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May 3, 2014
• Goodison Park, Liverpool
Referee: L. Probert
• Attendance: 39454
R. Barkley 11'
R. Lukaku 65'
S. Agüero 22'
E. Džeko 43', 48'
Well, that's all from our LIVE coverage of events on Merseyside today. Many thanks for joining us, and we hope to see you again soon!
It's a big, BIG win for the visitors, though. They have home games against Aston Villa and West Ham to come. Two wins will mean the title is heading to the Etihad Stadium - it's hard to see it going anywhere else now.
Everton looked to be caught in two minds throughout that game, but their push for fourth is over now. They've ended the season very poorly and Martinez will want to improve things over the summer.
That's FULL TIME at Goodison Park and Manchester City win 3-2! It was a strange game, but what matters for the visitors is that they've taken the win, and their Premier League title challenge remains on course.
90' + 6'
Alcaraz looks to chip the ball forward for Lukaku but ends up giving it straight to Javi Garcia. The hosts get it back and the ball comes into the area via Naismith's flick. Alcaraz goes for it against Hart but ends up losing out to the goalkeeper. Surely that's that?
90' + 5'
Everton have the ball but it's right at the back. Naismith flicks a long ball on looking for Lukaku, but it's not accurate enough and Kompany cuts it out.
90' + 4'
City win a throw inside the Everton half and take plenty of time to decide who is going to take it. They've seen out four minutes pretty comfortably and now have possession, giving them a chance to tick more seconds away.
90' + 3'
Stones tries to find Baines with an ambitious ball out wide, but it flies straight out for a throw to City. Time is running out - Liverpool fans have never wanted an Everton goal more than they do right now...
90' + 2'
Big chance for City as the ball breaks for him deep inside the City half. Dzeko runs past but the Spaniard chooses to keep the ball before firing a shot which deflects behind for a corner.
90' + 1'
The City fans look very, very nervous right now, and the fourth official's board won't have helped. If the hosts get an equaliser in stoppage time, Edin Dzeko won't be too popular.
Baines and McGeady play a one-two before the defender fires in a low cross which deflects away off Javi Garcia. The Everton pressure is pretty relentless at the moment, as the board goes up for SIX minutes of added time.
Barkley does well to hold off Fernandinho before spreading the play wide. The Brazilian eventually wins possession, though, as he steals it from McGeady before looking for Dzeko, but his ball is too far ahead and goes through to Howard.
Everton come forward yet again and Deulofeu is proving a handful for Clichy right now. The substitute can't quite get away this time, though, and City manage to hack the ball clear.
DEULOFEU!! McGeady gets to the by-line and floats a decent cross in. Deulofeu tries to divert it back across goal from the far post but it's blocked. The hosts come back again, though, and Deulofeu charges into the area with a wonderful solo run before seeing his low shot diverted wide by Hart.
Naismith and Alcaraz work really hard on the touchline to close down Silva, before winning a throw for the hosts as well. They have the ball again but are still not showing much urgency as they gradually inch forward.
Thankfully, the football is back underway and Aiden McGeady is on for Osman. We've got five minutes plus a large amount of stoppage time to go - can Everton find an equaliser?
Dzeko's back on. Would you believe it?! He doesn't get the warmest of receptions from either the Everton fans or the players. Definitely the pantomime villain of the piece today.
Yellow Card Edin Dzeko
Dzeko eventually gets on his feet to walk off for further treatment, but not before being shown the yellow card. Very odd.
This is all added time on to the end of the game, but Dzeko looks like he's hurt his shoulder. The medical staff are taking their time on this one, but the striker will probably still end up being booked.
The stretcher's on, now. It looks like the referee has got this one a bit wrong. He still looks ready to book Dzeko, though.
The referee isn't allowing the physio to come on, and is waiting for Dzeko to get up before - it looks like - booking the striker. This is all a bit farcical.
