Everton 1 -3 Manchester City: Riyad Mahrez stunner saves champions

Liverpool's lead atop the Premier League is five points once more after champions Manchester City won 3-1 at Everton on Saturday.

Riyad Mahrez's free-kick and Raheem Sterling's late strike earned Manchester City a hard-fought 3-1 Premier League win at Everton.

Liverpool's 1-0 victory at Sheffield United earlier in the day extended their 100 per cent start to the season and moved the Reds eight points clear of City at the top of the table.

After Dominic Calvert-Lewin's fourth goal in three matches drew Marco Silva's men level following Gabriel Jesus' opener, it looked like City would follow their last away game, a 3-2 loss at Norwich City, with another disappointing result on the road.

But Mahrez, who has scored in three consecutive City starts, beat Jordan Pickford with a low curling free-kick and Sterling added gloss to bring the champions back to five points adrift of Jurgen Klopp's leaders.

Mahrez forced a first-minute save from Pickford before a long delay as medics tended to a Theo Walcott head injury, the winger taken to hospital for a precautionary assessment after being replaced by Alex Iwobi.

Algeria star Mahrez made a lively start and Ilkay Gundogan should have converted his excellent cross, the midfielder somehow crashing his shot against the crossbar from virtually on the line.

City's dominance told in the 24th minute, Kevin De Bruyne delivering a first-time cross that was impossible to defend, with Jesus - preferred to Sergio Aguero up front - stooping to nod home.

Everton levelled within 10 minutes, Fernandinho's error contributing as Seamus Coleman chipped Ederson, with Calvert-Lewin stealing the goal on the line.

De Bruyne hit a shot into the side-netting after the restart while Ederson made a fine save to keep out Yerry Mina's downward header.

Mahrez's rich vein of form crucially continued with a set-piece that beat an unsighted Pickford, then two missed chances from Calvert-Lewin proved costly as Sterling marked his 200th City appearance by scoring off the underside of the crossbar with six minutes to go.

Defensive deficiencies exposed again

Everton did not cause City as many problems as Norwich two weeks ago, but the champions' defence appeared permeable once more.

Deputising for the injured Aymeric Laporte and John Stones, Fernandinho gave the ball away in the build-up to Calvert-Lewin's leveller. Luckily for the Brazil international, Mahrez's moment of magic settled the game.

Sterling sitter marks rare off day

With 10 goals for club and country this season, Sterling has hit top form with Guardiola suggesting he could match the level of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in the future.

But despite his late clincher bringing up a century of club goals this was a strangely off-key performance from the England star, who made a series of poor decisions and missed an easy chance after being superbly set up by Mahrez.



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