Man City   2 - 0   Everton

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Page last updated at 13:41 GMT, Saturday, 24 September 2011 14:41 UK

Sergio Aguero (right) and Leighton Baines battle for the ball Great work from Sergio Aguero set up City's first goal for Balotelli

Manchester City finally released the recent stranglehold Everton have placed on them with a hard-fought victory at Etihad Stadium.

Everton had won on their last four visits to City - and for an hour frustration was in the air again as they mounted a wall of well-organised resistance that kept Roberto Mancini's side at bay.

The introduction of substitute Mario Balotelli on the hour led to the breakthrough as he scored with a deflected shot after 68 minutes and finally unsettled Everton with an impressive cameo.

PHIL MCNULTY'S BLOG

It was the type of result and performances that adds weight to the argument that City will mount a serious title challenge this season

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James Milner, another second-half substitute, added the second with two minutes left from David Silva's sublime pass to allow City to move top of the Premier League ahead of Manchester United's visit to Stoke City.

And it was a win City deserved for demonstrating the patience and persistence they will need as Everton's dour approach is likely to be mirrored by plenty of sides who will attempt to suppress City's wide range of attacking options at Etihad Stadium.

Balotelli decided the game - Mancini

Everton's tactics appeared designed to secure a draw and perhaps aim to take an isolated chance on the break.

But David Moyes' side were undermined by a failure to offer anything in attack, although substitute Louis Saha - and his manager - were rightly infuriated when referee Howard Webb failed to award a free-kick when he was blatantly fouled on the edge of the area by Vincent Kompany with the game still in the balance.

Moyes also believed Everton had been the victims of injustice in the build-up to Balotelli's crucial goal, claiming City were wrongly awarded a throw in.

Mancini will relish the manner of this win as much as other victories earned in real style this season. Everton offered a stern test and City showed growing maturity to get the three points.

Everton's superbly drilled defensive formation offered nothing other than frustration to City in the first half as they stood firm.

KEY MATCH FACTS

  • Sergio Aguero now has a combined total of 10 Premier League goals/assists
  • Balotelli's goal was the third by a Man City sub this season
  • Everton have had 71 red cards in the Premier League - one fewer than Blackburn who have had the most

Moyes had clearly earmarked Silva as central to City's threat and he deployed youngster Jack Rodwell to man-mark the Spaniard. And when he received a yellow card for a foul on Silva responsibility briefly switched to Phil Neville, until he drew similar punishment from referee Webb after a clash with Silva.

Sergio Aguero was City's main threat in the early exchanges, but it was the 53rd minute before Everton posed a serious threat as Tim Cahill's header from Seamus Coleman's cross floated over the bar.

It was only when Balotelli came on for Edin Dzeko on the hour that City made serious inroads into the Everton defence. Samir Nasri had a shot well saved by Tim Howard before the Italian broke the deadlock seven minutes after his introduction.

Balotelli's finish from the edge of the area was measured and also took a decisive touch off Everton defender Phil Jagielka to send the ball tantalisingly out of Howard's reach into the bottom corner.

Moyes unhappy with Kompany challenge

The visitors now needed to shift the entire emphasis of their approach, but City were playing with renewed confidence and Silva hit the woodwork with Howard beaten.

Balotelli was then narrowly off target before setting up Silva for a tap-in, only for the goal to be ruled out for offside.

Silva was at his creative best as City wrapped up the win with one minute left. Everton substitute Royston Drenthe lost possession in midfield and Silva threaded through a perfect invitation for Milner to slide his finish past Howard.

Everton had offered next to nothing in terms of attacking threat, although another City substitute Stefan Savic made a timely intervention in injury time to clear Marouane Fellaini's shot off the line.

