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Manchester City beat Everton 2-0 to reach FA Cup semi-finals

todayMarch 21, 2021 1

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Manchester City kept their quadruple hopes alive with a nervy 2-0 victory over Everton on Saturday evening, progressing to the FA Cup semi-finals.

The first half passed without real incident, as both teams cancelled each other out. Richarlison flashed an overhead kick over the bar, and Raheem Sterling wasted a good chance from a free-kick on the edge of the box, as the two teams headed into the half-time break all square.

Sterling had the best chance of the opening hour, side-footing an effort towards the far corner, but Joao Virginia did superbly to get down and tip the ball around the post to keep Everton level.

The game looked destined to be heading for extra-time, until Aymeric Laporte’s shot was tipped onto the crossbar, and Ilkay Gundogan was on hand to diving header the rebound home. And substitute Kevin de Bruyne wrapped up the victory, firing beyond Virginia to send Man City into the semi-finals of the FA Cup.

Right, let’s get on with the player ratings.

Joao Virginia
Virginia between the sticks once again | Pool/Getty Images

Joao Virginia (GK) – 7/10 – Nothing to do of note in the first half, but looked assured in his handling. Unbelievable save to tip Sterling’s effort around the post. Produced another superb stop to flick Laporte’s shot onto the crossbar, but couldn’t prevent the rebound.

Mason Holgate (CB) – 6/10 – Solid first half, keeping an eye on all three of Man City’s forwards as they rotated in search of some space and joy. Beaten at the last by the brilliance of De Bruyne.

Yerry Mina (CB) – 6/10 –
Stuck his body on the line a couple of times to block crosses. Almost broke the deadlock but saw his header cleared off the line. Put in a great tackle to deny Sterling in the second half. Dispossessed for the second goal.

Ben Godfrey (CB) – 7/10 – Showed great pace and awareness throughout. The best of the backline.

Lying down on the job | Pool/Getty Images

Seamus Coleman (RWB) – 7/10 – Not easy for a veteran to have to mark Foden and Sterling, but Coleman showed all his experience, keeping his opponents quiet…for the most part.

Andre Gomes (CM) – 6/10 – Intelligent in possession, using his quick feet to dart out of tight spots and set his teammates free. Flashed a shot over the bar from 18 yards. Ran a lot, but lacked quality in the final third.

Allan (CM) – 7/10 – Laid a nasty tackle on Gundogan’s ankle, and picked up a yellow card for his tardiness. The only Everton player to complete more than 10 passes in the first half.

Gylfi Sigurdsson (CM) – 6/10 – Appeared painfully slow and sluggish when running with the ball, killing the speed of Everton’s counter-attacks. Picked out the odd nice pass, but a bit of a passenger.

Lucas Digne (LWB) – 7/10 – Endured a couple of early scares against Foden, but recovered well to get the better of his man. Drove down that left flank to try and whip some crosses into the box.

Richarlison, Aymeric Laporte
Scrapping away | Pool/Getty Images

Dominic Calvert-Lewin (ST) – 6/10 – His combative and direct style caused Dias and Laporte some problems, forcing the defenders into fouling him in dangerous areas. Couldn’t get his team over the line.

Richarlison (ST) – 7/10 – Attempted a naughty overhead-kick, but his moment of genius flashed just over the crossbar. Still got an ‘ooo’ from me, though. Caused issues for the backline, but not enough, as it turned out.

Alex Iwobi
The sub | Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Alex Iwobi (RWB) – N/A

Pep Guardiola, Kyle Walker
Kyle Walker had a good game | Pool/Getty Images

Zack Steffen (GK) – 6/10 – Not as commanding of his penalty area as Ederson, twice rushing to a ball which was not his to claim. Escaped embarrassment when Dias salvaged his hashed clearance.

Kyle Walker (RB) – 7/10 –
Put his teammates under pressure with a terrible loose ball in the first half, but luckily his colleagues dug him out of that hole. Occupied that right-back/centre midfielder role which Guardiola has invented. Not as effective as Joao Cancelo, though, it must be said.

Aymeric Laporte (CB) – 8/10 – Nice and composed at the back, but up against it with the guile of Richarlison to nullify. Took the shot which led to Gundogan’s crucial goal. Not sure what he was doing up there, but nice one, Aymeric.

Ruben Dias (CB) – 7/10 – Spared Steffen’s blushes, beating Calvert-Lewin to a loose ball and an open goal. Same old, same old from the Portuguese defender.

Oleksandr Zinchenko (LB) – 7/10 – Right place at the right time to head Mina’s effort off the line for the Cityzens. Otherwise solid and a threat going forward.

Silva in full flight | PAUL ELLIS/Getty Images

Bernardo Silva (CM) – 6/10 – Darted about, moving wide and buzzing around the pitch. Cut inside onto that left foot a couple of times, but misplaced the final pass. The first player subbed on the night.

Fernandinho (CM) – 8/10 – Got away with a very stray elbow into the face of Richarlison. Helped Michael Oliver reattach his walkie talkie to his arm – a captain to everyone. Produced a great run to set up Sterling.

Ilkay Gundogan (CM) – 7/10 – Drifted to that left flank, looking to puncture space and catch Everton’s backline cold. Took a big whack from Allan in the first half. The match-winner in the end, diving to head the rebound into the net. Clutch, as always.

Phil Foden, Lucas Digne
Catch me if you can | Pool/Getty Images

Phil Foden (RW) – 7/10 – Gave Digne a hard time, dancing beyond the wing-back with ease on a couple of occasions early on. Missed the far post by a whisker with a curling drive from the edge of the box.

Gabriel Jesus (ST) – 6/10 – Offered little in the first half, floating to the left wing in search of possession. Anonymous throughout.

Raheem Sterling (LW) – 6/10 – Fizzed an early strike at goal, but Virginia was up to the task. Wasted a dangerous free-kick, blazing over. Denied from opening the scoring by a brilliant Virginia save.

Riyad Mahrez (RW) – 7/10

Kevin de Bruyne (CM) – 8/10

Rodri (CM) – N/A

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