Three Key Takeaways: Everton Thump Manchester City 4-0

"Raheem Sterling battling with Everton's Seamus Coleman in last week's 2-0 win at Goodison Park". (Credit to Manchester City Facebook Page).
"Raheem Sterling battling with Everton's Seamus Coleman in last week's 2-0 win at Goodison Park". (Credit to Manchester City Facebook Page). /

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After jumping back into Barclays Premier League action on Sunday, Manchester City were shredded by Everton 4-0 at Goodison Park. 

Pep Guardiola‘s side looked to build on last weekend’s F.A. Cup success at West Ham but failed to get much going at Everton. Everton, were looking to keep their strong home league form going.

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Raheem Sterling had a penalty shout denied by referee Mark Clattenburg after he was tripped by Toffees keeper Joel Robles. Romelu Lukaku slotted home the opening goal for Ronald Koeman‘s side in the 34th minute to make it 1-0. Kevin Mirallas was credited with the assist.

After the halftime break, Everton made it 2-0 quickly into the second stanza as Mirallas rifled home to the bottom left corner. Youngster Tom Davies chipped home a third in the 79th minute before new signing Ademola Lookman rifled home on his debut in stoppage time.

At the final whistle, Manchester City were soundly defeated by a much more energetic Everton side. It was also the worst defeat for Pep Guardiola in his managerial career.

Even with 71% possession, City couldn’t break down Everton’s back-line or get past Robles, who made five saves in the clean sheet. Claudio Bravo failed to make a single save in-goal, and allowed two efforts to go by pretty easily.

Following the disappointing defeat away from home, here are my three key takeaways from the match.

1.) Pep needs to accept that possession isn’t everything. 
When Pep Guardiola joined Manchester City, plenty of fans and media alike knew that possession would be a main strength under the new boss. Today’s defeat shows that possession isn’t everything, and offensively Manchester City aren’t playing to their potential. Completing over 400 more passes than Everton isn’t surprising, but the fact is Manchester City’s attackers failed to score. They need their dominant edge back, especially on offense. The players need to take chances more and stop trying to create the “perfect goal”. In the Barclays Premier League, you can have 80%/90% possession, but that doesn’t guarantee you consistent success.

2.) Sloppy Defending continuing to be an issue.
Playing out of the back is expected under Guardiola, but Manchester City need to be better on the ball. John Stones made a few errors today, one leading to Lookman’s goal. Guardiola may need to change his tactics, especially if they are leading to simple mistakes in the back-line. The difference between Manchester City to the top-four is simple, they are allowing too many goals at the back. Guardiola’s side need to focus more on conceding fewer goals, than scoring more than one goal. A couple 1-0’s may not look pretty, but it would do the team better if they want to remain in the top-four race for Europe.

3.) Supporting Cast next to Aguero need to produce. 
When you have Sergio Aguero scoring goals at will, it is always a good thing. When the Argentine isn’t scoring than you need goals from other players. Today was another chapter of Manchester City’s failure to find goals against an average opposing defense. Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva, Raheem Sterling, and Yaya Toure all have the ability to score and need to produce more for the team to be successful. If they continue to not take chances for the team, then Man City will continue to be one-dimensional and probably fall out of European contention. Everyone needs to contribute for the team, and if they cannot then under players will get time to prove themselves.

Next: Should Manchester City move in for Dimitri Payet?

After today’s defeat, Manchester City need to prepare and prepare quickly. They welcome high-flying Tottenham Hotspur to the Etihad next Saturday. Based on the form of both sides, Tottenham will be a very tough test to break down. If Pep fails to earn a positive result next weekend, then Manchester City’s title hopes will be fading even faster.