City push forward in numbers and Milner squares the ball to the edge of the box, but Kolarov and Dzeko get in each other's way before Barkley comes away with it. The Bosnian slips as he tries to recover and he appears to have hurt himself - the striker is down and looks uncomfortable.
Naismith is down clutching his face after a barge from Fernandinho, but no free kick. It's right in front of the referee, who again chooses not to use his whistle. Maybe it's broken...
Coleman fires in a wondeful dangerous cross from the right-hand side, but there's no-one in the box and Hart has all the time in the world to run out and catch it. City are still allowing the hosts plenty of time on the ball - they have to be careful here.
Barkley wants a free kick as he goes down outside the box, but nothing is given and City come forward. Lee Probert hasn't given too much today, it has to be said.
David Silva is on for the visitors as Nasri's work is done for today. The midfielder pulled up after stretching for a ball in midfield so it could be a precaution from Pellegrini.
City enjoyed a good spell of possession there, but they've given it back to Everton. Baines collects the ball on the left and tries to curl an early cross in towards Naismith, but it's not accurate enough and goes straight into Hart's arms.
ZABALETA!! The defender nearly restores the two-goal cushion as Nasri puts him through, and he charges towards goal from the left before firing a low shot towards the near post, forcing a fine stop from Howard with his legs.
Everton are still bossing possession, but Kompany does well to cut the ball out before turning superbly to stop Naismith from poaching it back.
Lovely run by Osman, who doesn't let a Fernandinho tug stop him as he charges towards the box, but his touch lets him down and he flicks the ball through the defence, only for Hart to gather easily.
Pellegrini's brow is definitely showing signs of worry. City were cruising and were possibly a little too comfortable. It could be a nervy final 20 minutes or so.
Finally, some noise from the Everton fans! That goal has livened things up a bit. Meanwhile, Toure comes off as Aleksandar Kolarov is introduced, while Gerard Deulofeu replaces Jagielka as Everton look to push on.
Yellow Card Martín Demichelis
That was very poor marking at the back. Kompany is furious as he's claiming offside. It's certainly a tight call, but the goal stands and Everton have a lifeline.
Assist Leighton Baines
Goal Romelu Lukaku
LUKAKU PULLS ONE BACK!! Barkley lays the ball off for Baines, who swings in a typically dangerous ball. Lukaku is there to meet it on the spot and powers a header across goal which goes in off the post. Can they get another?
Barkley tries to spread the ball out wide for Coleman on the right flank, but his pass is too far ahead and arrows straight out for a throw. City, meanwhile, look like they'll be making a change soon.
21 players are inside the City half at the moment - Howard's looking a bit lonely up the other end. The hosts continue to play in front of Pellegrini's men as they look for some way through.
The hosts are enjoying all the possession as we hit the hour mark, but they're not doing too much with it. It's quiet in the stands and on the pitch at the moment - who can inject some life into this one?
Barkley is again running things in the middle for Everton, and he tries to find Lukaku with a measure ball beyond the defence, but it just goes behind the Belgian and runs through for Hart to collect.
Dzeko battles inside the Everton half but McCarthy is all over him, and manages to win a throw for the hosts. Despite his two goals, the City striker hasn't actually played that well.
Coleman looks for Lukaku with a long ball forward, but he loses out to Demichelis as City get the ball clear. Everton still have possession, and continue to pass it in front of the visitors.
City are quite content to allow Everton plenty of time on the ball, and they're setting up with two banks of four to give the hosts little going forward. The early action of this half may have petered out, now.
This is better pressure from Everton, who are getting balls into the box, but City are looking solid as Kompany heads a cross away. The hosts need a change to freshen things up, you feel.
Everton have the ball after Jagielka does well to keep the ball away from Dzeko. There's no real zip to their play, still, but they're keeping hold of it well.
Barkley seems Everton's main orchestrator at the moment, and he again pushes through the middle before trying to slide a pass through for Naismith, but the run didn't match the pass and Demichelis runs in to intercept.
