City's exceptional start to the season continues with impressive victory at Goodison
FA Premier League
Sunday 23 August 2015, 16.00 KO
City: Hart, Sagna, Kompany (c), Mangala, Kolarov, Fernandinho, Toure, Navas, Sterling (Nasri 76), Silva (Delph 89), Aguero (Bony 81)
Unused: Caballero, Denayer, Demichelis, Iheanacho
Goals: Kolarov (60), Nasri (89)
Booked: Mangala, Fernandinho, Nasri
Referee: Anthony Taylor
Man of the match: Kompany
City's near flawless start to the season continued with a 2-0 victory against Everton, courtesy of goals from Aleksandar Kolarov and Samir Nasri. Goodison is traditionally an unhappy hunting ground for the Blues, with just one victory in their previous six visits, but Manuel Pellegrini's side were full of confidence following victories against West Brom and Chelsea. Unsurprisingly, Pellegrini opted to keep faith with the same starting XI that had dismantled the champions so comprehensively a week earlier.
Once again, City started on the front foot and Sergio Aguero drew a smart save from Tim Howard after just two minutes. The Blues dominated the early stages, and Howard made further saves from David Silva and Aguero before Raheem Sterling spurned an opportunity to open his City account. Silva was imperious as always, and his cross almost found Sterling free in the box with the goal gaping, but the winger was unable to make contact.
As the half progressed, Everton grew into the game with both Romelo Lukaku and Ross Barkley a constant threat and just before the break Lukaku clipped the top of Joe Hart's crossbar, with the England goalkeeper well beaten. It seemed to jolt the Blues into life, and City started the second period brightly. They were rewarded on the hour after a fine counter attack involving Sterling and Kolarov, who have formed an impressive partnership on City's left flank. Sterling raced the length of Everton's half, before releasing Kolarov who beat Howard on his near post from the narrowest of angles.
Everton rallied once more, but City's defence, marshalled by the magnificent Vincent Kompany, held firm to keep a third successive clean sheet. City's Belgian captain looks back to his very best after a difficult campaign last season, and is forming a formidable partnership with Eliaquim Mangala. Nicolas Otamendi, missing here due to work permit issues, may have to wait to make his debut.
Everton were impressive throughout, and played their part in a very good game of football, but City were deserved winners. Samir Nasri, a second half substitute, sealed the victory in the final minutes after playing a delightful one-two with Yaya Toure. The Ivorian had one of his quieter days, after suffering a slight groin strain in the pre-match warm-up, but it was an exquisite pass that allowed Nasri to deftly lob Howard in the Everton goal.
The win equalled City's record of nine successive victories, set in 1912, and the Blues have the chance to surpass it against Watford next weekend. In this form, you suspect it may not be the only record they set this season.