Date: 24th March 2010 at 11:47pm
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Manchester City lose for the first time at Eastland`s as Everton kept their own European hopes alive with a gritty 2-0 win. Goals from Tim Cahill and Mikel Arteta put a dent in City`s Champions League hopes.

One simple phrase could typify the team tonight “Social Loafers”. The term epitomises the inept, sub-standard performance which we believed we had eradicated, as Everton played their part in a clinical “smash and grab” performance. Social loafing sadly describes the lack of leadership which has become far too common, it also underpins the lack of creative ideas and a complete failure to perform as expected.

Everton never fail to surprise anyone even on their own poor afternoons. A gritty and determined side who courageously display all the mental attributes to perform at the top level are exactly the skills Everton possess. The lavishly treated stars in our blue half of Manchester fail to seize any opportunity to take a stranglehold in this seasons hotly contested race and we repeatedly portray a side that struggles to have that consistent edge.

Everton are not a side to be undermined as they have shown with destructive wins over Chelsea, Manchester United and a deserved double over us. They have consistent performers who have far surpassed their desired potential. Our constant nemesis Tim Cahill again caused havoc when in the opposition`s box; Arteta is a creative genius who is unbelievably unfortunate to be missing out this summer and Osman, Peinnar and Jagielka continue to perform at the highest standard. Contrast that to ourselves, a team who again fail to live up to expectations- excluding Carlos Tevez. Overall our performance was without the much needed desire and determination, we lacked any technical attributes which could have seen us break down a very resolute Everton defence. There was certain spells of play that could have merited a goal, however, a failure to create any noteworthy chances proved our downfall as we were continuously thwarted. We repeatedly shot ourselves in the foot and are in need for greater numbers on the pitch to stand up and be counted.

We began reasonably well and took the game to Everton. The away side were understandably on the back foot but we failed to capitalise on any possession we had. Tevez was industrious, his own craft and workmanship provided great entertainment as he wrestled away from the Everton defenders. He was simply a man on a mission as he looked to do all the work himself, he glided across the turf and his sheer tenacity and strength left him in great positions, but the defence continued to prevent his advances on the last hurdle. Everton are often seen as clinical and City should have taken note of the Tim Cahill goal that opened the scoring. Without any great pressure or perseverance, Everton had a free-kick in a dangerous position, their first serious opportunity of the evening. A well worked free-kick confused our backline and Cahill only needed one chance as he guided home a Baines cross. We were deflated and felt hard done by all our efforts had resulted in very little.

Feeling a sense of injustice we decided to raise our game and appease our spectators. The gritty and determined Everton side were back. Every chance was prevented, every attack was easily crossed off and they soaked up the pressure with minimal fuss. The frustration was growing but this was only the start of a hard day`s work for the Merseyside club. The game progressed in a similar vein, we rarely mounted an attack on Tim Howard as his combative defence would respond first. Our tactical changes did little to enforce anything spectacular and the feeling was Everton had us where they wanted. We tried without any real endeavour, we pressed without any notable urgency and we most importantly failed to seize control and gain a stranglehold on the occasion.

The groans were deafening amongst the terraces as we were losing much needed ground. However, Everton wouldn`t budge, they have a certain knack for picking teams off and this was proving the case. We were becoming desperate for any possible result as Kolo Toure was demonstrating with his ambitious charges down the pitch, but as always we lacked that cutting edge. Both teams were making their respective tactical changes and it was Everton and Moyes who we left delighted. Substitute Jack Rodwell gallivanted effortlessly towards our penalty box, his slick cut back found Arteta who again showed all it takes is once chance. First time, he showed precision and ability as he comfortably slotted home and evaporated any distant hopes we had.

An Everton win against us was become far too familiar, we failed to take our opportunity and lost our precious home record. We must show little comparison to this game in our forthcoming fixtures as the room for inconsistency is growing ever smaller. We were perhaps the better side but we failed to perform when it mattered. Hopefully this is a pivotal moment for us to improve rather than decline.

Player Ratings

One player who couldn’t really be faulted. Nothing to do with either goal.