Live text and stats

 

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Premier League

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Man City 2-0 Everton FT
(HT 0-0)
  • Balotelli 68
  • Milner 89

    Man City

    Substitutes

    Everton

    Substitutes

    Ref: H WebbAtt: 47,293
    MAN CITY
    EVERTON

    Possession

    • Man City 59%
    • Everton 41%

    Attempts on target

    • Man City 8
    • Everton 3

    Attempts off target

    • Man City 10
    • Everton 4

    Corners

    • Man City 7
    • Everton 5

    Fouls

    • Man City 9
    • Everton 13
    • Final Result
    • Full Time
    • 90:00+4:08 The match has reached full-time.
    • 90:00+3:33 Marouane Fellaini takes a shot. Stefan Savic makes a clearance.
    • Correction - 90:00+3:12 Unfair challenge on Leighton Baines by James Milner results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Sylvain Distin.
    • 90:00+3:12 Free kick awarded for a foul by James Milner on Leighton Baines. Sylvain Distin takes the free kick.
    • 90:00+2:44 Louis Saha takes a shot. Save made by Joe Hart.
    • 89:29 Inswinging corner taken by Royston Drenthe from the right by-line played to the near post, comfortable save by Joe Hart.
    • 88:15 The assist for the goal came from David Silva.
    • 88:15 GOAL - James MilnerMan City 2 - 0 Everton James Milner fires in a goal from inside the penalty area to the bottom right corner of the goal. Man City 2-0 Everton.
    • 86:57 David Silva takes the direct free kick.
    • 86:57 Booking Phil Jagielka is shown a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.
    • 86:51 Free kick awarded for a foul by Phil Jagielka on Mario Balotelli.
    • 85:48 David Silva is caught offside. Tim Howard restarts play with the free kick.
    • 84:46 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Louis Saha by Stefan Savic. Free kick taken by Sylvain Distin.
    • 84:26 Corner from the right by-line taken by James Milner, clearance by Jack Rodwell.
    • 84:03 Short corner worked by James Milner.
    • 83:47 Gnegneri Toure Yaya takes a shot. Save by Tim Howard.
    • 82:46 Substitution Samir Nasri goes off and Stefan Savic comes on.
    • 82:39 Shot by Royston Drenthe from just outside the area goes over the net.
    • Correction - 82:08 Corner taken by Leon Osman played to the near post, clearance by Gnegneri Toure Yaya.
    • 82:08 Leon Osman takes a inswinging corner from the left by-line to the near post, clearance by Joleon Lescott.
    • 81:58 Leighton Baines crosses the ball, James Milner gets a block in.
    • 80:34 Substitution Apostolos Vellios comes on in place of Seamus Coleman.
    • 79:52 Mario Balotelli gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Sylvain Distin. Tim Howard takes the free kick.
    • 79:21 The ball is delivered by Royston Drenthe.
    • 77:45 Substitution James Milner comes on in place of Sergio Aguero.
    • 76:49 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Micah Richards by Leighton Baines. Micah Richards takes the direct free kick.
    • 74:23 Mario Balotelli is ruled offside. Free kick taken by Phil Jagielka.
    • 73:29 Marouane Fellaini concedes a free kick for a foul on Sergio Aguero. Gnegneri Toure Yaya takes the free kick.
    • 72:16 Tim Howard takes the free kick.
    • 72:16 Substitution Royston Drenthe is brought on as a substitute for Phil Neville.
    • 72:16 Mario Balotelli challenges Phil Jagielka unfairly and gives away a free kick.
    • 70:24 Mario Balotelli produces a right-footed shot from just outside the penalty box that misses to the left of the goal.
    • 70:13 Vincent Kompany takes a shot. Blocked by Phil Jagielka.
    • Correction - 69:48 Corner taken right-footed by Samir Nasri from the right by-line to the near post, Phil Jagielka makes a clearance.
