Liverpool (AFP) – Phil Foden struck eight minutes from time as Manchester City escaped with a controversial 1-0 win at relegation-threatened Everton to open up a six-point lead at the top of the Premier League.
City’s first league defeat since October last weekend against Tottenham has reawakened the title race and they looked set to drop points again until Foden pounced to punish an error from Michael Keane.
Everton then had strong claims for a penalty waived away after a VAR review for a handball by Rodri.
Frank Lampard’s men are now just one point above the relegation zone, but there was hope for the Toffees in a battling performance that pushed the champions all the way.
Before kick-off both sets of players showed solidarity with Ukraine as the eastern European nation is under siege from a Russian invasion.
Ukrainian internationals Oleksandr Zinchenko and Vitaliy Mykolenko were named on the bench.
City left-back Zinchenko was moved to tears as his teammates wore tracksuit tops blazoned with the Ukrainian flag and “no war”, while Everton players took the field with Ukrainian flags draped around their shoulders.
Once the action got underway, it was hard to tell which was the side going for a fourth league title in five years and the one battling for survival.
Everton’s energy forced City onto the back foot, but without the injured Dominic Calvert-Lewin, the hosts failed to take advantage.
Jonjoe Kenny sliced their best opening into the side netting before Richarlison blazed too close to Brazilian international teammate Ederson.
City rode out the first-half storm and went on to dominate the second without creating many big chances.
Jordan Pickford made double saves to deny firstly Foden and Joao Cancelo and then powerful efforts form Kevin De Bruyne and Bernardo Silva.
However, their defensive resistence was ended by a basic error as Keane failed to connect with Silva’s low cross and Foden pounced to tap in from point-blank range.
The drama was not over as the ball struck Rodri on the arm as he tried to control a bouncing ball inside his own box.
But after a lengthy VAR review, no penalty was awarded and City held out for a massive three points in the title race.
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