Report as City remain on course for an unprecedented Quadruple; Everton's 26-year wait for a major trophy goes on; draw for the FA Cup semi-finals will be made on Sunday evening at 5.45pm
Sunday 21 March 2021 00:34, UK
Late goals from Ilkay Gundogan and Kevin De Bruyne sent Manchester City into the FA Cup semi-finals with a 2-0 win over a stubborn Everton at Goodison Park.
Everton sat deep in a goalless first half, but came closest to opening the scoring as Yerry Mina's glancing header was cleared off the line by Oleksandr Zinchenko.
Young third-choice Everton goalkeeper Joao Virginia made a superb fingertip stop to deny Raheem Sterling after the break, but City broke the deadlock with six minutes remaining as Gundogan reacted fastest to head into an empty net after Virginia had tipped Aymeric Laporte's effort onto the crossbar.
And sub De Bruyne wrapped up the win late on, latching onto fellow sub Rodri's through ball and lashing past Virginia (90), despite Everton protestations of a high foot from Riyad Mahrez in the build-up.
The result means City have won 25 of their last 26 games as they remain on course for an unprecedented Quadruple, while Everton's 26-year wait for a major trophy goes on. The draw for the FA Cup semi-finals will be made on Sunday evening at 5.45pm.
Everton: Virginia (8), Coleman (6), Godfrey (7), Holgate (6), Mina (7), Digne (6), Allan (6), Gomes (7), Calvert-Lewin (7), Sigurdsson (6), Richarlison (6)
Subs: Iwobi (NA)
Man City: Steffen (6), Walker (7), Dias (6), Laporte (7), Zinchenko (6), Fernandinho (8), Gundogan (7), Bernardo (6), Sterling (6), Foden (7), Jesus (6)
Subs: Mahrez (6), De Bruyne (7), Rodri (NA)
Man of the match: Fernandinho
Everton's plan was clear early doors - at one point with 25 minutes gone, they had completed just 17 passes to City's 209 - but Virginia in the Everton net had little to do in the first half as the Premier League leaders struggled to find gaps in the defence.
Everton came closest in a goalless first 45 minutes as Yerry Mina's near-post header form a Lucas Digne corner was headed off the line by Zinchenko, while goalkeeper Zack Steffen's blushes were spared as his misjudged rush-out to dispossess Dominic Calvert-Lewin bounced fortuitously out for a corner.
City upped the ante slightly after the break, and, after Richarlison struck a half volley a yard wide of Steffen's right-hand post, the visitors went up the other end and should have scored.
Fernandinho fought his way through two Everton challenges before finding Sterling unmarked in the box, running onto the ball, but the England man did not connect properly with his shot 12 yards out as Virginia got the slightest touch to divert it wide.
Phil Foden went within inches shortly after with an effort from the edge of the box, but City finally got their opener with six minutes remaining through a familiar source.
Gundogan got his second goal this week, and his 16th this season, reacting quickly to stoop low and head into the empty net after Virginia had brilliantly tipped Laporte's poked shot onto the bar.
City had brought on the cavalry from the bench in Rodri, De Bruyne and Mahrez, and all three were involved in the second goal to kill the game off.
Everton felt there was a high foot from Mahrez on Mina as the ball broke for Rodri, but the Spaniard superbly spotted the run of De Bruyne, who was found running in-behind before smashing past Virginia.
Everton made four changes from the side that lost 2-1 against Burnley last week. Virginia came in for injured goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, Michael Keane was on the bench and replaced by Yerry Mina, while Alex Iwobi and Tom Davies were replaced by Seamus Coleman and Gylfi Sigurdsson.
City made six changes from the 2-0 win over Gladbach in midweek; Steffen was in for Ederson in goal, Laporte and Zinchenko were in for Stones and Cancelo in defence, while Rodri, De Bruyne and Mahrez came out for Fernandinho, Sterling and Jesus elsewhere.
City's class shone through eventually, meaning they have reached the FA Cup last four for the fourth time in five years under Pep Guardiola.
Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti: "I think my players have improved a lot this season, and the game today showed there is a different quality, but with strong concentration, good defensive organisation, we are able to compete. Man City is not a normal team in this moment, they are the best."
On BT Sport: "We played the game we wanted to play. We didn't concede space; but they are the best team and have the best bench in the world.
"I think it was a good experience for us, I think there is no regrets. The regrets are the game against Burnley, that we didn't use this type of concentrate, and against Fulham. We want to fight for our position in Europe next season."
Man City boss Pep Guardiola: "Honestly, since the last international break, we played 39, won 34, draw two, lost three, one of them was Porto away when we'd already qualified.
"In this winter time, four months, playing every three days, it's incredible commitment. I don't have any words to express that, and in this period, after one game we cannot even enjoy because three days later there is another."
On the international break: "I hope they stay safe and make it back, not just for us but for them. Of course we are being incredibly controlled in these four months, but hopefully, and we spoke about this, to be careful.
"But we are lucky that in England it is the best country alongside maybe the US that vaccinate a lot of people, which makes our life easier, and hopefully the people who go abroad can come back safe."
The draw for the semi-finals of the FA Cup will take place on Sunday evening after the conclusion of Leicester vs Manchester United.
After the international break, Everton host Crystal Palace on Monday Night Football on April 5 at 6pm, live on Sky Sports Premier League.
Man City, meanwhile, go to Leicester City on Saturday April 3 at 5.30pm, live on Sky Sports Premier League.