Manchester City 3-1 Everton: Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling help champions go top
Report as Manchester City go back to the summit ahead of Liverpool vs Manchester United on Super Sunday. Watch highlights at 5.15pm.
By Gerard Brand
Last Updated: 15/12/18 5:36pm
Gabriel Jesus ended his goal drought as Manchester City returned to the top of the Premier League for at least a day with a 3-1 win over Everton.
Jesus gave City the lead at the Etihad with a low finish (22), his first goal in 12 appearances, following Leroy Sane's delightful assist, and he made it 2-0 on 50 minutes by heading home from close range from another weighted Sane cross.
Everton halved the deficit through Dominic Calvert-Lewin's own header (65), but substitute Raheem Sterling restored the two-goal cushion with a header of his own (69), converting Fernandinho's ball from close range to end a difficult week on a bright note.
The result means champions City are back on the summit after Pep Guardiola's 100th win in all competitions with the club, with Liverpool two points behind and hosting Manchester United live on Super Sunday. Everton are now without a win in four.
The first chance of the game fell to Everton as Lucas Digne found Richarlison at the far post, but the Brazilian could not keep his volley from 10 yards down. But after a sloppy start, City began to turn the screw.
Man City: Ederson (7), Walker (6), Laporte (7), Otamendi (6), Delph (6), Gundogan (8), Bernardo Silva (7), Fernandinho (7), Sane (8), Mahrez (7), Jesus (9).
Subs: Sterling (8), De Bruyne (6)
Everton: Pickford (6), Coleman (6), Keane (6), Mina (5), Zouma (5), Digne (6), Gomes (6), Bernard (6), Sigurdsson (5), Calvert-Lewin (7), Richarlison (7)
Subs: Walcott (7), Lookman (6), Davies (6)
Man of the match: Gabriel Jesus
Bernardo Silva's dinked cross from the left was nearly diverted into his own goal by Michael Keane under pressure from Jesus, before Jesus himself got the opener.
Manchester City made three changes from the side that lost at Chelsea; Sterling, Stones and the injured David Silva come out, replaced by Otamendi, Gundogan and Jesus. Kevin De Bruyne returned to the bench after his injury.
Everton made two changes as Zouma and Calvert-Lewin replaced Gueye and Walcott.
After Yerry Mina gave away possession, Sane threaded a perfect ball through to Jesus on the left of the box, and the forward tucked it under Jordan Pickford.
City got their two-goal cushion after the break; picking the ball up on the left of the box, Sane picked out Jesus ahead of his marker Kurt Zouma, and though his header was central, it had enough power to beat Pickford's reflexes.
The hosts looked in control until the final quarter of the game, as Digne's lifted cross from the left was headed into the far corner by Calvert-Lewin via the head of Fabian Delph, but the nerves didn't last long as Sterling, two minutes and 55 seconds after coming on for Sane, peeled off Zouma and headed past Pickford from a fine Fernandinho ball at the left byline.
Everton did waste chances late on through Richarlison, Theo Walcott and then Calvert-Lewin's flick between his legs, but City saw the game out with relative comfort to return back to winning ways.
- Man City have won all 21 of their games in all competitions this season when they've scored in the first half. The only five games they've failed to win this season are the five in which they've not scored in the first half.
- Man City have won their last 10 Premier League home games, scoring 36 and conceding just seven goals.
- Everton have won just one of their last nine Premier League away games (D3 L5).
- Since Pep Guardiola became Man City manager, Everton have scored more Premier League goals against the Citizens than any other side (8).
- Gabriel Jesus' opener for Man City was his first Premier League goal since August, ending a run of 11 games, 487 minutes and 18 shots without one in the competition.
- Man City's Leroy Sane assisted both of Gabriel Jesus' goals in this game - before today the German had never previously assisted the Brazilian in the Premier League.
- Man City's Raheem Sterling scored just his second headed goal in the Premier League, and first since December 2015 vs Sunderland.
Man of the match: Gabriel Jesus
The Brazilian handed a reminder to onlookers about his qualities. His goals were expertly taken but it was his all-round game that impressed more as he led the line with great maturity, showing an array of silky touches to bring his teammates into play. The returning Sergio Aguero, who was on the bench, may struggle to get his spot back.
Manager reaction: Pep Guardiola
"It was a tricky game after the Champions League, less than three days' recovery.
"They were able to draw at Stamford Bridge and at Anfield - until the last second. They are a top side, not just the 11 that started.
"Today it was in our minds we were going to suffer and so we did. The game was not over until the end."
Manager reaction: Marco Silva
"The biggest chance until that moment was Richarlison's chance - a big, big chance - but after that it changed. We knew they had the quality to command the match.
"When you have chances like Richarlison, Richarlison again, Theo (Walcott) and Dominic, you have to score."
Manchester City now go to Leicester in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday night, live on Sky Sports Football, while Everton host Tottenham in the Premier League on Super Sunday, live on Sky Sports Premier League (4pm)