Report and free match highlights as Ilkay Gundogan scores two and sets up another for Erling Haaland in comfortable win for Man City at Goodison Park; Pep Guardiola's side will be champions if Arsenal lose to Nottingham Forest on Saturday or Man City beat Chelsea on Sunday
Sunday 14 May 2023 19:04, UK
Ilkay Gundogan starred again for Manchester City, with two goals and an assist from the German helping his side to a 3-0 victory at Everton before Arsenal's defeat at home to Brighton later on Sunday left Pep Guardiola's side on the brink of Premier League glory.
City's four-point advantage over an Arsenal side which has played a game more means they will win the title on Saturday - if Arsenal lose at Nottingham Forest - or on Sunday if they beat Chelsea, with both games live on Sky Sports.
Right now, captain Gundogan is leading Man City to that fifth title in six seasons. Last week he scored twice in the win at Leeds. He then got an assist at Real Madrid in midweek. And at Goodison Park, there was another demonstration of why Pep Guardiola is desperate for the 32-year-old to extend his contract with the club beyond its expiry this summer.
His first goal was breathtaking - a wonderful piece of skill to break Everton's resistance on 37 minutes. Moments later he turned provider, crossing for Erling Haaland to head in with just his third touch of the match. Then came a wonderful Gundogan free-kick on 51 minutes to end the contest. It was some way to mark his 300th appearance for the club.
The Premier League title is almost within touching distance now for City, who have won 11 in a row in this competition. But first, they must refocus their attentions on European matters, with the second leg of their Champions League semi-final with Real Madrid coming up at the Etihad on Wednesday.
Everton had gone close themselves moments before falling behind, with Mason Holgate just unable to turn in at the back post from a corner and James Tarkowski saw a header pushed onto the bar by Ederson from another set-piece as they searched for a consolation. But a tough afternoon was made worse by key man Dominic Calvert-Lewin being forced off at the break. They stay 17th, just a point clear of the relegation zone.
Everton: Pickford (5), Patterson (6), Mina (6), Tarkowski (7), Holgate (5), Garner (6), Gueye (6), Iwobi (6), Doucoure (6), McNeil (7), Calvert-Lewin (7).
Subs: Maupay (6), Coady (6), Onana (6), Gray (6)
Man City: Ederson (7), Walker (7), Laporte (7), Dias (7), Akanji (7), Rodri (7), Gundogan (9), Mahrez (8), Foden (7), Haaland (7), Alvarez (6).
Subs: Grealish (6), Bernardo Silva (6), Phillips (N/A), Gomez (N/A)
Player of the match: Ilkay Gundogan (Man City)
Everton had not beaten Man City since 2017 but on the back of their shock 5-1 win at Brighton on Monday and with a template from their draw at the Etihad on New Year's Eve to follow, there was reason for hope at Goodison Park and Dyche's team made a positive start - albeit largely without the ball.
City had 81 per cent of possession in the opening 10 minutes but the home side marshalled the attacks well. Premier League top scorer Haaland did not have a touch until the 26th minute. The first shot of the match did not come until a few minutes later, with Riyad Mahrez curling over from distance.
Calvert-Lewin provided the hosts with a handy outlet, too, and from a corner won by the striker on 35 minutes Everton almost snatched the lead. Tarkowski nodded the cross down but Holgate just could not quite wrap his foot around the ball to steer it home. His reaction showed what a big chance it was.
City made him pay for the miss. Almost instantly they went up the other end and when Mahrez crossed into the box, Gundogan, with his back to goal, brilliantly controlled the ball with his thigh before hooking home. "My goodness. What a finish," said Sky Sports pundit Roy Keane. "I'm feeling my hip just looking at it!"
Haaland then hit the net two minutes later, taking his domestic league tally to 36 for the campaign by heading in from close range after City worked the ball well down the left and Gundogan stood the ball up into the six-yard box.
Everton's problems were compounded when Calvert-Lewin's injury-ravaged season took another turn for the worse, with the striker not coming out for the second half, and when Gundogan curled in a fine free-kick soon after the restart a fruitless afternoon was effectively confirmed for the hosts.
Tarkowski did rattle the bar from another corner, with his header tipped up by Ederson, after Haaland had tried a spectacular scissor kick but the final stages were played out with both sides thinking about the opportunities to come.
City's pursuit of glory on three fronts continuing against Real Madrid, while Everton - who have now lost a club-record 10 league games this season - build up for a trip to Wolves next weekend which could be pivotal for their survival hopes.
Everton boss Sean Dyche: "I thought we were excellent for 30-odd minutes but they showed what a class side they are. The way they changed their game plan and stretched out shape and capitalised on it... they showed how they can score in different ways.
"We countered and broke well at times. But from 2-0 down it's very difficult from then on. [At 3-0] we tried to get the team to play with confidence and certainly there was a mentality to keep going.
"Get it over the line is the priority now. We have to take that mentality into the next two games. The fans have been amazing. Stick with us and we'll keep working to get this done."
Man City boss Pep Guardiola: "Really good, from the first minute. I was really impressed with the way they defended but we were there. Every time we win a game we're a little bit closer but there are really tough games. Step-by-step we're closer."
On having words with Mina at full-time: "It's not necessary what he does. He knows exactly what he has done. He's a good player but it's not necessary - and for what? To win the game?"
On Gundogan: "He is an exceptional player in all senses, as a human being, he can play different roles, he's intelligent, his runs on the pitch, the right tempo... The first goal - how good it was."
On the title race [speaking prior to the Arsenal defeat]: "We've done our duty by beating them at the Etihad. Both teams have had an exceptional season. It was good to win between the Real Madrid games. Now we know two wins from the last three games will be enough."
Everton will hope to boost their survival hopes in their next game away at mathematically-safe Wolves. The Toffees end their campaign with a home game against Bournemouth.
Manchester City now turn their attention back to the Champions League for the second leg of their semi-final with Real Madrid on Wednesday night.
Pep Guardiola's side then host Chelsea next Sunday, live on Sky Sports with kick-off at 4pm, for their final home game of the season. City end their campaign with back-to-back away trips to Brighton, live on Sky Sports, and Brentford.
May 20: Wolves (A) - Premier League, kick-off 3pm
May 28: Bournemouth (H) - Premier League, kick-off 4.30pm
May 17: Real Madrid (H) - Champions League
May 21: Chelsea (H) - Premier League, kick-off 4pm, live on Sky Sports
May 24: Brighton (A) - Premier League, kick-off 8pm, live on Sky Sports
May 28: Brentford (A) - Premier League, kick-off 4.30pm
June 3: Manchester United (N) - FA Cup final, kick-off 3pm