Match Report Five years ago, when Wayne Rooney was beginning his ill-advised second spell with the club and Dominic Calvert-Lewin was still a raw teenager displaying sufficient talent for Ronald Koeman to press him into early Premier League action, was the last time an Everton side took so much as a point off Manchester City.Just a few months earlier, of course, the Dutchman’s Blues had taken the Citizens apart at Goodison Park and inflicted on Pep Guardiola what is still his heaviest Premier League defeat and it’s almost as if the exacting Spaniard has devoted his life since to meting out revenge on the Blue half of Merseyside.Since eking out that 1-1 draw at the Etihad shortly before Koeman was given the elbow in 2017, Everton have suffered nine successive defeats to City in all competitions, conceding 26 goals and scoring just five in the process, including this utter formality of a match that ended up being little more than a training session for Guardiola’s attackers.Rafael Benitez’s men registered just one shot on target (although it’s hard to recall whose effort it was) as they played out a game-plan ostensibly aimed at containing the hosts as much as possible and trying to grab something — anything — on the break but the Toffees were timid and largely wasteful in the final third while their general use of the ball in all areas of the pitch was embarrassingly inferior.City, by contrast, were… well… everything you’ve come to expect from a Guardiola side — fluid, precise, incisive and lethal; that despite the absence of Kevin de Bruyne because of a positive coronavirus test and the fact that Gabriel Jesus, a man who loves scoring against Everton, watched on throughout as an unused substitute.Benitez had some mitigating circumstances, of course. With Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Abdoulaye Doucouré and Yerry Mina all still missing, the Spaniard is still operating without the spine of his team. André Gomes is an ongoing injury absentee as well (although it’s hard to see how he would have made much difference on the day) and the game was only a quarter-of-an-hour gone when Demarai Gray, a key component in Everton’s counter-attacking strategy, pulled up with an adductor injury and was forced to depart the fray.Yet, despite a foray forward at the start of each half and a couple of flurries late in the second half when the game was well beyond them, Everton displayed little of the gumption and adventure that Crystal Palace showed on this ground a few weeks ago when they turned the Champions over 2-0, with the aid of a sending-off for Aymeric Laporte. For the army of travelling Evertonians, there was almost nothing to cheer and, like those following the game from afar, they will have come away from it all with a growing sense of dread and unease about how the rest of 2021-22 is going to pan out for this Toffees team.Everton were unchanged from the side that ground out a goalless draw against Tottenham prior to the international break. Though they started on the front foot from the first whistle, the visitors soon found themselves trapped in a familiar pattern of chasing City’s shadows as Guardiola’s men waited for their possession to bear fruit.Phil Foden had their first genuine chance with 10 minutes gone when Sterling picked him out with a deep cross that the young midfielder couldn’t quite direct on goal with a header and the roles were reversed in the 27th minute when Sterling also headed over craning to get over the ball.A minute after that, Bernardo found himself in behind the defence off Cole Palmer’s neat pass but Jordan Pickford closed the Portuguese down well and, when the ball was clipped back in, Ilkay Gundogan’s header dropped onto the top of the crossbar as Guardiola’s men got closer to making the breakthrough.On the half-hour mark, Palmer’s own shot was palmed aside by Pickford and the goalkeeper gathered Sterling’s follow-up before referee Stuart Atwell awarded a soft-looking penalty for what he adjudged to be a foul by Michael Keane on Sterling but the official was forced to reverse his decision following a check of the pitch-side monitor.One brief and rare attacking moment appeared to open up for Gray’s replacement, Alex Iwobi, at the other end but the winger was easily caught by Kyle Walker as he tried to drive towards goal. And a minute after that, it was 1-0 to Manchester City.Joao Cancelo delivered a brilliant pass straight through the centre of Everton’s defence with the outside of his boot and Sterling took it on the half-volley, steering the ball expertly beyond Pickford. The half-time interval was book-ended by promising set-piece opportunities to Everton that came to nothing and City’s dominance was further underscored when they doubled their lead in the 55th minute. Allan’s clearance dropped to Rodri 25 yards from goal and the Spaniard rifled a rising, first-time thunderbolt into the top corner well clear of Pickford’s despairing dive and it was, effectively, game well and truly over.Substitute Riyad Mahrez could have made it three when he popped up in oceans of space on the far side of the box on the hour mark but his first-time effort was scuffed well off target.Rafael Benitez then withdrew Fabian Delph in the 63rd minute in favour of Salomon Rondon but neither the switch to 4-4-2 nor the Venezuelan himself could make much impact on proceedings.Nevertheless, Everton did manage some of their brightest moments on an otherwise depressingly unproductive afternoon in the final 25 minutes. Iwobi’s chipped cross invited Richarlison to attempt an acrobatic above-the-shoulder volley but he couldn’t make proper contact while another laudable ball in, again from Iwobi, put Coleman in near the