He provided a good outlet out wide and was unfortunate to be replaced. Hopefully can continue in the same vein.

Lacks any skills to make it as a top centre half. More time spent on the floor than anything.

Worst performance in a blues shirt sadly. Often the colossal he had an off-night and was guilty for their second goal. Made too many errors.

Nothing great nothing too drastic.

De Jong-6
Played reasonably well and couldn’t offer much else. He had little to do in his department.

A very weak performance where he failed to make any pass to a blue shirt. He was laboured and causal and didn’t assert himself.

Where is our Superman? All seems a distant memory. Limped off.

When on the ball there is a sense that something good will happen, however, he simply didn’t deliver.

Was to distracted with his scuffles with Neville. He tried but he didn’t perform to his usual high standard.

Once again he performed very well without any real help. He created several chances and he played the defence on his own. He deserved a goal for his hard work.

Very one dimensional. He didn’t create any confusion or chances.

Santa Cruz-5
He won every flick on but wasn’t rewarded with support. Not on the same wavelength as the other frontmen yet.
Had little time to influence.


10 Replies to “Everton At The Double”

  • Can’t argue with those assessments. I agree with Johnny Baguette, another chance to cement that 4th place only to get the jitters and turn in a well below average performance. Have to hang on in their and hope that other results go our way, but don’t hold your breath and on this form looks more likely the Europa League than the Champions League. Should have punch his lights out RM while you had the chance.

  • Im unsure why City are unable to perform in games like these when you are able to beat big four teams. Its weird, almost as though you don’t take them seriously.

  • We were totally dominant in the first half, it was the dodgy decisions of the referee that clearly affected our team. You could see their heads drop as Everton went unpunished for foul after foul after foul. This culminated in the dodgy free kick that led to their first goal – our defending was shoddy because our players were still (justifiably) aggrieved by the decision. Our fault for losing focus, but the decision was a bad one by the referee. No on should accuse our players of lacking heart, they clearly were totally shocked by the mystifying refereeing decisions. And Mikel Arteta should not have been on the pitch for the second goal – what ifs and maybes I know, and we lost the game – but I can’t blame our players, in fact I was absolutely amazed at how we owned Everton for much of the game, so if we can play like this AND get a fairer deal from the refs we will win at least 6 of our remaining games. P.S. this was the same ref that allowed Liverpool to kick us out of the game recently wasn’t it? The Mascherano foul on Barry in that game was a straight red yet it wasn’t given, so at least he’s consistent in his bias against City.

  • I was more disappointed sitting there watching last night than I think I have been all season. I thought that, with the exception of a 5 minute spell in the 2nd half when we were attack, attack, attack; we were absolutely appalling! Yes – we had 58% of the ball in the first half, but did nothing with it. With the exception of Tevez, we seem clueless as to what to do with the ball and I’m afraid that even with all the money we have spent, we cannot do what the good teams do – and that is pass the ball to each other and keep it when under pressure. I am very, very disappointed at the moment and actually think that we need another 7 or 8 players to combat this league efficiently. Having said that, with the exception of Tevez and Bellamy, I’m not even sure who the 1 or 2 that I would keep in! SWP is what I can only describe as pathetic at the moment. The lad’s heart seems to have gone – as has his first touch. Ireland? – Nothing to say. Zabba and RSC are just out of their depth. Richards – keeps trying, but I’m afraid the poor lad just hasn’t got it at this level. Toure – goodbye in the summer. De Jong – good, dependable, but cannot go forward! Barry needs a month off I think. Johnson needs more time – will be a good player in a year or so. Kompany – stick with him. Given – hmmmm not sure about this lad anymore – even his shot stopping abiility is on the decline I think and his distribution is getting worse. Just can’t make my mind up about him.
    I was very disappointed with Mancini’s subs last night – it could have been Hughes back on the side line.
    We can still come 4th, but I think it may well take a miracle now!

  • JJ1, what are you talking about!! A miracle, im an everton supporter but honestly you cant give up on ur team that easily, they are 2pts behind spurs with some 7 games left, hardly a miracle, i mean tottenham lose and city win, and there is your miracle.

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