    • 69:48 Samir Nasri takes a inswinging corner to the near post, clearance made by Phil Jagielka.
    • Correction - 69:31 David Silva produces a left-footed shot from inside the area and hits the post. David Silva takes a shot. Blocked by Phil Jagielka.
    • 69:31 Effort from inside the area by David Silva hits the post.
    • 68:48 The assistant referee flags for offside against Louis Saha. Joe Hart restarts play with the free kick.
    • 68:29 The official flags Louis Saha offside. Vincent Kompany takes the indirect free kick.
    • 67:19 Sergio Aguero provided the assist for the goal.
    • 67:19 GOAL - Mario BalotelliMan City 1 - 0 Everton Mario Balotelli gets on the score sheet with a goal from the edge of the area to the bottom right corner of the goal. Man City 1-0 Everton.
    • Correction - 65:38 Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Samir Nasri, Gareth Barry takes a shot. Clearance by Phil Jagielka.
    • 65:38 Corner from the right by-line taken by Samir Nasri, Effort from the edge of the area by Gareth Barry goes wide of the right-hand post.
    • 65:29 Substitution Louis Saha joins the action as a substitute, replacing Tim Cahill.
    • 65:20 Samir Nasri takes a shot. Save made by Tim Howard.
    • 63:54 Gnegneri Toure Yaya challenges Seamus Coleman unfairly and gives away a free kick. Phil Neville takes the free kick.
    • 62:47 Direct free kick taken by Vincent Kompany.
    • 62:47 Booking Tim Cahill is booked.
    • 61:09 Unfair challenge on Vincent Kompany by Tim Cahill results in a free kick.
    • 59:29 Substitution Mario Balotelli comes on in place of Edin Dzeko.
    • 55:37 Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Leighton Baines, Joe Hart makes a save.
    • 55:18 Leon Osman decides to take the corner short.
    • 54:24 Corner from the left by-line taken by Leon Osman, Micah Richards makes a clearance.
    • 53:13 Seamus Coleman delivers the ball, Headed effort from deep inside the penalty area by Tim Cahill goes harmlessly over the crossbar.
    • 49:02 Foul by Tim Cahill on Gareth Barry, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Gael Clichy.
    • 48:45 Leon Osman takes a shot. Save by Joe Hart.
    • 47:39 Effort from just outside the box by Sergio Aguero goes over the bar.
    • Correction - 46:33 Marouane Fellaini gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Joleon Lescott. Gael Clichy restarts play with the free kick.
    • 46:33 Joleon Lescott fouled by Marouane Fellaini, the ref awards a free kick. Joleon Lescott takes the direct free kick.
    • 45:36 Inswinging corner taken by David Silva.
    • 45:29 A cross is delivered by Sergio Aguero, Sylvain Distin manages to make a clearance.
    • 45:01 The game restarts for the second half.
    • Half Time
    • 45:00+2:24 The referee calls an end to the first half.
    • 45:00+0:01 Effort from just outside the area by Gnegneri Toure Yaya goes over the target.
    • 44:42 The ball is sent over by Leighton Baines, save made by Joe Hart.
    • 40:07 Gael Clichy has an effort at goal from just outside the penalty box which goes wide of the left-hand post.
    • 39:38 Gareth Barry delivers the ball, clearance made by Tim Cahill.
    • 38:37 The ball is sent over by Edin Dzeko, Tim Cahill manages to make a clearance.
    • Correction - 37:55 Free kick awarded for a foul by Leighton Baines on Sergio Aguero. Vincent Kompany takes the free kick.
    • 37:55 Leighton Baines gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Sergio Aguero. Direct free kick taken by Vincent Kompany.
    • 37:00 Edin Dzeko takes a shot from long range which goes wide of the right-hand upright.
    • 35:49 Gareth Barry takes a shot. Save by Tim Howard.
    • 35:06 Corner taken by David Silva from the right by-line played to the near post, clearance made by Leon Osman.
