Late goals from Ilkay Gundogan and Kevin de Bruyne broke Everton’s opposition as Manchester City kept their quest for the quadruple on track, reaching the FA Cup semi-finals for the third straight year.
A hard-fought quarter-final looked like extra time as Carlo Ancelotti’s side defended vigorously and narrowed in the first half when Yerry Mina’s header was cleared off the line.
Despite dominating possession at Goodison Park, City struggled in front of goal for most of the game. Raheem Sterling’s badly hit shot was tipped off the post by Everton’s goalkeeper Joao Virginia, the third-choice goalkeeper.
After replacing Riyad Mahrez and De Bruyne, Pep Guardiola finally broke against Everton’s well-marshaled defense when Gudogan hit the crossbar six minutes from the end of Aymeric Laporte’s shot.
De Bruyne then shot with a crisp shot to ensure progress in the 90th minute, meaning City have won 25 of their last 26 games in all competitions.
For Everton, who still threatened despite few balls, it was a great attempt to stop the city juggernaut.
Despite missing a first FA Cup semi-final since 2016, they will now focus on their league campaign to get to Europe next season.
Man City’s strength in depth makes all the difference
The city’s pursuit of an unprecedented quadruple has looked seamless at times this season, and the late substitutions have shown the armory they can fall back on.
After going through the previous stages of the FA Cup with three goals each in the last three rounds, Guardiola found it difficult to break a determined Everton defense that Michael Keane missed and Virginia only started in goal for the second time due to injuries Jordan Pickford and Robin Olsen.
Phil Foden seemed most likely to have a breakthrough while fighting with Lucas Digne on the right wing, and may have been too honest if he stayed on his feet when tackling Mason Holgate in the first half. A brilliant shot and a shot by the winger were just inches from the post after 65 minutes.
City, who made six changes to the team Borussia Mochengladach defeated to reach the Champions League, hadn’t disrupted Everton for much of the game despite dominating possession.
Guardiola was able to get Mahrez and De Bruyne to change the game.
De Bruyne was involved in Gundogan’s opener when he shot into the box before Laporte let go. The German midfielder nodded on his 16th goal in a brilliant season.
After Everton chased an equalizer, the game opened so De Bruyne could make City’s progress safe.
A third consecutive FA Cup semi-final for the first time since 1934 is a good feat, but Guardiola’s team won’t be happy if they don’t end their campaign with cutlery.
Given they are 14 points clear at the top of the Premier League and face Tottenham in the League Cup final next month, a triple domestic is now one step closer.
Everton plan almost successful
Everton’s pathetic home form in the league meant five losses in their last seven games, but was compounded by FA Cup wins including a thrilling 5-4 win over Tottenham in the fifth round.
This was a more tactical fight, with the hosts picking three center-backs and trying to beat a dominant Manchester City during break or through set pieces.
It’s a formula that has worked for Ancelotti’s side this season. After a deep and patient defense, their best chance came in the first half when Minle’s header from a corner was cleared off the line by Oleksandr Zinchenko just before the break.
In the surprising absence of unused substitute Keane, the Colombian was colossal on defense, putting Holgate and Ben Godfrey on either side as well as Allan, who was also impressive ahead of defense.
Given the threat of set pieces, it was the kind of performance that could bring success, or at least lead the game into overtime. The ball fell from two centers on Richarlison, who shot wide with good placement, while Andre Gomes shot a clean shot over the crossbar from outside the box.
As Everton grew tired, the difference in the banks between the respective teams was evident when Mahrez and De Bruyne were introduced to pave the way for City.
With Ancelotti’s team seventh in the Premier League, their quest for Europe will motivate a team that has lost a seventh home game in 12 across all competitions.
However, Everton’s wait for the first cup win since 1995 continues.
Everton’s loss to Man City continues – the stats
- Everton have lost their last seven games with Manchester City in all competitions, the longest defeat to an opponent in a run of nine against Manchester United between 1999 and 2004.
- Everton have lost five of their last six FA Cup games against other Premier League opponents.
- Everton’s 26% possession of the ball was the lowest in a single game in any competition since March 2018, when they registered 18% against Manchester City in a Premier League game.
- Ilkay Gundogan has scored 16 goals in all competitions this season, at least three more than any other player in Manchester City. He has scored for the first time in three consecutive games for the citizens.
- Kevin de Bruyne has been involved in nine goals, scored four goals and assisted five in his last eight FA Cup games.
After the international break, Everton returns to the Premier League on Monday April 5 at home at the Crystal Palace (6:00 PM BST). Manchester City travels to Leicester City on Saturday 3rd April (5:30 pm).
10G Sigurdsson6thAllan21André Gomes
- 31Neves Virginia
- 4thHolgateReplaced byIwobiat the 87 ‘protocol
- 10G Sigurdsson
- 6thAllanBooked at 23 minutes
- 21André GomesBooked at 75 minutes
2Walking aid3Rúben Dias14thLaporte11Zinchenko
- 2Walking aid
- 3Rúben Dias
- 20thBernardo SilvaReplaced byMahrezat the 64 ‘protocol
- 25thFernandinhoBooked at 57 minutes
- 8thGündoganReplaced byRodriat the 90 ‘protocol
- 9Gabriel Jesus
- 7thsterlingReplaced byDe Bruyneat the 80 ‘protocol
- 17thDe Bruyne
End of game, Everton 0, Manchester City 2.
The second half ends, Everton 0, Manchester City 2.
Missed attempt. Fernandinho (Manchester City) left footed shot from the center of the box misses to the left. Prepared by Riyad Mahrez.
Goal! Everton 0, Manchester City 2. Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) shot with his left foot from the center of the box into the center of the goal. Assisted by Rodrigo with a through pass.
Substitution, Manchester City. Rodrigo replaces Ilkay Gündogan.
Attempt blocked. Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.
Attempt saved. Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s (Everton) header from the center of the penalty area is saved in the middle of the goal. Assisted by Gylfi Sigurdsson.
Substitution, Everton. Alex Iwobi is replacing Mason Holgate.
Foul by Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City).
Allan (Everton) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Goal! Everton 0, Manchester City 1. Ilkay Gündogan’s (Manchester City) header goes from the center of the penalty area to the center of the goal.
Attempt saved. Aymeric Laporte (Manchester City) right footed shot from the center of the box is saved in the center of the box by the goalkeeper. Assisted by Kevin De Bruyne.
Attempt saved. Phil Foden (Manchester City) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the center of the goal. Assisted by Kevin De Bruyne.
Substitution, Manchester City. Kevin De Bruyne is replacing Raheem Sterling.
Kyle Walker (Manchester City) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by André Gomes (Everton).
Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Ben Godfrey (Everton).
André Gomes (Everton) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Attempt blocked. Oleksandr Zinchenko (Manchester City) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Prepared by Riyad Mahrez.