A week is a lifetime in football and ‘dead man walking’ is the phrase every manager fears.
Seven days ago Everton disgraced themselves at Goodison Park losing 3-0 to Wigan in the FA cup while City strolled to victory in the same competition over Barnsley.
Fast forward to Merseyside and a ‘must win’ match for Roberto Mancini as they attempt to chase down their neighbors, Manchester United at the top of the Premiership table, a team that Mancini believes is tiring.
With Mancini knowing that only three points will do, he makes the bold decision to tinker with his line-up and play three at the back. Out goes the dependable Gael Clichy and in comes the more attack minded Aleksandar Kolarov, cue, mayhem.
City is run rampant by Seamus Coleman and completely unable to cope with an Everton team that obviously had a point to prove after their collapse in the FA Cup.
All this despite playing the last thirty minutes with 10 men as Steven Pineaar rightly received a red card for a crude challenge on Javier Garcia. When Nikica Jelavic finished the job in the 93rd minute it was no more than the Toffees deserved however this is more about Mancini than Everton.
City’s title challenge is officially over. There is no way they can catch United. It would take a collapse of epic proportions for the Red Devils to throw this away now, which means that the Italian is now officially ‘dead man walking.’
Even if he somehow raises his team to win the FA Cup and that is no sure certainty, Mancini will be fired at the end of May.