's confidence is encapsulated by a lovely piece of defensive work from Zabaletta; the right back dispossesses Baines before pirouetting on the ball, on the edge of his own area no less. Quite lovely stuff and it looks as though Everton are resigned to defeat here.
Everton finally attempt to put Manchester City under some pressure but only succeed in getting hit on the counter. Nasri sidesteps a couple of challenges with aplomb but his attempted pass to Negredo is overhit and the ball runs out for a goal kick.
Manchester City are the ones applying the pressure here; even Fernandinho decides to make a rare exertion into the Everton area, though he can't quite get work a shooting opportunity as the opportunity passes the Brazilian by.
Manchester City are indulging in some lovely play after an excellent move is almost capped with a goal, only for Zabaleta's eventual cross to, as with many before it in this encounter, prove unmet at the backpost.
Kone replaces Lukaku who, though practically unplayable at times in the first time, has struggled to make an impact in the second. Nevertheless, he seems a strange option to take off when you're on the hunt for two goals in ten minutes.
Negredo almost makes it four! The striker receives the ball on the left and fires an effort goalwards. Howard stands tall though and palms the ball away - that really would have settled matters.
Yellow CardSeamus Coleman
The Citizens work the free kick short, trying to put Nasri in on goal. The through ball is a mite too heavy though, and Howard comes out to claim. Meanwhile, Kone appears primed to come on as Everton look to press forward in the last ten minutes.
Nasri replaces Aguero as Pellegrini, presumably, looks to see out this game by packing the midfield in the latter stages. Coleman is booked for a rash challenge on Silva, affording Manchester City a free kick in an advanced area.
Yellow CardPablo Zabaleta
Everton do manage to work Hart from the free kick but it's not as dangerous as anticipated. Baines dinks the ball into the area and, after McCarty heads the subsequent clearance back into the six yard box, Distin gets a flick on but can only find the grateful arms of the Man City goalkeeper.
Everton put together a nice move, eventually culminating in Baines forcing Zabaleta to make a rash challenge down the left wing. The referee duly books the right back and the Toffees have a free kick in a dangerous position.
Deulefeu, who has had little impact since coming on, attempts to find a cross but the imposing figure of Toure stands in the way, deflecting the delivery through to Hart.
Yellow CardDavid Silva
Negredo almost manages to capitalise on a lovely Milner through ball, taking a brilliant first touch before attempting to check back onto his right foot. Jagielka is there to prevent the Spaniard getting the shot away, however, and the danger is averted.
Everton will need to step up a gear if they are to have any chance of coming back into this contest; they have been poor in this second half, particularly after their impressive showing in the first.
Coleman almost manages to redeem himself by setting up a goal but Naismith gets his shot all wrong! The Welshman did well to get into the area before squaring nicely for his teammate. The Scot didn't get a hold of his strike, however, and it tamely ran through for Nastasic to clear with ease.
Incidentally, and just to add insult to injury for the Evertonians, Distin and Howard appeared both to be cautioned in the aftermath of that penalty decision, presumably for dissent.
Penalty saveTim Howard
Missed PenaltySergio Agüero
Own GoalTim Howard
Yellow CardTim Howard
Yellow CardSylvain Distin
PENALTY! Zabaleta forages into the Everton half and Coleman gets caught the wrong side of the right-back and appears to pull the Argentinian down. It's soft but the Welshman can have few complaints. Aguero steps up to take the penalty...
City almost forge an opportunity by virtue of a rare Distin mistake but the 35-year-old manages to atone for his initial error, dispossessing Aguero and playing off Baines for a corner.
Everton attempt to counter through Deloufeu but Nastasic does well to keep up with the pacy winger and put it out for a throw. This gives Zabaleta an opportunity to return to the fray after a change of shorts.
Despite being down to ten men (once again), City get forward down the left through Aguero, the Argentinian eventually earning a corner. Silva's set-piece is overhit, however, and the opportunity goes begging.
Deloufeu and Lukaku attempt to link up almost immediately, though the latter's ball through goes just astray. This precedes yet another Manchester City defensive injury as it's Zabaleta, this time, who requires treatment after suffering what appears to be a nosebleed.
Deloufeu comes on alongside Gibson, replacing Mirallas and Osman respectively. The former was a real threat in Everton's recent Capital One Cup Clash with Fulham; Martinez will be looking for more of the same here.
The powerhouse that is Romelu Lukaku earns a throw-in after some typically sterling hold-up play, brushing off challenges from Fernandinho and Zabaleta - he's enjoyed another productive day at the office today.
This half hasn't been quite as frantic as the first (though that would've been incredibly difficult!), with both sides looking to tighten up at the back. City have enjoyed the better of the half, perhaps why Martinez is preparing the first of his substitutions.
