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Jesus on the double as Man City bounce back against Everton

City close to within 11 points of Liverpool, but the league leaders have two games in hand on their rivals.

Jesus: Brazilian sees Everton come unstuck again.
Jesus: Brazilian sees Everton come unstuck again.
Image: Martin Rickett

Manchester City 2-1 Everton

GABRIEL JESUS EXTENDED his remarkable record against Everton as his second-half brace sealed a 2-1 win for Manchester City.

City manager Pep Guardiola rested Sergio Aguero, but Jesus tormented the Toffees, taking his record to seven goals in his last five appearances against the Merseyside club.

City remain third in the Premier League after a second successive win left them 11 points behind runaway leaders Liverpool, who have two games in hand on the champions.

Richarlison got one back for Everton, but it was a first defeat for new boss Carlo Ancelotti, who had masterminded wins over Burnley and Newcastle in his first two matches since replacing the sacked Marco Silva.

Guardiola has already conceded City have no chance of catching Liverpool this season, instead setting his sights on a more sustained challenge next term by admitting they need to “play better and pray”.

There was no need for divine intervention against Everton, although with Aguero, Raheem Sterling and Kyle Walker among those left out by Guardiola, the visitors nearly snatched a shock lead when Seamus Coleman’s volley forced a one-handed save from Claudio Bravo.

City thought they had taken the lead when Phil Foden met Joao Cancelo’s cross with a close-range finish in the 13th minute.

But the hosts’ celebrations were curtailed by VAR as the goal was ruled out for a tight offside against Riyad Mahrez, who had supplied the pass to Cancelo.

It was the latest VAR decision to go against City this season and Mahrez responded with a stinging drive that forced a good save from Pickford.

City should have been in front just before half-time when Jesus picked out Mahrez in space in the area, yet the Algerian dragged his shot wide.

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Guardiola’s team have failed to score a first-half goal in six of their last eight home league games.

But they only needed six minutes to take the lead after the break.

Ilkay Gundogan’s pass split the Everton defence and Jesus took a touch inside before a curling a fine finish into the far corner.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin had five goals in his last five appearances and the Everton forward nearly grabbed an instant equaliser with a close-range header that flashed wide.

It was a crucial moment as Jesus struck again in the 58th minute.

Kevin De Bruyne teed up Foden and he found Mahrez as City carved opened the Everton defence before Jesus applied the finishing touch with a powerful low drive for his 13th goal of the season.

City went to sleep in the 71st minute, allowing Richarlison to slot home after Claudio Bravo made a hash of passing to Fernandinho.

Jesus wasted a chance to kill off Everton when his close-range shot smacked the post in a nervous finale, but City held on.

© – AFP, 2020

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