Kolarov and Nasri give Man City third Premier League win at Everton
Aleksandar Kolarov’s strike on the hour, plus a late lob from substitute Samir Nasri, allowed Manchester City to continue their 100 per cent start to the new Premier League season with a 2-0 victory at Everton.
This third successive win and clean sheet from Manuel Pellegrini’s men saw Coral shorten City to regain the title from 11/10 to an odds-on price of 5/6.
Both teams were unchanged from respective 3-0 wins over Southampton and Chelsea, meaning the Toffees continued with a narrow midfield and one striker splitting to provide width.
Tim Howard twice used his legs to deny Sergio Aguero early on, as first Romelu Lukkau lost the ball and the Argentina international got on the end of a Jesus Navas right-wing cross.
David Silva, in the hole for Man City, began to exert his influence, forcing Howard to held a strong strike and the Spaniard later almost teed up Raheem Sterling, but he couldn’t turn the ball in at the back post.
Everton saw chances go begging as Ross Barkley stung the palms of Joe Hart before Lukaku had the ball in the net, but a rightly raised offside flag ruled it out. Seamus Coleman also came close on a foray forward from right back.
Sterling saw his effort turned behind by Howard before Lukaku’s free-kick shaved the bar just before half-time. After the break, City came even closer to breaking the deadlock than their hosts as Silva smashed a close-range effort against the upright.
Kolarov finally breached the home backline when found by a Sterling reverse pass and beat Howard from a tight angle. Navas could have made it 2-0 shortly after on the counter again, but the Toffees stopper stopped the shot with his face.
Man City skipper Vincent Kompany had to clear off the line from Gareth Barry, and two minutes from time Pellegrini’s men sealed victory when Nasri chipped Howard.
As the only Premier League team with a perfect three wins out of three, City’s credentials as firm favourites after a mature and professional performance against a side that have proved troublesome in recent times is entirely justified.