Roberto Martinez appears as though he's preparing his first change; the former Wigan man holds court with Darron Gibson on the touchline as the midfielder is primed to enter this contest.
That substitution could signal a swing in momentum as Everton look to retain possession, stroking the ball around nicely as they look to penetrate a hitherto stoic (in the second half, at least) City defence.
Clichy is indeed coming on for the injured Kolarov, meaning that two of City's three allocated substitutions are used. Most certainly not ideal for Pellegrini as the Citizen's backline receives its second blow (quite literally) of the game.
City continue to play with ten men as Kolarov is tended to on the touchline, though it appears as though he may have to be substituted as Clichy prepares to come on.
Kolarov has received a blow to the head and is remonstrating heatedly with Naismith after the Scotsman pushed the Serbian into his own teammate (and compatriot) in the form of Nastasic. He's bleeding profusely and has to leave the pitch.
That could be a pivotal moment in this half as, by the way City have played throughout the opening of the second period, it seems as though chances could be few and far between for the Toffees. As if to prove my point, the home side launch another attack with Toure eventually trying his luck from distance. A poor effort, especially by his standards, but the intent is there.
Everton manage to forge a golden opportunity but Mirallas spurns the chance! Barkley put through a quite lovely pass but his Belgian teammate proved unable to bring it under control, allowing the ball to run through to Hart in the City goal.
Manchester City's pressure persists as Milner puts a dangerous delivery into the Everton area. It's Distin, this time, who meets the cross, putting the ball behind for a corner.
After Everton attempt to assert themselves on the half with a period of passing play, Manchester City dispossess them and manage to counter. The move eventually ends with Silva getting an opportunity in the Toffees box, though Jagielka intervenes in the nick of time.
City start the second half in fine form as, first of all, Kolarov whips in a dangerous cross, only for no-one to attack it once again. That is swiftly followed by a Milner run into the box, though he is eventually crowded out by the Everton defenders.
Hart begins the second half under some concerted pressure from Lukaku as the goalkeeper struggles to get the ball clear after the Belgian shut him down. He dallied on the ball there and will be relieved that he just about managed to clear in time!
And Manchester City get us underway in the second half! Let's see if they can preserve that one-goal deficit they gained in the first period.
As the players are back out on the pitch, McCarthy appears to be complaining to referee Jon Moss about the Milner tackle that concluded the first half.
Roberto Martinez, meanwhile, will be disappointed that they go in 2-1 down at the break, particularly after they took the lead following a strong start. They were lax defensively and allowed City back into the contest much too easily; still, that's the way Martinez prefers to play and his side have certainly reaped the rewards in an attacking sense. The Toffees have looked dangerous everytime they've forayed forward and it's difficult to envisage this contest remaining a three-goal tie; Martinez will be looking for his side to put pressure on a Kompany-less defence in this second period.
There's finally time for both sets of players (and supporters!) to catch their breath after a truly frenetic half. Manuel Pellegrini will struggle to know what to say to his team after that; they played well in fits and starts and go in a goal to the good at the break, courtesy of two good bits of forward play from Negredo and, in particular, Aguero. Still, they have looked susceptible defensively and Kompany's departure is definitely a cause for concern, especially with Lukaku in such good form. Pellegrini will surely be hoping to tighten up a bit defensively as City attempt to earn what would be an important win.
45' + 4'
Yellow CardJames Milner
45' + 3'
The referee blows the half-time whistle and brings an end to a frenetic first half! As James Milner is booked at the death of the half for a hefty challenge on McCarthy, the Man City and Everton players traipse in with the former surely the happier as they go in at the interval 2-1 up. What a half of football!
45' + 2'
Three minutes injury time is called as Aguero almost steals in behind the Everton defence once more. Jagielka puts in a great challenge, however, sliding in adeptly before the striker can get a shot away - that was a challenge that need to be made.
45' + 1'
There was a touch of controversy in the build-up to that third goal - as Everton countered, Coleman and Negredo squared up in the Toffees' area after they took issue with one another. The referee failed to halt play as the game continued, allowing for Manchester City to, upon gaining possession, counter against a significantly deeper Everton defence. Should the referee have stopped play there?
GOAL! And it's a fantastic finish from Aguero! The striker atones for his earlier errors as he receives a through ball from Silva, peeling off of Distin in typical fashion before firing a ball into the opposite corner. A really smart strike and City are 2-1 up!
The game has definitely slowed down since that frenetic opening; Everton are now sitting back and inviting City to come onto them. The home side attempt to capitalise but they can't quite work an opening as Milner's cross is too strong for Aguero.
Aguero attempts to rectify his mistake minutes earlier, this time striking goalwards from the left side of the area. He can only find the side-netting, however, and another chance goes begging for the home side.
