Distin (65mins), Osman (71mins)
- Matchday centre
- Match reports
- 07 May 2011 17:01
- Posted by Chris Bailey
As bogey teams go no one looms larger in the City psyche than Everton.
In recent years, the battle between the Manchester and Merseyside Blues has been ominously one-side and this game did not buck the trend.
Yaya Toure’s first half strike, his ninth of a most productive season for a so-called defensive midfielder, might have turned the tide but City were swept away by Everton’s post-break revival.
City have only themselves to blame. They deserved an interval lead for their first half fluency during which they made and missed a series of chances.
However, those spurned efforts and defending too deeply came back to bite them on the backside.
Everton went into this encounter having won six of their last seven meetings between the sides including a piece of grand larceny just before Christmas when two efforts on goal in ninety minutes were enough for them to steal away from CoMs with the points.
On that occasion City squandered enough goal opportunities to have won two or three matches. A similar scenario appeared to be unfolding in the early going at Goodison and so it proved though Everton were better than they were in the first encounter.
As is often the case, David Silva was at the creative heart of everything good that the Blues accomplished
In the 8th minute Silva collected Vincent Kompany’s cross field punt, cushioned the ball as if cradling something precious, rounded Hibbert as if he were a statue and then lashed the ball across the face of goal.
Three minutes later, at the end of another sweet, flowing move by City, Silva crossed the ball from the left this time setting up the perfect opportunity for Patrick Vieira that the Frenchman somehow lifted over the bar.
No worries; the Spanish supply line had not run dry and on the half hour he had a foot in the superbly worked effort that saw Toure score as he cut in from the right. Nigel DeJong and James Milner were involved too in the early part of the move
It was only the eighth time the Toffees had been ‘unwrapped’ in ten games and it cannot have been more gracefully done.
Roberto Mancini could have been forgiven for disappearing down the narrow home tunnel wearing a wide smile. His changes all paid off in a fine opening forty-five minutes.
Having picked the same starting eleven for the three games running from the FA Cup semi-final win over United to the victories over Blackburn and West Ham, Mancini promised a different starting eleven.
David Moyes, the Everton boss, was presumably less happy with his side and he sent on a striker Beckford, for defender Hibbert.
The result was a much feistier showing from the home side who were denied a goal for Rodwell thanks only to a wonderful intervention by captain Kompany
Everton though smelled blood and after Dzeko had blazed selishly wide with Toure in acres of space to his right, Sylvain Distin, the former Blues skipper, scored with a header that Joe Hart might, on another day, have saved.
Then home side swarmed all over City and their second and winning goal arrived within six minutes of the first via Leon Osman who at 5’ 8” climbed above the visiting defence to head home a glorious effort.
The jinx goes continues but City remain favourites for the Champions League, particularly after Blackpool's 1-1 draw with Spurs.