During the warm up, Everton’s Ukrainian international Vitali Mykolenko and his countryman City’s Oleksandr Zinchenko had embraced in the centre circle to rousing applause. The two clubs’ solidarity with their players was demonstrated when Everton emerged wearing Ukraine flags, City donning supportive t-shirts. On the bench, Zinchenko was in tears at the display for his home land. As the game began, however, geopolitics was put aside. That Everton had started the game just a point above the drop zone was concentrating local minds.
Not least because Var over-ruled what looked a cast-iron penalty, and with it robbed Everton of a chance to equalise. “It was an incredible decision, ” fumed the Everton manager Frank Lampard. “It wouldn’t need more than five seconds to see that was a penalty. We lost because a professional couldn’t do his job right.
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City’s top brass will be all too aware that their most important decision since 2016 will eventually have to be made. Guardiola told a Brazilian expo event at the start of the season that he would take a break from football when his contract expires next season, although he then rowed back and said he could stay for a lot longer. Guardiola has also publicly talked about ambitions to coach an international team, although insisted he could not “betray” City by suddenly quitting, with the decision to be taken with the club.
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Bernardo Silva dropped into midfield in the second half, with Phil Foden moving to the False Nine position and getting the winner. It sparked wild celebrations as City walked past the away fans next to their dressing room. At half-time, City’s director of football Txiki Begiristain walked down from the directors’ box to his seat alongside CEO Ferran Soriano. They have been here before, with games in the balance but Guardiola finding a way to win. Even in their defeat to Tottenham the previous week, City had fought back and were only defeated by Harry Kane’s performance of the season.
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The eventual succession plan will be carefully considered, rather than thrown together in a panic. His own arrival, after all, came with a long run-up as he was put in place while Manuel Pellegrini was still in the job. Five years and 240 days later and Guardiola is in control of City’s destiny as they look for a sixth Premier League title. Foden’s winner, taking advantage of Michael Keane’s slip, means their destiny is in their hands.
"We always knew Liverpool would be there. We are going to have to try to take maximum points now because they can definitely go on big runs like us until the end of the season. " Frank Lampard will escape FA action into his comments after Everton were denied a late penalty against Manchester City on Saturday.
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“Of course (we celebrated), because the players have shown this in five years every single game, ” said Guardiola. “We played quite similarly against Tottenham and when we drop points the players are fantastic to come here and still have the joy to win and enjoy the moment in the locker room for Aleks, for all of us. ” Before Foden’s winner, it looked like City would open the door to Liverpool getting within a point of them at the top, given they have a game in hand. Foden now expects the title race to go deep into the season. "We knew it before the season that if we were going to get in this position that we would never win by a lot of points, " he said.
Incompetence at best. At worst, who knows. ” Not, it will come as no surprise, that Guardiola was complaining: City have the points to keep Liverpool at a distance. "It is six points but one game more, ” said the City manager of the difference at the top of the table. “Eleven games to finish the Premier League, we have to win all the games. Today we performed who we are. " Ahead of kick-off, the state of the table was not the issue. Not with war on the horizon.
The governing body’s rules state criticism of officials is allowed “unless they imply bias; attack their integrity; are personally offensive; prolonged; or particularly unreasonable. ” Foden restores City's six-point lead as Everton fume over Var penalty call By Jim White at Goodison Park Everton protest Var decision not to award penalty for Rodri 'handball' Foden nips in to punish Keane's error as City move six points clear of Liverpool Hosts fall to 17th and remain mired in relegation battle Manchester City eased towards retaining their title with victory at Goodison Park. Against an Everton side battling to the very last, it was not as convincing as so many of Pep Guardiola’s side’s wins this season. Indeed many an Everton fan heading home after the final whistle would have been tempted to alert their nearest policeman, convinced they had just witnessed a floodlight robbery.
Life after Pep Guardiola looms large for Manchester City as Phil Foden scores late winner against EvertonThe inevitability of Manchester City getting their winner brought into question how on earth a manager like Pep Guardiola can ever be replaced. The Spaniard’s subtle tweaking of tactics, his patience and trust in his players meant the goal would eventually come. With one full season left on his contract and mixed messages over his next move, the Impossible Job will be following Guardiola. Should he leave in 2023 it will be exactly a decade after Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement, with Manchester United still searching for a coherent succession plan. One option City should look at is the next man - the chosen one - sitting next to Guardiola for a season before taking the hardest job in football: following one of the greatest managers of the Premier League era.
It was immediately evident that fear of becoming the first representatives of the club to be relegated from the Premier League had sparked Lampard’s side. After their wretched surrender at Southampton, this was a side who started as if they had finally appreciated their predicament. From the moment the whistle went, they were snapping at their visitors’ heels. How the crowd loved it.
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