It's Lukaku's turn to go down in the penalty area this time and it's Nastasic once again. This appeal is a little more convincing as the Serbian essentially body checked the Belgian in order to ensure the ball ran out of play safely - that was a risky move from the substitute!
A huge opportunity for Aguero and the striker spurns it! Negredo does really well to put the Argentinian through on goal, only for the forward to, quite uncharacteristically, miss the ball entirely as he attempts to cut inside. He'll be wondering how he quite managed to not get any sort of contact on the ball there - everyone else certainly is!
Barkley dawdles on the ball as Everton attempt to launch an attack, allowing Milner to dispossess him and set City away.
Barkley attempts to work his way into the City box but he ends up fooling himself, falling over the ball under duress from Nastasic. The Serbian manages to win the ball off the grounded Englishman before setting the Citizens away on a counter.
Naismith goes down in the area, claiming a foul from Nastasic. Nothing is given though; it did appear soft, to say the least.
Man City engage in some lovely interplay, playing some nice football in the Everton half before it's worked out to the left for Kolarov. The left back whips in a dangerous cross but the delivery isn't met by any City striker - surely someone should have been incoming there?
A major blow for the Citizens as Kompany does indeed hobble off; Nastasic replaces him and, capable as the 19-year-old may be, this could be a vital moment in today's game.
Terrible news for Manchester City as Kompany appears to have picked up a knock. Nastasic is warming up as their captain appears resigned to coming off.
City fail to do anything with another corner and Everton counter rapidly yet again, though the attack is put to a halt after Mirallas is caught offside, for the second time in about three minutes.
Man City, who have put together good moves in fits and starts, form another nicely-executed move but McCarthy is there to prevent the advancing Aguero from taking it any further.
Coleman attempts to drive a cross into the City area as Everton's strong spell continues. Lescott intervenes but the Toffees pick up the ball on the edge of the area and work another crossing opportunity, though Mirallas is caught offside from Barkley's cross.
The game has settled down a little now after that extremely frantic opening. Everton have possession and are retaining it well in the City half.
Milner, typically dogged down the right, gives away a free kick after putting a little too much pressure under Baines as the latter struggled to get the ball clear.
Kolarov is, according to the referee at least, fouled on the edge of the area and Manchester City work the free kick beautifully! Fernandinho feeds Silva who plays Aguero in behind the Everton backline. The striker can't quite find the far corner with his side-footed finish but that was a quite lovely move!
Lescott, who hasn't enjoyed the most comfortable of starts to this game, does well in the middle of the park, engaging in some nimble footwork before feeding Toure. The midfielder, in turn, attempts to put Aguero through but the Argentinian is caught offside.
Yellow CardVincent Kompany
As the end-to-end nature of the game refuses to cease, Mirallas attempts a pot-shot from distance. The effort is lacking in quality though, and it flies harmlessly over the bar.
City worked it short from the ensuing corner with Milner eventually receiving the ball at the byline. He gets a cross in and it's almost deflected in by Baines! The ball rattles against the post, however, and the Citizens have yet another corner.
The game's relentless tempo doesn't appear as though it's going to let up as Everton almost profit from another attack! Lescott fails to deal with a cross and it falls to Barkley in the box but Kompany is there to save his teammate, allowing the Citizens to counter through Negredo, the Spaniard eventually earning another corner.
That incredible couple of minutes could work in City's favour - Everton must be kicking themselves, giving up their one-goal deficit practically as soon as they had earned it! Nevertheless, the Toffees attempt to bounce back immediately as Baines whips in a corner. The referee Jon Moss sees a foul though, allowing both the players and supporters alike to catch their breath!
GOAL! Just one minute later and Negredo manages to mimick Lukaku's efforts at the other end. This time it's Toure who puts him through as the striker manages to smuggle the ball under Howard in a similar manner to that which damned Hart a minute earlier. A smart finish and it's 1-1 after a topsy-turvy couple of minutes!
GOAL! Lukaku scores a wondergoal! The Belgian adroitly steps beyond Lescott with consummate ease after a forward ball by Jagielka, before striking beyond the despairing Joe Hart. It went under the goalkeeper so his contribution to the goal was questionable but the real blame has to lie with Lescott - that was a tame challenge. Nonetheless, an excellent goal from Lukaku to put Everton 1-0 up!
Everton counter once again and cause Man City and Joe Hart problems through the partnership of Naismith and Lukaku. The ball runs through after the former is dispossessed and the latter beats Hart to the ball. His effort is deflected behind by the English goalkeeper but, somewhat bewilderingly, the referee gives a goal kick.
City managed to create an opening through some lovely interplay with the ball eventually falling to Milner on the edge of the area. His shot is blocked, however, by a typically tenacious Leon Osman.
