Demarai Gray’s wonder strike earned Everton a valuable point in a 1-1 draw with Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.
The Toffees set out to frustrate Manchester City and that is exactly what they did in the opening exchanges.
Manchester City set up camp in Everton’s half of the pitch as they looked to create goal scoring opportunities.
Everton stood firm though, limiting City to very little in terms of efforts on goal.
Pep Guardiola’s side managed to find the breakthrough after 24 minutes. Riyad Mahrez did brilliantly to get past Vitaliy Mykolenko with great footwork before pulling it back for Erling Haaland who stroked it home to score his 21st Prmeier League goal of the season.
City had a huge chance to go 2-0 up before half time, former Everton defender John Stones managed to get on the end of a cross but could only divert his effort onto the post.
The second half continued in the same way with not much quality and lots of stoppages, including a lengthy break due to a fault with the assistant referee’s microphone and headset.
On the 64th minute Everton equalised in stunning fashion. Frank Lampard’s side countered through Demarai Gray who cut in from the left hand side before bending an effort perfectly into the top corner, scoring with Everton’s first and only shot on target of the match.
Manchester City poured forward in search of a winner and when the official’s board went up with 11 minutes on, the City support had renewed belief that they could grab a late winner.
The Everton players worked tirelessly defending in their own box, heading and booting away every single cross that came into the area. The Toffees continued to frustrate City and ultimately managed to see the game out, earning a very valuable point on the road.
TALKING POINT – STOPPING THE ROT
Everton came into this one having lost their last ten fixtures against Manchester City and were determined to not make it 11. The defensive grit and determination shown by the Everton squad is what earned Frank Lampard’s men a precious away point. At 1-0 down, the Everton defence remained focussed, swatting away crosses and clearing their lines. When Demarai Gray put his side back on level terms, the City pressure intensified. James Tarkowski alone made 13 clearances as Everton frantically tried to keep City from going ahead. It may not have been a pretty performance, but Everton displayed the kind of defensive organisation and hard work that gets you results at places like the Etihad and with Everton’s confidence as low as it was coming into this one, they’ve pulled off a miracle here today thanks to that effort.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH – DEMARAI GRAY (EVERTON)
Demarai Gray could have won the player of the match for his goal alone, in a match with not much quality (a combined four shots on target), Gray’s equaliser was the best moment of the match. Off the ball he worked hard, getting back into a defensive position to help out his full back and make it difficult for Manchester City. When he did get on the ball he used his pace and trickery to get his side up the pitch and give the Everton defenders a moment of respite. A solid performance.
Manchester City: Ederson 6, Stones 7, Akanji 7, Ake 7 Lewis 7, de Bruyne 7, Rodri 7, Silva 6, Mahrez 7, Haaland 7, Grealish 7
Subs: Gundogan 6, Alvarez 6, Foden 6
Everton: Pickford 7, Mykolenko 7, Tarkowski 8, Coady 7, Godfrey 7, Patterson 6, Gray 8, Onana 7, Gueye 7, Iwobi 6, Calvert-Lewin 6
Subs: Coleman 6, Maupay 5, Davies 6, Doucoure N/A
24′ GOAL – MANCHESTER CITY – Pep Guardiola’s side take the lead, Riyad Mahrez pulls it back for Erling Haaland to stroke it home for City.
45′ POST! – John Stones gets on the end of a cross and rattles his effort off the post! So close to 2-0 for City.
64′ GOAL – EVERTON What a goal that is! Demarai Gray rifles home into the top corner past Ederson. A fantastic strike to bring Everton level.
82′ SCRAMBLE! Remarkable stuff! How haven’t Manchester City scored! Shot after shot but Everton throw their bodies on the line to block and Jordan Pickford made a great save. That was 90’s football stuff.