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Manchester City beat Everton to march 10 points clear

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Everton’s Brazilian striker Richarlison (L) vies with Manchester City’s English defender Kyle Walker during the English Premier League football match between Everton and Manchester City. AFP

London, United Kingdom (AFP) – Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti said he expects Manchester City to cruise to the Premier League title after Pep Guardiola’s men opened up a 10-point lead at the top of the table with a 3-1 win at Goodison Park on Wednesday.

Riyad Mahrez scored the pick of the goals in between Phil Foden and Bernardo Silva’s strikes as City extended their English top-flight record winning run to 17 games.

“It is really difficult to say another name in this moment,” said Ancelotti when asked if his side had just been beaten by the champions.

“They are in a good form, they have belief and they are strong. We tried to be physical but it is difficult against Rodrigo, (Ruben) Dias and (Aymeric) Laporte.”

Richarlison’s first-half equaliser was little consolation for seventh-placed Everton, who have now won just one of their last six league games to fall five points behind in the battle for a top-four finish.

“We don’t need to have regrets tonight,” added Ancelotti as he looked forward to Saturday’s Merseyside derby against Liverpool.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity. We know how important this game is for our supporters.”

This fixture was rearranged from late December due to a coronavirus outbreak affecting multiple players at City that threatened to derail their title challenge.

Guardiola’s side were eighth in the table at the time, but have not dropped a point in their 10 league games since to streak clear of the chasing pack.

The visitors were without the in-form Ilkay Gundogan due to a groin injury, while Kevin De Bruyne was fit to return from a hamstring problem but only for a late cameo appearance off the bench.

Sergio Aguero was also among the substitutes, but Gabriel Jesus has failed to make the most of his chance to shine in the absence of the Argentine for most of the season and the Brazilian had another off night in front of goal as he blazed over an early chance.

When the deadlock was broken there was a hint of fortune to it as Foden’s shot deflected off Seamus Coleman to leave the helpless Jordan Pickford wrong-footed.

Ancelotti’s men had shown no attacking intent until conceding, but were immediately rewarded for pushing forward after falling behind as Lucas Digne’s shot came back off the post and ricocheted in off Richarlison.

A moment of the highest quality saw City restore their lead just after the hour mark.

 

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