Manchester City avoided giving Liverpool further encouragement in the Premier League title race as Phil Foden’s late winner rescued a 1-0 victory at Goodison Park.
Pep Guardiola’s were seemingly struggling to bounce back from their 3-2 home defeat by Tottenham last weekend, but Foden struck eight minutes from time to time to ensure the champions went six points clear again.
Everton were more dangerous in the first half but could not make the most of their opportunities.
City were initially having similar struggles until Foden pounced on Michael Keane’s defensive error, and the visitors somehow escaped a late penalty concession when Rodri was not penalised for handball in the area.
Pre-match focus at Goodison Park centred on tributes to Ukraine amid Russia’s ongoing invasion, with the public’s reaction all the more poignant in the presence of Ukraine internationals Oleksandr Zinchenko and Vitaliy Mykolenko.
The contest itself took a little while to capture the imagination, but it was Everton who first went close, with Jonjoe Kenny slamming into the side-netting.
Richarlison should have done better with a close-range snapshot shortly after, hammering it straight at Ederson, who then watched Anthony Gordon’s 25-yard free-kick fly agonisingly over on the stroke of half-time.
City livened up at the other end in the second half as Foden, Joao Cancelo, Kevin De Bruyne and Bernardo Silva all tested Jordan Pickford in a short period.
But he was helpless as Foden capitalised on Keane’s inability to cut out a deflected pass to break the deadlock.
Everton might have been given the chance to level from the spot, but neither referee Paul Tierney nor the VAR felt the need to punish Rodri for handling in City’s box.