Lukaku earns Everton Capital One Cup first leg win over Man City
Lee Gormley | January 6, 2016
Everton 2-1 Manchester City
- John Stones has first-half goal ruled out for offside
- Romelu Lukaku did too only moments later
- Ramiro Funes Mori scored opener before the break
- Substitute Jesus Navas equalised in second-half
- Lukaku then tucked in winner only two minutes later
Everton earn first leg win in thriller
Roberto Martinez’s Everton gained the advantage in their Capital One Cup first leg encounter with Manchester City, as Romelu Lukaku netted a late header to earn an impressive 2-1 victory at Goodison Park.
The in-form Belgium international’s goal came after second-half substitute Jesus Navas had equalised on 76 minutes played on Merseyside, with home defender Ramiro Funes Mori having opened the scoring in the first-half.
Both sides will take to the Etihad for the second leg in a fortnight but it’s Everton who hold a slender advantage after an emphatic performance on home soil, on a night they also had two strikes ruled out for offside.
City make promising start
The visitors began brightly as record signing Kevin De Bruyne saw plenty of the ball, with the home rear guard being pressurised straight from the off from his and skipper Yaya Toure’s swift attacking movement.
Sergio Aguero’s inclusion was a clear indication that City were taking this competition seriously as they still battle on all possible fronts this season, and the Argentine was looking instantly sharp as he got caught offside after eight minutes. The menacing marksman squirmed free of John Stones and Mori to latch onto Nicolas Otamendi’s lofted pass, with his run being mistimed but a warning to Everton.
Martinez was given an early scare as England international playmaker Ross Barkley had to exit the pitch momentarily following a seemingly harmless tackle from Brazilian midfielder Fernandinho, though he was able to return shortly afterwards.
Stones goal disallowed as Everton improve
The Toffees were in constant search of bulldozing Belgian frontman Lukaku, but were first finding Gerard Deulofeu, Muhamed Besic and constant threat Seamus Coleman on the wings to whip in dangerous crosses, though quality deliveries were so far lacking.
Toure went on a trademark surging run forward with almost half an hour contested at Goodison, but the towering African was impressively dispossessed by a perfectly-timed challenge from close-marker Besic to send Everton on the counter attack.
Despite having earlier looked likely of coming off injured, Barkley’s influence on proceedings was growing positively, with the England starlet gathering possession in little pockets of space and his movement eventually created a goal. After he was hacked down in the middle, the subsequent free-kick was headed down by Gareth Barry for an approaching Stones who dispatched from close-range, but the creator and former City midfielder was rightly adjudged offside.
Third time lucky for Toffees
Everton saw another goal ruled out by the linesman before half-time, this time Lukaku was the culprit, but Argentine defender Mori made it third time lucky as he pounced instinctively to capitalise on an unconvincing Willy Caballero save.
Martinez’s men came out for the second period full of confidence from their deserved lead, and rightly so, having won their previous 17 games after going ahead. Manuel Pellegrini had never lost to Everton as City boss before this clash and he sent Martin Demichelis on for Eliaquim Mangala, who had struggled to deal with the power and direct approach of tormentor Lukaku.
David Silva had so far been unable to make an impact on proceedings and was switched to a central position behind Aguero, as makeshift winger Fabian Delph made way for pacey attacker Navas, though Everton still dominated.
Otamendi had enjoyed a solid night in City’s defence thus far but a lapse in concentration almost led to Barkley doubling the hosts’ advantage, though Caballero was equal to the task and strongly denied him one-on-one.
Thrilling finish on Merseyside
City were in the process of defending a corner and trying to hold off immense Toffees pressure before their equaliser from a superb counter attack, as Aguero controlled a Fernandinho clearance and perfectly teed-up substitute Navas to finish.
Although, the travelling fans’ were swiftly silenced as Lukaku immediately headed in a pinpoint Barry cross form wide left for his 19th goal of an impressive campaign, securing an outstanding first leg triumph on Merseyside.
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