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Fernandinho an 8/10 as Man City beat Everton to go top of the table

LIVERPOOL, England -- Manchester City moved back to the top of the Premier League with a nervy 2-0 victory over Everton at Goodison Park. Aymeric Laporte got the opener on the stroke of half-time when he powered in David Silva's free kick before Gabriel Jesus added a second deep in injury time.

Positives


Pep Guardiola wants to lead from the front, and he will be delighted to have edged back to the top for the first time in two months. Though Liverpool have a game in hand, being second in the table cranks up more pressure on Jurgen Klopp's side after their back-to-back draws. But this will also offer a huge confidence boost for City, who looked a long way off the pace just seven days ago when they lost to Newcastle United.


Negatives

Guardiola warned that the title race could come down to goal difference, and he will be slightly frustrated by Man City's lack of ruthlessness. Laporte and Ilkay Gündogan both missed good opportunities before the opening goal, and Man City should have extended their lead in the second half.

Manager rating out of 10

7 -- The City boss had obviously done his homework over the home side's inability to defend from dead-ball situations in recent weeks, as Laporte's opener came from Silva's delightful free kick. It was the decisive moment of the match against Everton's stubborn defence.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Ederson, 6 -- A quiet evening with only sporadic attacks from the home side but one key interception in the last 10 minutes.


DF Kyle Walker, 5 -- Had a few problems from winger Bernard, including losing a back-post header to the tiny Brazilian.


DF John Stones, 7 -- Stepped into a hybrid holding position as he tried to provide an extra man in midfield against a dogged home side.

DF Nicolas Otamendi, 6 -- Short of composure on the ball and lost a couple of aerial challenges to Dominic Calvert-Lewin, but dug deep to keep a clean sheet.


DF Aymeric Laporte, 6 -- Back at left-back and didn't look overly comfortable with or without the ball, but got the crucial breakthrough.


MF Fernandinho, 8 -- Pushed further forward into midfield and largely controlled the game.

MF David Silva, 7 -- Dovetailed expertly with Leroy Sane as City caused problems down the left-hand side.


MF Ilkay Gundogan, 7 -- Unlucky not to score with a close-range shot onto the bar as he got into good positions.


FW Bernardo Silva, 7 -- Lively as ever and came more into the game on the right wing as it went on.


FW Sergio Agüero, 6 -- Worked hard and was narrowly off target with an overhead kick.


FW Leroy Sané, 7 -- City's biggest attacking threat in the first half by holding his position out wide, but caught offside too many times.


Substitutes

FW Raheem Sterling, 6 -- A big threat as the game became stretched but couldn't find a second goal.

FW Gabriel Jesus, N/R -- Bundled in the second goal to kill off the game.

MF Kevin De Bruyne, N/R -- Very late change to run down the clock.