Toure penalty seals victory but concern over Aguero
FA Premier League
Saturday 06 December 2014, 17.30 KO
City: Hart, Zabaleta, Demichelis, Mangala, Clichy, Fernando, Toure, Milner, Nasri, Navas (Lampard 77), Aguero (Pozo 6, Dzeko 61)
Unused: Caballero, Kolarov, Boyata, Sagna
Goals: Toure (23)
Booked: Mangala, Fernando, Toure
Referee: Andre Marriner
After Wednesday night's fantastic performance against Sunderland, Manchester City hosted Everton with the chance to cut Chelsea's lead at the top of the Premier League to just three points. Due to the injury to Stevan Jovetic, James Milner was given a start, and Fernando and Eliaquim Mangala came in for Fernandinho and Dedryk Boyata.
The game started at a frantic pace, with both sides playing at a high intensity. However, in the 6th minute, Sergio Aguero went down after trying to win the ball back, with what is feared to be ligament damage. The Argentine international was in tears as he walked off, much to the consternation of City fans. As a result, Manuel Pellegrini opted to bring on the EDS star Jose Pozo rather than the more experienced, but not match fit, Edin Dzeko. City continued pressing and worked hard, and soon were awarded a penalty after Phil Jagielka was adjudged to have brought down James Milner. The decision looked a little harsh, but Yaya Toure stepped up and converted the penalty powerfully.
City, however, were far from their fluent best, despite the excellent work of Samir Nasri, James Milner and Yaya Toure. In Aguero's absence, they seemed to struggle to create many clear cut chances. Everton defended well, without offering much as an attacking force. The hosts went in at half time 1-0 up, just about deservedly on the balance of play.
In the second half, City again started brightly and perhaps could have added a second through Pozo. The youngster was fed brilliantly by James Milner, but his shot was saved terrifically by the legs of Tim Howard. Everton's best chance of the second half fell to Romelu Lukaku, who connected with an excellent volley. It was certainly heading in, but a truly world class save from Joe Hart preserved City's clean sheet. The England international somehow managed to tip the effort round the post, much to the bemusement of the Everton striker.
City held on for the three points. It was a good result, considering the hosts were missing David Silva, Vincent Kompany and Sergio Aguero amongst others, but the Citizens will now be hoping that Aguero's injury is not too serious.