Manchester City returned to winning ways following last week’s Premier League loss to Aston Villa with an impressive 3-1 win over Everton at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.
It was the Toffees’ first defeat this season, following an impressive start under new manager Roberto Martinez.
On loan Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku silenced the home crowd in the first half, capitalising on an assist from Phil Jagielka before Alvaro Negredo leveled for the ‘Sky Blues’ a minute later.
Sergio Aguero gave the hosts a half-time lead while Everton’s USMNT goalkeeper Tim Howard scored against his side moments after keeping out Aguero’s penalty in the second-half.
Manuel Pellegrini stuck to Joe Hart in goal despite a mounting pressure and a couple of high-profile blunders in the Champions League 3-1 loss to holders bayern Munich. Only captain Vincent Kompany kept his place in the back four with 6 changes made in total from the midweek team.
Joleon Lescott, Pablo Zabaleta and Aleksandar Kolarov all returned o the defence while there were starts for James Milner, David Silva and Negredo.
Steven Naismith was the only change made to Martinez side which won Newcastle last Monday, coming in for the ineligible loannee Gareth Barry.
The first-half was action packed and City’s Ivoirian midfielder Yaya Toure came close to getting the opening goal when his right-footed shot from outside the are was saved by Howard.
James Milner’s shot was blocked in the 13th minute, after an impressive build-up play between the trio of Silva, Aguero and Kolarov in the penalty area.
Lukaku has been in terrific form for Everton this season and the Belgian soon made his presence felt when his right-footed shot from the right side of goal was saved by Howard.
Few minutes later the big Belgian registered his fourth goal in three league games for Everton, directing his left-footed shot past hart’s outstretched right hand following a punt forward pass from Jagielka.
Negredo restored parity for City inside a minute. Toure evaded two challenges on the edge of the area before finding the overlapping Spaniard to his left with a through ball, who then slotted his left-footed shot from the centre of the box through the legs of Howard.
The contest sprang back to life with both teams leveled at one goal apiece while Martinez’s men continued to have a go at goal.
Aguero came close to getting the hosts in the ascendancy in the 25th minute when the Argentine bent his low shot inches past the far post, after getting an through ball from Silva following a set piece situation.
A good opening half which was coloured by impressive counter attacking plays from both sides kept everyone on the edge of their seats, but City looked stronger in some instances and succeeded in taking the lead just before the interval.
Aguero rifled home from the right side angle to the bottom left corner after Silva’s cute pass had given the Argentine striker the run on Sylvian Distin.
Everton started the second-half with some purposeful passing game but City posed more threat on the attack.
Referee Jonathan Moss awarded a penalty on 67 minute when Seamus Coleman sent Pablo Zabaleta thumbling in the penalty area.
Aguero’s effort from six yards then hit the post and rebounds off a luckless Howard and into the net. 3-1 down, the game was far beyond Everton but they played on.
Coleman broke into the box in the 71st minute and fed Naismith, whose right-footed shot was blocked six yards from goal.
City kept pressing into the final ten minutes of the game and Negredo brought a fine save from Howard with a left-footed shot from the left side of the box.
City held on to victory and leapfrogged into the second spot, pending the outcome of the other matches.