EPL

Manchester City 2-1 Everton: Jesus brace inflicts first defeat on Ancelotti

By Sports Desk January 01, 2020

Gabriel Jesus scored a second-half brace as Manchester City claimed a 2-1 win over Everton, who suffered defeat for the first time under Carlo Ancelotti.

Brazil striker Jesus was restored to the starting line-up in one of five changes from City's victory against Sheffield United and more than took his opportunity in Wednesday's clash at the Etihad Stadium.

Phil Foden had a strike ruled out by the video assistant referee in a low-key first half, but the home side stepped things up in the second half and were rewarded through Jesus' quickfire double.

Everton had won back-to-back matches under Ancelotti previously and gave themselves a lifeline when Richarlison profited from a Claudio Bravo error 19 minutes from time, but they could not find a leveller as City saw things through.

Bravo retained his place in goal due to Ederson - suspended against United - missing out through illness and he pushed over a Seamus Coleman drive early on.

City thought they had found a way through after 12 minutes when Foden tapped in Joao Cancelo's cross, only for VAR to rule it out as Riyad Mahrez was offside in the build-up.

Mahrez was again undone by VAR when the technology upheld the linesman's decision to flag him for offside before charging into the box and being felled by Lucas Digne.

But there was to be no denying Jesus early in the second half, the Brazil international controlling Ilkay Gundogan's pass and bending the ball past Jordan Pickford.

Jesus doubled his tally seven minutes later by taking Mahrez's pass in his stride and this time beating Pickford at his near post with a well-struck shot.

A poor pass from Bravo gifted Everton a route back into the game as Theo Walcott's shot deflected into the path of Richarlison for a tap in, but City came closest to scoring the game's fourth goal as Jesus struck the inside of the post.

 

What does it mean? City close gap despite rotation

Pep Guardiola's decision to rotate his side for this game perhaps indicates he will prioritise the cup competitions in the second half of the season, even if he has claimed he will not.

Despite leaving Sergio Aguero on the bench for the 90 minutes and only bringing on Raheem Sterling in added time, however, City got the job done in an efficient manner and are back to within 11 points of leaders Liverpool, albeit having played two games more.

Jesus maintains impressive run

Jesus has now scored in five successive Premier League meetings with Everton, netting seven goals in total - more than he has managed against any other side in the competition. 

He showed brilliant awareness for both goals by getting between two defenders, controlling a pass into his feet and finding a way past Pickford.

Bravo's blushes spared

Pickford hardly covered himself in glory for either of Jesus' goals, especially having been caught out at his near post for the second, while opposite number Bravo was at fault for Richarlison's goal.

City's back-up keeper played Cancelo into trouble with his pass and the ball was in the net seconds later.

What's next?

City host League Two side Port Vale in the FA Cup third round on Saturday, while Everton travel to Merseyside rivals Liverpool the following day in a mouth-watering tie.

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