That's a lovely bit of skill from Toure, who makes some lovely touches to keep the ball away from Osman before spreading it wide. He's looking on top form today.
Toure charges into the Everton half with a lovely run forward, before firing an early ball across the box for Nasri, but it's just in front of his City team-mate and the chance goes.
That could well be that for the afternoon. Everton haven't really threatened too much, save for the goal and that Naismith chance. Can they find two, or even three, goals from somewhere?
Assist Samir Nasri
Goal Edin Dzeko
DZEKO GETS ANOTHER!! It's a perfect start to the half! After Hart's wonderful save the visitors come forward and it comes out to Nasri. The Frenchman cuts in from the left before playing the ball low into the six-yard box, and Dzeko is there to prod it home from a few yards out. Game over?
NAISMITH!! WHAT A CHANCE!! Barkley collects the ball in his own half and produces a wonderful driving run forward before slotting the ball through for Naismith. He tries to slot the ball into the corner but Hart gets a fingertip to it, and it goes behind for a corner.
City get the ball rolling once more as the second half gets underway.
Right then, almost time to resume proceedings at Goodison Park. There were three goals in the first half but it still felt like there was a lack of action and drama - let's hope that changes.
Can the hosts come back into the game? Or will Pellegrini's title charge stay on course? Be sure to join us when the action resumes for the second half.
The Everton fans are clearly not up for this one - they won't mind too much if City win as it'll stop Liverpool winning the league. Martinez won't want that, though, and will surely want to find a way back into the match.
That's HALF TIME at Goodison Park and Man City take a 2-1 lead into the break after Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko overturned Ross Barkley's stunning opener. It's an odd atmosphere on Merseyside, and it's not been a classic encounter so far.
45' + 3'
LUKAKU!! Great chance to equalise right on the break as Barkley fires the ball wide to Stones, who produces a lovely low cross into the box. Lukaku gets in front of his man to meet the ball at the near post, but he steers his shot high and wide.
45' + 2'
Zabaleta fires the ball forward but it's nowhere near a City player and the hosts have possession again. They are still in no hurry, though, as they move it forward gradually.
45' + 1'
Into the first of three added minutes and Everton move forward into the City half. Osman looks for Naismith with a pass towards the edge of the box, but Demichelis reads the play well and moves in to cut the ball out.
Everton look vulnerable, here, and Toure tries to take advantage as he exchanges passes with Milner before moving into the box, but Coleman does well to win the ball off the Ivorian. The hosts need half time to come quickly.
That is a massive goal. City have turned things around here - will the Premier League trophy be heading across Manchester?
Assist James Milner
Goal Edin Dzeko
DZEKO PUTS CITY AHEAD!! The striker spurns one opportunity as he fires a poor effort from a tight angle, but it comes back out to Milner who floats in a wonderful cross, and the Bosnian produces a powerful header which flies into the bottom corner.
McCarthy works hard to slide in and win the ball off Dzeko before firing it wide to Coleman, who wins a throw for Everton. Osman then slides the ball forward for Naismith, who drives through the middle before firing a tame effort well wide from 30 yards.
We're approaching the break and it's now Everton who have possession. Both sides are keeping it well in periods, but since the goals we've had no real action in either box.
It looks like Garcia's booking was for a tug on Lukaku's shorts some time early. Back to the present, and City have the ball but aren't moving it around with much zip or urgency.
Yellow Card Javi García
The Everton fans are furious as Fernandinho barges into Coleman but play goes on. City are then angry as they want a corner but a goal kick is given, before the referee books Javi Garcia for some reason. A very odd minute for the officials!
This has been a very strange game, and the silence in the stands isn't particularly helping. There seem to be plenty of nerves among the City players and fans.
Barkley sprays a lovely pass out to the right for Stones, who produces a good driving run forward before looking for Lukaku with a pass through. The Belgian is offside, though, and the flag goes up for a free kick.
