Sunday, 6 October 2013

City fightback ends Everton's unbeaten start

Manchester City forward Sergio Agüero (R) vies with Everton's Phil Jagielka during the English Premier League match at The Etihad stadium in Manchester, north-west England on October 5, 2013
Manchester City bounced back from a pair of defeats to end Everton's unbeaten start to the Premier League season with a 3-1 win at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.
Beaten 3-2 by Aston Villa last weekend and outclassed by Bayern Munich in mid-week, City fell behind to a Romelu Lukaku goal but roared back to win through goals from Alvaro Negredo, Sergio Aguero and a Tim Howard own goal.
Manuel Pellegrini's side rose to second place in the standings, two points behind leaders Arsenal, while Roberto Martinez's Everton, who had been the last unbeaten team in the division, remain fifth.
"Equalising immediately was important, but more important was the character of the team, playing against Everton -- the only unbeaten team in the league," said City manager Pellegrini.
"After a defeat (by Bayern) on Wednesday, it was important for me to see how the players reacted after that defeat."
Everton took a 16th-minute lead through on-loan Chelsea striker Lukaku, who sprang the offside trap to collect Phil Jagielka's pass and deftly nutmegged Joleon Lescott before beating Joe Hart with a low shot.
It was his third goal in two games, following his brace against Newcastle United on Monday, but City replied within two minutes, Negredo squeezing the ball past Howard from Yaya Toure's fine reverse pass.
City were dealt a blow in the 34th minute when captain Vincent Kompany went off with an injury, but they moved ahead on the stroke of half-time.
David Silva strode forward and threaded a pass down the inside-right channel for Sergio Aguero, who rattled a low shot into the bottom-left corner.
A foul by Seamus Coleman on Pablo Zabaleta gave Aguero a chance to extend City's lead from the penalty spot in the 69th minute and although Howard turned his shot onto the post, the ball bounced against the American goalkeeper and into the net for an own goal.
With Arsenal not in action until their trip to West Bromwich Albion on Sunday, Liverpool can take over at the top of the table if they win at home to second-bottom Crystal Palace later on Saturday.

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