Verdict: Manchester City 2 Everton 0

City secured victory over Everton thanks to goals from substitutes Mario Balotelli and James Milner. Given the resolute defending on show and our recent struggles against David Moyes’ side, this felt like a hugely significant result.

Everton were set up much like they were in December 2008, without a striker and offering nothing but frustration to City’s attempts to gain a breakthrough. On that occasion Tim Cahill popped up to score a 90th minute winner. This time City’s superior skill and discipline eventually told, giving further credence to the idea that Roberto Mancini’s side are set for greater things.

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Player ratings: Manchester City v Everton

Hart – Dealt well enough with corners, got away with a last minute mix-up with Lescott and that was about all he had to do. 7

Richards – Stood up well to the attentions of Everton’s battlers and sought to make the breakthrough with a couple of surging runs. 7

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Preview: Manchester City v Everton

After drawing last weekend, it’s imperative for City to get back to winning ways before worrying about the trip to Munich. To do that means overcoming our bogey side of recent years.

David Moyes has once again got Everton punching above their weight, though Wigan came close to a draw at Goodison last weekend whilst Blackburn really should have beaten the toffees earlier in the season. If we can keep Tim Cahill quiet then there’s a reasonable chance of a clean sheet.

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Verdict: Everton 2 Manchester City 1

Once again City managed to find a way of losing to Everton, this time having led at half-time courtesy of a Yaya Toure strike. It should have been more but unlike against West Ham we paid for our profligacy as Everton upped the tempo for a spell in the second half.

As with our last trip to Merseyside, Mancini made changes from his strongest side. Ultimately the result was the same, but this defeat could be put down to profligate finishing rather than an ill-judged selection.

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