byline but the Irishman was quickly closed down and the chance was lost.City were in again at the other end almost immediately but Pickford made an excellent save to deny Sterling but the almost inevitable third goal arrived in the 86th minute when another effort by Palmer took a heavy deflection and arrived at the feet of Bernardo who just had to slot home and complete Everton’s misery.Positives for the men in black and burnt orange were few and far between. Ben Godfrey emerged with credit for as good a defensive display as you could have in a team that surrendered nearly 80% of the possession and was on the back foot for most of the contest. Young Tyler Onyango will hopefully look back on this match as the moment where his Premier League career began after coming on for a late cameo that also marks his return from a fairly serious injury.Pickford, of course, played his part in keeping the scoreline respectable even if his kicking was hit-and-miss, and though Allan struggled for pace with only Delph for company in the middle, he was at least committed and did his best against a vastly superior midfield.It was in those forward areas, where Richarlison charged around in vain, Gordon showed intent but a vital lack of genuine quality, and Iwobi flattered to deceive, that Everton ultimately fell so badly short. In the final reckoning, this was a contest in name only and, in the end, it looks likely to cost the Blues in terms of personnel for their next game against Brentford, one that assumes that much more importance now given the run of poor results the team is on and the daunting run of games between now and Christmas. Lyndon Lloyd top Matchday Updates Everton traveled to the Etihad Stadium to face Manchester City without Yerry Mina, André Gomes, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Tom Davies and Abdoulaye Doucouré, the 2-0 loss being something of a foregone conclusion given their passive style of play. With those key players missing, the team pretty much picks itself, with Simms and Onyango on the bench. Kevin de Bruyne, Ferran Torres, and Jack Grealish are all out for the opposition this afternoon but Phil Foden starts. City kicked off but Gray had a good run in and Gordon saw his shot blocked. Needs to be smarter! Sterling runs into Digne to win a very dubious free-kick, that went out for a corner, but not given. Cagey stuff from City looking for an opening but when Everton won possession, they played it backwards — not the right message to be giving out! Gordon played an awful clearance straight to Palmer whose shot dribbled wide. Gordon looked to advance but gave up the ball rather easily. Everton were notably reluctant to play the ball forward and continued to invite City onto them. Sterling did well to cross to the far post but it was behind Foden who could only head behind. City continued to completely dominate the play all around Everton's area. Finally, they attacked through Gray but his shot was blocked and then Gray went down with a groin problem, a massive blow. Iwobi on to replace him, not Onyango. Pickford messed up a cross and Gordon had to save his blushes but he then, while in possession, did the strangest two-footed movement into Foden, both going down. City won a corner that Foden put too deep but it needed a desperate clearance from Coleman, and City built again. Some horrible defending by Digne almost let City in on goal, it was increasingly painful to watch. Coleman was dispossessed, Gundogan's shot was blocked. Iwobi tried to break and easily thwarted. City won another corner, eventually 'cleared' by Iwobi straight to Rodri! If it had been poor so far, it was simply getting worse and worse. Foden put in a cross that Sterling headed over. Their best chance came for Gunodgan but Pickford was out quickly and the City follow-through went over the bar. Pickford then had to parry a weak shot from Palmer and he was almost caught out again. At the other end, Townsend was fouled but not given, Richarlison was livid and dived in on Walker, seeing a yellow that means he will now be suspended. Unbelievable stupidity. More hopeless defending and Keane appeared to foul Sterling to give up the softest of penalties. But on VAR, there was no real contact and Stewart Atwell, after looking at the screen, cancelled his decision — and rightly so — but no booking for Sterling for simulation. Another attempt to play out was easily thwarted and Pickford's hoof upfield was soon heading back, earning yet another City corner but City got themselves offside. Another chance for Everton to play forward abruptly ended. In another City attack, Keane headed behind for another corner. But Pickford's grasp stopped the move and Iwobi went on a surprising run before letting Walaker take the ball off him. Another Everton attack, another hopeless cross from Iwobi, at the head of a defender. City went up the other end, a clearance to Cancello and he returned it with a brilliant ball off the outside of his foot that Keane gave up on and Sterling turned past Pickford with a perfect half-volley. Laporte tripped Townsend as he was goalbound, Townsend firing the free-kick straight at Ederson. Abysmal half of football from Everton… but miraculously they are only down by one goal! From the restart, Everton mounted something that looked like an attack, initially ended again with a poor cross from Iwobi, but then Coleman was fouled and Delph wafted at Townsend's free-kick cross, ending the nose-bleed venture forward. Iwobi caught Cancelo's Achilles. Allan gave away a silly corner trying to clear, the ball going out off his standing foot, Pickford punching clear as Iwobi bundled into Gundogan. Bernado wanted a penalty when Keane kicked the