Gabriel Jesus Scores Twice as Manchester City Beat Everton 2-1 in Premier League

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistJanuary 1, 2020

Manchester City's Brazilian striker Gabriel Jesus celebrates after scoring their second goal of the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Everton at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England, on January 1, 2020. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. /  (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)
OLI SCARFF/Getty Images

Manchester City closed the gap on Premier League leaders Liverpool to 11 points after beating Everton 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday. Two goals from Gabriel Jesus proved enough for City, despite Richarlison getting one back for the Toffees.  

The result means the Citizens stay third and one point adrift of Leicester City. Meanwhile, Liverpool can restore their 14-point lead over last season's champions if the Reds beat Sheffield United at Anfield on Thursday.

VAR dominated the key exchanges during the first half, being called into action after Phil Foden thought he'd opened the scoring in the 13th minute. The City teenager tapped in from a Joao Cancelo cross to cap a slick move, only for the review system to deem Riyad Mahrez offside in the buildup:

Stuart Brennan @StuBrennanMEN

Again, it was the correct decision, but again it sucks out the spontaneity which is such a big part of the game. #MCFC

Mahrez was again at the centre of things when he was brought down in the area by Everton left-back Lucas Digne six minutes later. The offside flag had stopped play, but replays showed the winger was onside before the foul occurred.

VAR checked both incidents, and ultimately no penalty was awarded. To add to the confusion, the visitors were awarded a free-kick, despite Mahrez being deemed onside.

Stuart Brennan @StuBrennanMEN

What an utter shambles. Offside was given, but because that was the wrong call, a penalty check was made - Digne appeared to tug at Mahrez's arm and the #MCFC player went down. An we ended up with a free kick for the wrong offside. Absolute nonsense.

Still, the hosts were still firmly in control of play. Everton's best threat came from wide areas, with raiding right-back Seamus Coleman denied when trying to lob stand-in City goalkeeper Claudio Bravo.

The Toffees' best chance came moments before the break when Yerry Mina headed wide from a corner. It would prove a costly miss because Jesus gave the Citizens their first lead six minutes after the restart with a classy finish after being played in by Ilkay Gundogan:

Football on BT Sport @btsportfootball

A beautiful Gabriel Jesus finish! The ball from İlkay Gündoğan in the build-up might just pip it though 😍 A superb Manchester City goal 👏 #BTAllDayer https://t.co/27xFCsAHms

NBC Sports Soccer @NBCSportsSoccer

Wonderful turn and finish from Gabriel Jesus! https://t.co/vvR2iDKSld

Jesus doubled his tally two minutes before the hour mark when he capped a delightful exchange of passes with a low, driven finish beyond Jordan Pickford:

NBC Sports Soccer @NBCSportsSoccer

Powerful, first time, left-footed shot from Gabriel Jesus! https://t.co/CXgwLGlLpk

The result should have been safe, but reckless play at the back let Everton back in. It was Bravo who made the mistake, gifting the ball to Moise Kean on the edge of the area.

The forward bundled the ball to fellow substitute Theo Walcott, who flashed a shot across the box. His effort deflected off Benjamin Mendy, allowing Richarlison to convert from close range.

City were reeling, and Kean went close when his spectacular scissor kick to meet a Djibril Sidibe cross flashed wide. At the other end, Foden raced clear and thought he'd won a penalty, but nothing was given after Sidibe's challenge, while Jesus crashed a shot off the post after being teed up by Mahrez.

Jesus drew a decent stop from Pickford before Foden made way for a returning David Silva, with City keen to keep the ball better. Ultimately, the home side did enough to just about get over the line after producing some spectacular football in patches.

Meanwhile, Everton showed decent resolve in a tough fixture, offering hope that new manager Carlo Ancelotti will make a quick recovery from his first setback in charge.


What's Next?

City host League Two side Port Vale in FA Cup action on Saturday, while Everton travel to Anfield for a Merseyside derby in that competition on Sunday.