Baines, ever-dangerous down the left, attempts to drive in an early cross but Kompany intervenes, spotting the danger and clearing adeptly.
Kolarov, foraging forward down the left, has his cross deflected behind, giving City another chance to attack from a corner. The same left back gets his head on the delivery but he gets too much on his attempted near-post flick, putting it well over the bar. A decent chance there.
Toure finds Silva again down the left but, as with a minute before, the diminutive midfielder proves unable to do anything with it. He doesn't even manage to get in a cross this time as Coleman put in a good challenge.
Manchester City, who have come into the game well after a slow start to proceedings, attempt to come forward through David Silva down the left. The Spaniard's cross fails to find anyone, however, and the danger is averted by Jagielka.
City are pressing Everton high up the pitch but the Toffees do well to smuggle the ball up the pitch, Steven Naismith turning Zabaleta with aplomb before earning a free kick off the Argentinian right back.
Kolarov takes it and he's oh so close to opening the scoring! He curls it over the wall and almost manages to find the corner, only to see his effort nestle in the side-netting. A good effort and some of the City fans were already celebrating.
The Citizens earn a free kick on the edge of the Everton area after Osman was deemed to impede Aguero. A slightly soft decision but it's a dangerous position for City's free kick specialists to work from.
Everton have a chance to counter from the ensuing corner through Mirallas but the pacy winger proves unable to find Lukaku, instead finding the feet of Fernandinho. That was a good opportunity for the Toffees.
After some good work from Zabaleta and Milner down the right, it falls to Toure on the area of the box. The powerful midfielder attempts to guide it into the far corner but Howard saves well, tipping behind for a corner.
Man City do eventually manage to get a foothold on the game, keeping possession and earning a throw-in, by virtue of Negredo's persistence, in the Everton half.
Everton have started the match in the ascendancy; they look confident and they're retaining the ball well in the City half, barely allowing their opposition a touch.
Everton almost forge an opening within the opening minute with Naismith trying to find the feet of Lukaku. Kompany comes across and shields the ball for the advancing Hart - a good, confident start from a goalkeeper that is under a lot of pressure today.
We're underway here as Everton kick off proceedings at the Etihad - let's see if they can continue their impressive form and cause an upset!
The teams are coming out of the tunnel now as we're minutes away from kick off at the Etihad Stadium!
Everton, meanwhile, make just one change from the team that defeated Newcastle 3-2 on Monday, introducing Steven Naismith in place of Gareth Barry as the latter is ineligible due to his loan deal from today’s opponents.
Manuel Pellegrini makes six changes from the side that fell to a 3-1 defeat against Bayern Munich on Wednesday, with Micah Richards, Gael Clichy, Matija Nastasic, Jesus Navas, Samir Nasri and Edin Dzeko all making way, as Pablo Zabaleta, Alexandr Kolarov, Joleon Lescott, James Milner, David Silva and Alvara Negredo come into the starting eleven.
Everton: Howard; Baines, Distin, Jagielka, Coleman; McCarthy, Osman, Naismith, Barkley, Mirallas; Lukaku. Subs: Robles, Gibson, Heitinga, Jelavic, Kone, Deulofeu, Stones.
Manchester City: Hart; Zabaleta, Kolarov, Kompany, Lescott; Milner, Fernandinho, Toure, Silva; Aguero, Negredo. Subs: Pantilimon, Richards, Clichy, Nastasic, Navas, Nasri, Dzeko.
And here come the team line-ups:
The Toffees, of course, will be looking to do just the opposite. Despite drawing their first three league games against fairly middling opposition in Norwich, West Brom and Cardiff, Everton currently sit in fourth after back-to-back league wins against Chelsea, West Ham and Newcastle. With Romelu Lukaku seemingly in fine fettle, Roberto Martinez and his men will certainly fancy their chances of causing an upset against an unpredictable Manchester City outfit – this is all set up to be a cracker of a game!
Man City have had, as seems the status quo with most of the big teams in the Premier League this season, a mixed start to the campaign; while they put in an outstanding performance against rivals Manchester United, they have also dropped points against Stoke and Aston Villa, most recently receiving an emphatic humbling by an effervescent Bayern Munich outfit at the Etihad. Still, they sit seventh in the league and have shown signs of promise, occasionally looking capable of destroying teams by virtue of their impressive spine, with Vincent Kompany, Yaya Toure and Sergio Aguero all in sterling form. These three, along with the struggling Joe Hart and the rest of the Citizens, come up against the only unbeaten side in the league today and will be looking to assert themselves on the season by breaking that very record.
Good afternoon and welcome to live coverage of today's Premier League clash between Man City and Everton, I'm Sam Wells and I'll be guiding you through today's proceedings.
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