It was a frustrating afternoon for Manchester City. Pep Guardiola’s team didn’t play particularly badly, but they weren’t at their most cutting edge and it allowed a very organised and stubborn Everton side to battle out a hard-earned draw. The home team were probably the more deserving of the victory, though having missed two penalties they can’t grumble at the outcome.
There were few positives to be taken from the match, though Kevin De Bruyne made it through 90 minutes on his return from injury earlier than expected. At times, City’s forward play looked back to its best, but a mixture of resolute defending and a missed final-ball snuffed out the majority of moves. Results elsewhere also meant this was a slip-up that won’t have proved too costly.
It’s hard to look past two fairly poor penalties as the key reason why City struggled in this match. Having found it hard to break down the Everton defence, spot-kicks are too good an opportunity to turn down. Both kicks were at a good height for the goalkeeper, and once he’d guessed the right way he was always going to stop them.
7 — There was probably not much more Pep Guardiola could have done to swing the tie in City’s favour, as his side dominated the ball but just couldn’t do anything with it.
Player ratings (1-10, with 10 the best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Claudio Bravo, 6 — The goalkeeper had little chance with the goal and didn’t have much else to do.
DF Gael Clichy, 7 — The Frenchman had a difficult afternoon in an unfamiliar three-at-the-back system, but he coped well with the aerial threat of Yannick Bolasie. He struggled to match Romelu Lukaku for the opening goal, however.
DF John Stones, 6 — The centre-back was calm in possession of the ball and did a good job bringing it forward when needed, but he found himself committing to a challenge too high up the pitch on Lukaku’s goal.
DF Nicolas Otamendi, 6 — The Argentine was much more comfortable then in his previous City performance, though he did have a tendency to dive in needlessly. The theatrics in the opposition penalty area need to stop, too.
MF Fernandinho, 6 — The Brazilian worked hard all across the pitch, but his final ball through to the attacking players was just slightly off the mark. He controlled the play well in the middle.
MF Ilkay Gundogan, 7 — In what was a tight match, the German was one of the closest to unlocking a path through the packed Everton back line for his attacking teammates, but just fell short at the crucial time. There were some excellent challenges to win back possession high up the pitch.
MF David Silva, 7 — The Spaniard produced a fine run to win the first penalty and if City were going to make it through the Everton defence it always seemed like he’d be involved.
MF Kevin De Bruyne, 6 — It wasn’t the finest afternoon for the Belgian on his return to fitness. He couldn’t quite get it going, though it would have been a different story with a converted spot-kick and were it not for a superb Maarten Stekelenburg stop in the second half.
MF Leroy Sane, 6 — It was an impressive first Premier League start for the club and how he wasn’t awarded a penalty on one of his driving runs from the flank is a mystery. That said, he faded in the second half.
MF Raheem Sterling, 6 — The winger was again more effective when he had been switched to the right flank, however he wasn’t helped out by his teammates. There were too many occasions he was surrounded by opposition players and he no option for a pass.
FW Kelechi Iheanacho, 5 — This wasn’t the finest day at the office for the youngster, who found himself crowded by a wall of Everton shirts every time he had possession. There was very little he could do to influence the match.
FW Sergio Aguero, 6 — The Argentine offered more movement in the final third than Iheanacho, who he replaced on 56 minutes, but he failed with his biggest chance from the penalty spot.
MF Nolito, 7 — The substitute rescued a point with a superb header just moments after coming on for Sane, after 70 minutes.
DF Vincent Kompany, NR — The centre-back made a cameo, replacing Gundogan on 90 minutes, as a makeshift striker as City aimed to steal the points.