The Sunday Night Takeaway: Pep Guardiola has to solve Man City's away day blues after Everton setback
Everton's youth policy maintains its place and Zlatan Ibrahimovic makes his presence felt19:02 Sunday 15 January 2017, 19:02 15 Jan 2017
While Manchester United's match against Liverpool didn't disappoint this time after its typically passionate build up, it was Everton's thrashing of Manchester City that made the biggest impact this Sunday in the Premier League.
As ever narratives arise from results that have a knock on effect on the various teams' distinct ambitions.
Man City's away day blues
So far in the Premier League under Pep Guardiola, Man City have lost just once at home with that defeat coming in a fiery encounter against Chelsea when all hell broke loose in stoppage time.
Given how Chelsea were coming together at the time and the fact that City are in transition under a new manager, such a result wasn't unexpected.
The 4-0 hiding that they received today against Everton is a different matter. The Toffees have managed to defeat Arsenal already at home but as Seamus Coleman pointed out, tactical tweaks from manager Ronald Koeman helped thwart Guardiola at Goodison Park.
The switch from the 4-2-3-1 to a 3-4-3 with Coleman and Leighton Baines at wing backs pushed them further up the field and also helped City to be pressed rigourously.
Given how Man City like to play out from the back as often as possible, pressing relentlessly can throw them off their game and catch them cold.
And City have struggled when it comes to games on the road. In 11 away matches this season, Guardiola has now tasted defeat four times with the three previous losses coming at Tottenham, Liverpool and Leicester City.
All three are sides that at their best are not only strong but also counter-attack well.
Coupled with City's porous defence which has kept just four clean sheets, Guardiola will need to find a solution sharpish especially with the club now sitting outside the Top 4 in the Premier League table.
Over the years, Everton have an excellent record of bringing players through from the academy to the first team. Or in other cases, when they sign a young player from the lower leagues, they often tend to get an opportunity at senior level.
Over the years, Wayne Rooney, Ross Barkley, Leon Osman, Victor Anichebe, Tony Hibbert, Jack Rodwell and James Vaughan have been given a chance in the first team before either moving on elsewhere or forging long term careers at Goodison Park.
Similarly, players like John Stones have arrived as young players and been moulded into effective performers, with today's opponents City eventually signing the defender for an eye-watering price in the summer.
That trend of developing players for their own good was evident against Man City as emerging midfielder Tom Davies and Ademola Lookman both scored.
Davies is from Liverpool and came through the Everton academy after joining his home town club at the age of 11.
He has now made eight appearances at senior level in the Premier League, often as a sub but made his first start on January 2nd in an impressive showing against Southampton.
Lookman, meanwhile, was scouted by the Merseyside club after shining at Charlton Athletic in League One and was signed for £11 million. He has been given a chance quite quickly.
It's a contrast with City, who once saw the likes of Micah Richards, Stephen Ireland, Daniel Sturridge, Joey Barton, Shaun Wright Phillips, Kasper Schmeichel and Nedum Onuhoa all once given chances to shine after spending time in the academy.
The wealth acquired after the Abu Dhabi takeover meant such patience has not been afforded for a long time (the one exception is Kelechi Iheanacho who in any case arrived as a 17 year old).
From a neutral point of view, what Everton have been doing is good to see compared to City's recent "splash the cash" policy.
Ibrahimovic's attitude is the right one
One thing that Zlatan Ibrahimovic has never been short of is confidence in his own abilities.
The Manchester United striker is quite vocal about how great he is but in fairness to him, he has delivered at every single club he has been at - and that takes in a host of countries from the notoriously difficult Serie A to a year at Barcelona, a prolific few years at PSG, and an early career at Ajax.
He had already scored 13 Premier League goals in his debut season before Manchester United welcomed Liverpool to Old Trafford and as they searched for an equaliser, destiny meant one man would rescue Jose Mourinho's side from defeat.
His late header means they salvage a point and it is the type of moment Mourinho would have signed him for having worked with him fruitfully at Inter Milan.
His aura and presence has also seen him become a symbolic figure for Man United's younger players off the pitch too which is a positive.
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