sole of his foot, Everton farted around trying to clear, Allan clearing the ball perfectly to Rodri for him to smash a worldie past shot-stopper Pickford. Resistance is futile. At this point it pretty much turned into shooting practice for City with Mahrez firing wide. Walker and Palmer were next to try their skills. To underline the huge gulf in class, or maybe to just annoy the Evertonians, Rafa's masterstroke was to bring on Rondon for Delph! A rare Everton attack saw Townsend charging forward but the cross was easily cleared. City then knocked the ball around for a good while to build up their possession stats before winning a soft free-kick that Marhez delivered into Pickford's enormous gloves. Another rare attack saw a brilliant cross from Iwobi this time that Richarlison reckoned was worth an acrobatic finish but it just made him look really silly. E for effort. Coleman took the initiative and tried to jink it over Edersen after he got close in, and showed some neat dribbling skills going back out to the corner flag! City took advantage and got behind the Everton defence but Pickford was out quickly to stifle the chance for Sterling. City basically just walked the third goal into the net through four Everton defenders for Bernardo to finish. City brought on an Academy debutant, McAtee, so Rafa followed suit, giving Tyler Onyango a short runout, perhaps the hilite of a really dismal display, totally devoid of the intensity Rafa likes to talk about. Manchester City: Ederson, Walker, Stones, Sterling, Gundogan, Laporte [Y:45+3'] (76' Ake), Rodri, Bernardo, Cancelo, Foden (58' Mahrez), Palmer (87' McAtee). Subs not Used: Steffen, Carson, Dias, Jesus, Zinchenko, Fernandinho. Everton: Pickford, Coleman, Keane, Godfrey, Digne, Allan (90' Onyango), Delph (63' Rondon), Townsend, Gray (17' Iwobi), Gordon, Richarlison [Y:29']. Subs: Begovic, Kenny, Tosun, Gbamin, Branthwaite, Simms. Referee: Stuart AtwellVAR: Chris Kavanagh Michael Kenrick top Match Preview Everton resume Premier League action this weekend following the final international break of the year when they travel to the Etihad Stadium to face Manchester City. The fortnight interval was not enough time to allow any of Rafael Benitez's walking wounded to fully recover, however. In addition to Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Abdoulaye Doucouré, the Spaniard will again be without Yerry Mina and André Gomes. Doucouré is continuing his recovery from a fractured metatarsal and is still some weeks away from being available to return and Benitez indicated today that Calvert-Lewin still needs "two or three weeks" before he can be considered for action. The England international has been sidelined since late August with a combination of toe injury and a thigh problem and recently suffered a relapse in his rehabilitation. Gomes, meanwhile, returned to first-team training a fortnight ago but is still not an option for selection because of an ongoing calf issue while Mina won't be risked for the trip to Manchester because of a hamstring strain. It means that the onus will very much be on Fabian Delph to maintain the high levels of performance he showed in the last two games, first as a substitute against Wolves and then last time out in the goalless draw with Tottenham before he was substituted in the second half. The veteran returns to his old stomping ground as a potentially key member of a midfield that has struggled in Doucouré's absence and there is similar concern in defence without Mina's towering presence. Michael Keane and Ben Godfrey haven't been able to maintain any consistency so far this season while Mason Holgate appeared to have dropped to fourth in the pecking order before being sent off late in the game against Spurs. He will be suspended for the next three matches, leaving the other two as the only senior centre-halves, with Jarrad Branthwaite next in line. Everton are expected to field an unchanged line-up but City, who recovered from a shock home defeat to Crystal Palace by handily winning the Manchester derby before the break, will be forced into at least one change and possibly more. Kevin de Bruyne is definitely ruled out after testing positive for coronavirus and Ferran Torres isn't expected back for another couple of weeks. Meanwhile Jack Grealish also looks set to be sidelined by injury and Phil Foden is a major doubt. For the Toffees, it reduces the number of talented players that can hurt them but City's depth means that it's not much consolation. This a fixture that has become one of the most pointless on Everton's calendar and if that is to change, it's going to take a hugely disciplined display, one long on concentration, defensive cohesion and a compact posture, with a particular emphasis on making the most of whatever chances fall their way in attack. Palace showed what can be achieved at the Etihad (albeit aided by the hosts going down to 10 men in the second half) by demonstrating all of those qualities against a team that can be utterly lethal but who are also fallible. There was sufficient spirit shown by the Blues against Spurs to suggest that a repeat of that attitude will avoid the shellacking that they took under Carlo Ancelotti in this fixture last season but ending the decade-long wait for victory on this ground feels like a very tall order. Kick-off: 2pm, Sunday 21 November 2021Referee: Stuart AtwellVAR: Chris KavanaghLast Time: Manchester City 5 - 0 Everton Predicted Line-up: Pickford, Coleman, Keane, Godfrey, Digne, Allan, Delph, Townsend, Gordon, Gray, Richarlison Lyndon Lloyd top * Unfortunately, we cannot control other sites' content policies and therefore cannot guarantee that links to external reports will remain active.