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Premier League

  • December 7, 2014
  • • 01:30
  • • Etihad Stadium, Manchester
  • Referee: A. Marriner
  • • Attendance: 45603

Manchester City 1-0 Everton: Aguero injury sours victory

Manchester City 1-0 Everton: Aguero injury sours victory

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An awkward fall ended the Argentine's game but, despite his absence, a penalty from Yaya Toure ensured they secured victory at the Etihad Stadium

Sergio Aguero went off injured as Manchester City defeated Everton 1-0 to close the gap on Premier League leaders Chelsea to three points.

The Argentinian has been in blistering form in recent weeks, his brace in Wednesday's 4-1 demolition of Sunderland taking his tally for the season to 19 goals in all competitions.

By Peter Staunton

Manchester City will be relieved to have negotiated their way past Everton to move within three points of Chelsea, fully capitalising on the leaders' loss at Newcastle.

However, there is collateral damage. Sergio Aguero was forced off right at the beginning and the early signs do not look promising.

The man who scored 19 goals to this point this season might be out for quite some time and City face vital matches domestically and abroad.
But the City striker lasted just seven minutes at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday before hobbling off, to be replaced by Jose Angel Pozo.

After losing their talisman, another of City's key players stood up to be counted as Yaya Toure tucked away a first-half penalty to earn the champions their fifth consecutive victory in all competitions, capitalising on Chelsea's 2-1 defeat at Newcastle United earlier in the day.

Everton, who were denied a late equaliser when Joe Hart produced a stunning save to keep out Romelu Lukaku, have taken just one point from their last three games as their inconsistent form continues.

While City will undoubtedly be thrilled with another win, the injury to Aguero will cause major concern, especially with a crucial UEFA Champions League clash at Roma to come on Wednesday.

Roberto Martinez brought in Samuel Eto'o for Ross Barkley and Tony Hibbert for Leon Osman - perhaps seeking defensive cover for Aguero - but he was barely able to have any impact before limping off the field.

After stumbling under a challenge, the striker fell awkwardly while attempting to regain his balance and, following treatment, was unable to continue.

But the hosts managed to recover their poise and were ahead through Toure's spot-kick in the 24th minute.

James Milner - recalled to the City side along with Eliaquim Mangala and Fernando from the win at Sunderland - beat Phil Jagielka to the ball near the byline and went down under the defender's challenge.

With Aguero off the field, Toure stepped up and placed the spot-kick into the bottom left-hand corner for his fourth league goal of the season.

Samir Nasri's powerful drive was headed away by Sylvain Distin in the 34th minute and Everton threatened for the first time five minutes later when Kevin Mirallas' first-time strike was deflected wide by Fernando.

Pozo should have doubled City's lead five minutes into the second half, but shot straight at the legs of Tim Howard after being picked out by Milner six yards from goal.

Milner then wasted another chance 12 minutes from time, blazing a volley over after substitutes Frank Lampard and Edin Dzeko had combined.

Hart had been relatively untroubled for much of the game, but the England international pulled off a superb one-handed save to tip Lukaku's volley around the post with eight minutes remaining.

With that stop, Everton's best chance of an equaliser came and went as City held on to secure the win and keep the pressure on Chelsea.