    • 34:51 Sergio Aguero takes a shot. Save by Tim Howard.
    • 34:42 Gareth Barry delivers the ball, Sylvain Distin makes a clearance.
    • 34:26 Outswinging corner taken by David Silva from the left by-line played to the near post, clearance by Sylvain Distin.
    • 34:19 David Silva delivers the ball, Jack Rodwell gets a block in.
    • 33:05 Shot from deep inside the area by Edin Dzeko clears the crossbar.
    • 31:59 The ball is delivered by Leighton Baines, clearance made by Gareth Barry.
    • 30:41 Tim Howard takes the free kick.
    • 30:41 Booking Gnegneri Toure Yaya is shown a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.
    • 30:35 Gnegneri Toure Yaya challenges Seamus Coleman unfairly and gives away a free kick.
    • 29:03 David Silva restarts play with the free kick.
    • 29:03 Booking Leon Osman goes into the referee's book for unsporting behaviour.
    • 28:53 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Micah Richards by Leon Osman.
    • 27:07 Phil Jagielka fouled by David Silva, the ref awards a free kick. Tim Howard takes the direct free kick.
    • 24:13 Direct free kick taken by Vincent Kompany.
    • 24:13 Booking Phil Neville is shown a yellow card.
    • 23:45 Phil Neville challenges David Silva unfairly and gives away a free kick.
    • 22:10 Sergio Aguero crosses the ball.
    • 19:53 Free kick crossed by Samir Nasri, Marouane Fellaini makes a clearance.
    • 19:53 Booking Jack Rodwell is cautioned.
    • 19:44 Free kick awarded for a foul by Jack Rodwell on David Silva.
    • 17:44 Shot on goal by Sergio Aguero from just inside the area clears the crossbar.
    • 15:51 Marouane Fellaini concedes a free kick for a foul on Gael Clichy. Direct free kick taken by Joleon Lescott.
    • 14:11 Unfair challenge on Jack Rodwell by Edin Dzeko results in a free kick. Phil Jagielka restarts play with the free kick.
    • 13:34 Leon Osman delivers the ball, clearance made by Gael Clichy.
    • 10:05 Samir Nasri has an effort at goal from outside the box which goes wide right of the target.
    • 8:46 Jack Rodwell concedes a free kick for a foul on David Silva. David Silva takes the direct free kick.
    • 8:26 Foul by Tim Cahill on Gareth Barry, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Joleon Lescott.
    • 6:29 Sergio Aguero crosses the ball, Tim Howard makes a save.
    • 5:32 Leighton Baines produces a right-footed shot from just outside the box that goes wide right of the target.
    • 4:03 Handball decision goes against Micah Richards. Free kick crossed left-footed by Leighton Baines from left wing, Vincent Kompany manages to make a clearance.
    • 3:07 Jack Rodwell has an effort at goal from outside the box which misses left.
    • 2:22 The ball is swung over by Seamus Coleman, Joleon Lescott manages to make a clearance.
    • 1:51 Gareth Barry challenges Leon Osman unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Phil Jagielka.
    • 1:09 Leon Osman sends in a cross, clearance by Joleon Lescott.
    • 0:00 The referee starts the match.

    Live text and data provided by The Press Association.

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    Premier League table snapshot

    As it stood on 24 Sep 2011 23:59 UK

    Position Team P GD PTS
    1 Man Utd 6 17 16
    2 Man City 6 14 16
    3 Chelsea 6 5 13
    4 Newcastle 6 4 12
    5 Liverpool 6 0 10
    6 Tottenham 5 0 9
    7 Stoke 6 -2 9
    8 Aston Villa 5 2 7
    9 Everton 5 0 7
    10 QPR 5 -2 7
    11 Wolves 6 -3 7
    12 Arsenal 6 -5 7
    13 Sunderland 5 2 5
    14 Norwich 5 -2 5
    15 Wigan 6 -4 5
    16 Swansea 6 -5 5
    17 Fulham 6 -3 4
    18 Blackburn 6 -5 4
    19 West Brom 6 -5 4
    20 Bolton 6 -8 3

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