Manchester City did not have things completely their own way against Everton, so in emerging with the win the champions illustrated why they remained title favourites despite losing top spot last Saturday. They also leapfrogged Liverpool to become leaders again, at the very least until Manchester United visit Anfield on Sunday.
Everton arrived as the only side not to lose here in the two league outings since Pep Guardiola took over and left with that record shredded. City achieved this by retaining the relentlessness that steamrollers most opponents and that finally wore down their visitors’ resistance.
This was among City’s more impressive displays this season following the defeat at Chelsea and the 2-1 victory over Hoffenheim in midweek that meant they won their Champions League group but had only two days to prepare.
City were again without Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Agüero in their starting lineup, though both were back in the match-day squad after injury and the former made a 15-minute appearance as a second-half substitute.
Guardiola said: “It was a tricky game, a dangerous game after the CL with less than three days’ recovery. It was something in our minds that we were going to suffer in this game.”