MX23RW : Friday, January 18 18:32:44

Result: Gabriel Jesus brace helps Manchester City regain top spot in Premier League

Manchester City move back to the top of the Premier League table courtesy of a 3-1 win over Everton at the Etihad Stadium, with Gabriel Jesus scoring twice.

Gabriel Jesus ended a four-month Premier League drought with two goals to help Manchester City to a 3-1 victory over Everton at the Etihad Stadium this afternoon.

The Brazilian netted either side of half time to put the champions in control of the contest, but Everton threatened to set up a nervy finale when Dominic Calvert-Lewin pulled a goal back shortly after the hour mark.

However, Raheem Sterling quickly restored City's two-goal lead as they maintained their 100% home record in the league this season, moving above Liverpool into first place at least until the Reds face Manchester United on Sunday.

Gabriel Jesus scores the opener during the Premier League game between Manchester City and Everton on December 15, 2018© Reuters

City named the likes of Sergio Aguero, Sterling and Kevin De Bruyne on a star-studded bench as they went in search of a response to their first league defeat of the season last weekend, and they quickly took control of the possession at the Etihad.

It was not until the 15th minute that either side registered a shot, though, and it came from Everton as an unmarked Richarlison blasted his volley over the crossbar when he should have done better from Lucas Digne's delivery.

City responded with their first effort seconds later when Jordan Pickford collected Fabian Delph's long-range shot, and the makeshift full-back blasted another powerful strike narrowly over the crossbar after 20 minutes as the hosts began to increase their pressure.

The opening goal almost came from the foot of an Everton player when Michael Keane got his toe to a cross ahead of Jesus, forcing Pickford to make a brilliant reaction stop to deny the Toffees a second own goal in the Premier League this week.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin shoots past Kyle Walker during the Premier League game between Manchester City and Everton on December 15, 2018© Reuters

It was only a temporary reprieve, though, as City broke the deadlock just a minute later. Yerry Mina gave the ball away while trying to play out from the back and was ruthlessly punished, with Leroy Sane providing the killer pass for Jesus to sweep his finish past Pickford.

A second almost followed on the half-hour mark when Aymeric Laporte got the wrong side of Keane, but the Everton defender did just enough to disrupt his headed finish from inside the area.

The hosts continued to control proceedings and should have doubled their advantage five minutes before the interval when a deflected cross fell kindly for Riyad Mahrez inside the area, only for the winger to put his finish too close to Pickford.

The second goal did arrive five minutes after the break, though, and it was the same duo who combined for the first as Sane clipped a cross into the box for Jesus, who powered a bullet header past Pickford to double his personal tally.

Gabriel Jesus bags his second during the Premier League game between Manchester City and Everton on December 15, 2018© Reuters

At that stage it looked as though City were in complete control of the contest, and they almost put the game to bed once and for all when Ilkay Gundogan played a one-two on his way into the box before firing wide of the near post.

However, Everton gave themselves a glimmer of hope shortly after the hour mark when they pulled a goal back through Calvert-Lewin, who rose to meet Digne's cross with a firm header which took a nick off Delph on its way into the bottom corner.

Pep Guardiola responded to that by bringing Sterling on, and the in-form winger made an immediate impact by restoring City's two-goal advantage with a close-range header of his own after good work from Fernandinho down the left channel.

Raheem Sterling celebrates scoring during the Premier League game between Manchester City and Everton on December 15, 2018© Reuters

Everton will be left feeling as though they had the chances to cause an upset, though, and Richarlison squandered another of those moments after City's third when he blazed over from the edge of the box.

Ademola Lookman produced a positive cameo appearance off the bench for the visitors and almost created a second for Everton when his low cross was turned over from close range by fellow substitute Theo Walcott.

City were able to hand a long-awaited return to De Bruyne in the final 15 minutes, but it was Everton who looked most like adding to the scoring in the closing stages, with Lookman and Richarlison both firing off target from range and Calvert-Lewin seeing an audacious mid-air flick comfortably gathered by Ederson.

The hosts saw the match out relatively comfortably, though, and have now won all nine of their Premier League home games this season, whereas Everton remain seventh and have now won just one of their last six outings.

MAN CITY (4-3-3): Ederson; Walker, Otamendi, Laporte, Delph; Bernardo, Fernandinho, Gundogan; Mahrez (De Bruyne 75'), Jesus, Sane (Sterling 66')

EVERTON (3-4-3): Pickford; Keane, Zouma, Mina; Coleman (Walcott 57'), Sigurdsson (Davies 81'), Gomes, Digne; Bernard (Lookman 57'), Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison

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Raheem Sterling celebrates with Sergio Aguero and Bernardo Silva after opening the scoring for Manchester City against Brighton & Hove Albion on September 29, 2018
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool22183150104057
2Manchester CityMan City22172359174253
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs22160646222448
4Chelsea22145340172347
5Arsenal22125546321441
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd22125544321241
7Watford229583232032
8Leicester CityLeicester229492625131
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham229493032-231
10Everton228683331230
11Wolverhampton WanderersWolves228592328-529
12Bournemouth2283113142-1127
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2275102430-626
14Crystal Palace2264122028-822
15Burnley2263132343-2021
16Southampton2247112339-1619
17Cardiff CityCardiff2254131941-2219
18Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2246121631-1518
19Fulham2235142049-2914
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2225151337-2411

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