Javi Garcia slides a pass through for Nasri, who tries to emulate Barkley's strike with a curling effort from 30 yards, but the Frenchman's shot whistles well over the bar.
Jagielka has a bit of an awkward moment as he treads on the ball just outside his own area. Dzeko chases him down but the defender manages to keep the ball in play and square to Howard.
Naismith is getting a rough ride at the moment as he gets clattered by Zabaleta this time. The referee initially plays advantage but then blows as Lukaku stops running.
Javi Garcia is lucky to escape a booking as he flies in on Naismith and catches the Everton man pretty late with a raised leg. The cards stay in the referee's pocket, though, and Everton have a free kick on halfway.
Toure is involved in everything at the moment, and he tries to work space for a shot from the left-hand side, but he hammers the ball into a blue wall and the hosts come away with it.
Lukaku fires a wonderful ball out to the left for Baines, who looks to play a one-two with Naismith but Kompany clears. City break superbly and Toure gets free on the right-hand edge of the box before firing a dangerous ball across the box. Dzeko hadn't made the run, though, and Everton manage to clear their lines.
The Toffees try to break forward as Coleman charges down the right, but Fernandinho brings him down and the chance goes away. Everton keep possession with a short free kick and will look to slowly build another attack.
Baines cross is deflected behind for a corner, which City manage to hack away at the second attempt. Dzeko chases the clearance to close down Coleman, who produces a lovely piece of control to keep the ball away from the City striker.
Fernandinho is now on for City as Aguero trudges off the pitch. Argentina will be hoping this isn't too much cause for concern, too. We're back underway after that stoppage and Everton have a free kick halfway inside the visitors' half.
OK, maybe Aguero is coming off after all. He's now down receiving treatment as Fernandinho gets ready to come on for the visitors. It's a blow for City, who could really do with his goals for their title push.
Clichy fires a dangerous-looking first-time diagonal ball into the middle, and Aguero manages to chase it but Howard gets there first. It doesn't look like the striker is going to come off just yet.
Aguero is definitely struggling - he's hardly moved from the centre circle. This looks like the end of the line for him today. The visitors have possession as play goes on, and the initiative is back with Pellegrini's men.
Aguero has put City back on level terms but appears to be struggling as he keeps feeling his groin. It could be an early exit for the diminutive striker today.
Assist Yaya Touré
Goal Sergio Agüero
AGUERO EQUALISES!! The silence among the Everton fans seems to go even quieter as Toure slides the ball through for Aguero, who moves into the box before hammering the ball inside Howard's near post from a tight angle.
Penalty? Barkley picks the ball up in space and drives towards the box before going down under two City challenges. There are half-hearted appeals for a spot kick but Kompany got a touch on the ball and the referee waves play on.
The "olés" have started from the home fans, as Everton stroke the ball around beautifully. The ball then breaks into the path of Coleman, who wastes a good position by completely over-hitting his cross and putting it behind for a goal kick.
The pace and the atmosphere are making this feel a bit like a pre-season friendly. There's not much intensity at the moment, and City are allowing the hosts more time on the ball than they were at the start.
It's still very quiet in the stands despite that absolute stunner from Barkley. Everton have dealt with the City pressure and are now passing it around well just inside the visitors' half.
City have only won once here in their last 15 visits. They're behind again but are putting the hosts under plenty of pressure.
TOURE!! Dzeko charges forward and exchanges passes with Clichy before seeing his cross blocked by Coleman. The visitors come back quickly as Nasri sllides the ball into the box for Toure, who charges inside and fires over the bar.
McCarthy charges forward but loses out to Clichy on the flank. The visitors quickly surrender possession themselves, though, as Toure produces an uncharacteristically loose pass which Stones cuts out.
Chance for City as Milner cuts in from the right and plays a good ball into the box with the outside of his right foot. Toure is there to meet it but his header loops up into the air, giving Howard an easy bit of catching practice.
