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Saturday, 31 August, 2002, 15:58 GMT 16:58 UK
Man City hold off Everton
Nicolas Anelka was in great form for City
Anelka celebrates scoring his second goal for City
Man City 3-1 Everton

Nicolas Anelka opened his Premiership account in style for Kevin Keegan's team - scoring a hat-trick as 10-man Manchester City overcame Everton at Maine Road.

Anelka notched twice in the early stages of the match - putting City firmly in control - but the game was thrown into chaos by a controversial decision from referee Barry Knight.

  Key moments
14 mins: Anelka opens the scoring
16 mins: Anelka scores again
31 mins: Unsworth scores for Everton
He correctly awarded Everton a penalty but ruined the match as a contest by dismissing Shaun Wright-Phillips for his challenge on Gary Naysmith.

Unsworth converted from the spot - and the rest of the match was a largely one-sided contest with Everton repeatedly denied an equaliser by Peter Schmeichel.

But David Moyes' team lacked the guile and craft to make their advantage count - and were punished when Anelka completed his hat-trick five minutes from time.

The win is Manchester City's second of the season after beating Newcastle last weekend - but ends Everton's unbeaten start.

Everton started the game confidently but could not create scoring chances - and after 14 minutes Anelka's long-range free-kick took a vicious deflection and eluded Steve Simonsen's flailing legs.

The Everton goalkeeper was slow to try and adjust his position following the deflection and should have done better.


The greatest thing was Nicolas' work-rate and he has tremendous energy
Man City boss Kevin Keegan

Minutes later Keegan's team doubled their advantage with a well-worked goal.

Niclas Jensen brilliantly prevented the ball from drifting out of play for a throw-in on the left-hand side and fed the ball to Darren Huckerby, who crossed to the far post.

Steve Howey headed the ball back across goal and, after the away side had inexcusable failed to clear the danger, Anelka swept the ball home from short range.

Rampant City almost scored a third, but Marc-Vivien Foe was twice denied by Simonsen.

Wright-Phillips was sent off for his challenge on Naysmith
Wright-Phillips challenges Naysmith - and is sent-off
Everton boss David Moyes - frustrated with his team - withdrew Chinese international Tie Li after 25 minutes.

And then - totally against the run of play - Everton scored and Wright-Phillips was controversially sent from the field.

Naysmith broke down the right and was clearly scythed down in the City area.

Knight had no choice but to award a penalty - but inexplicably red carded Phillips for a professional foul.

Unsworth made no mistake from the penalty spot, knocking the ball to Schmeichel's left.

Everton might have restored parity before the break but Kevin Campbell's angled shot was saved by Schmeichel.


I was disappointed with the result but not the performance
Everton boss David Moyes

Eight minutes into the second half Schmeichel again came to City's rescue after Campbell had beaten the off-side trap and fired at goal.

Unsworth smashed a deep cross goalwards, which Schmeichel punched out of play.

From the subsequent corner Campbell was inches away from latching onto Alan Stubbs' header across goal.

It was a glorious chance to equalise.

Simonsen saved from Huckerby after City hit Everton on the break before Toffees substitute Rodrigo shot narrowly wide.

The match became increasingly desperate, but Anelka sealed the points after 85 minutes.

Naysmith fell on the ball - and Anelka quickly intercepted before bearing down on goal and striking the ball beyond Simonsen.


Man City: Schmeichel, Jihai, Howey, Distin, Wright-Phillips, Benarbia (Goater 86), Foe, Berkovic (Horlock 66), Jensen, Anelka, Huckerby (Tiatto 79).
Subs Not Used: Nash, Dunne.

Sent Off: Wright-Phillips (28).
Booked: Benarbia.

Everton: Simonsen, Hibbert, Weir, Stubbs, Naysmith, Alexandersson (Rooney 64), Gravesen, Tie Li (Linderoth 25), Unsworth (Rodrigo 64), Campbell, Radzinski.
Subs Not Used: Gerrard, Weifeng Li.

Attendance: 34,835

Referee: B Knight (Kent).

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Five Live's Stuart Hall
"This was some game"
Man City boss Kevin Keegan
"I think the referee got the sending off slightly wrong"
Man City's Nicolas Anelka
"I would like to score like that every week"
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31 Aug 02 | Football
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