Gabriel Jesus scored two goals as Manchester City firmed up its Top Four footing with a 2-1 win over Everton at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday.
City now has 44 points, eight more than fourth-place Chelsea and 11 fewer than leaders Liverpool who have two matches-in-hand.
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Richarlison scored the lone Everton goal. The Toffees stall in 10th with 25 points.
Three things we learned
1. It pays to be a City center forward: Gabriel Jesus’ two goals were fine finishes. The 22-year-old Brazilian potted his 12th and 13th goals of the season in all competitions to go with six assists in 1600 minutes. Sergio Aguero was rested, having scored 14 times in just under 1200 minutes.
Entering play Wednesday, Jesus and Aguero ranked first and second in expected goals per 90 minutes of Premier League play at .91 and .88. No player with more than 300 minutes has more than .70 per game.
It’s also worth noting that xG said Jesus has actually cashed in 3 fewer chances than expected. It’s not crazy to think he may be handed the wheel next season.
2. Bravo follows the story line to keep Everton in it: The gap between Ederson and Claudio Bravo is a significant one, and the Brazilian’s illness had the Chilean back in gaffe mode. City led 2-0 when Bravo badly mishit a pass that ended up in the back of his net within a half-dozen seconds.
🤦♂️ I honestly was thinking when Claudio Bravo just pulled off that Cruyff turn to huge cheers that he would then try something silly and Everton would probably score from it. Yep, bang on, he gives it right away and Richarlison makes it 2-1.
— Joe Prince-Wright (@JPW_NBCSports) January 1, 2020
3. Calvert-Lewin lucky to stay on: In-form Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin couldn’t keep up his goal scorring run on Wednesday, but is very fortunate to have not been sent off for an 86th minute scissor tackle of Fernandinho on the end line. A yellow card was shown, but it could’ve been much worse for the center forward.
Man of the Match: Easy one, this time, as Gabriel Jesus was wonderful and the difference. Fernandinho also very decent in the win.
VAR denied Riyad Mahrez a penalty shout, and the Algerian saw another chance go for naught in the 45th.
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The Brazilian potted a Mahrez pass in the 58th minute to make it 2-0.
City clawed one back off a poor Claudio Bravo clearance, as Richarlison raced to the back post to deposit a deflected Theo Walcott shot.
Pickford denied Jesus a hat trick in the 73rd minute as the Brazilian didn’t get enough on a back post header.Follow @NicholasMendola