Pellegrini's men are looking to get right back in this, and Nasri drives towards the box but produces a loose touch, giving Barkley the chance to cut out the ball.
A goal that befits the magnitude of the occasion. Has that booked Barkley a flight to Brazil in June?
Assist Steven Naismith
Goal Ross Barkley
GOOOAAALLLLL!! WHAT A STRIKE!! That's an absolute beauty from Barkley, who receives the ball off Naismith before bending an absolute stunner into the top corner from all of 30 yards. Fantastic goal!
Oh dear, Pablo. That's one to forget for Zabaleta as Aguero slides a perfect pass through for the full-back, but his compatriot completely shanks his first-time effort and it flies into the stands.
GARCIA!! Toure and Nasri exchange passes on the left-hand corner of the box, and the latter's inswinging cross is headed behind by Jagielka. Javi Garcia meets Milner's corner at the near post, but his header is straight at Howard.
City press hard and the hosts are forced backwards, but they're passing it around nicely. It's a bit of a chess match at the moment, with neither side ready to commit too many forward just yet.
Osman looks for the run of Lukaku with a chipped ball over the top, but Kompany reads it perfectly as he steps in to head the ball clear. Both sides have started pretty well, here.
Good work from Baines on the left, as he cuts inside Zabaleta before playing the ball to the edge of the area for Naismith, who shoots first time on the turn, but can only fire his shot well wide.
It's freakishly quiet at Goodison Park. The fans aren't sure if they really want Everton to win as it'll give Liverpool the upper hand in the title race. Very odd.
Clichy swings in a dangerous ball from the left but Jagielka heads it away. It comes out to Javi Garcia, who drills a shot from distance but it's well blocked by McCarthy.
Good early chance for City as Aguero pulls the ball back from the by-line, but Milner can't quite get it out of his feet as Osman half clears. It comes back to Aguero, though, and he fires a dangerous ball into the box which Dzeko can't quite reach.
Everton keep the ball well early on before Alcaraz's ball forward evades Naismith and goes through to Demichelis. Both sides look like they'll be pressing hard throughout the game.
We're underway in the late Saturday kick-off as Everton get the ball rolling for the first half.
The players march out to the familiar Z-Cars theme tune. We're just a few handshakes and minutes away from kick-off at Goodison Park.
Manuel Pellegrini's men are on fire away from home, though, and have taken 27 points away from the Etihad since the start of December - more than any other Premier League side.
The Toffees have a good record against Manchester City at home, having won their last four meetings at Goodison Park and only allowing City to score once in the process.
Just the one change for City as Gael Clichy comes in at full-back in place of Aleksandar Kolarov. Edin Dzeko again leads the line with Sergio Aguero and will be hoping to add another goal to his tally after netting at Crystal Palace last week.
Roberto Martinez goes with three at the back, with Seamus Coleman and Leighton Baines playing further forward as Phil Jagielka returns to the side. Gareth Barry is ineligible against his parent club so Leon Osman starts, while Gerard Deulofeu also drops out amid the formation change.
Man City subs: Pantilimon, Lescott, Kolarov, Silva, Fernandinho, Negredo, Jovetic.
Manchester City (4-4-2): Hart; Zabaleta, Kompany, Demichelis, Clichy; Milner, Yaya Toure, Javi Garcia, Nasri; Aguero, Dzeko.
Everton subs: Robles, Hibbert, McGeady, Deulofeu, Distin, Garbutt, Ledson.
Everton (3-5-2): Howard; Stones, Jagielka, Alcaraz; Coleman, McCarthy, Osman, Barkley, Baines; Naismith, Lukaku.
The line-ups have been announced so let's bring you today's teams, starting with the Toffees...
Hello and welcome to LIVE coverage of the Premier League as Everton host Manchester City in a crucial game at the top of the table. The hosts need a win to keep their top-four hopes alive, with Manuel Pellegrini's men can keep their title charge on course with victory this evening.
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