City beats Everton 3-1 in Premier League
MANCHESTER, England (AP) Manchester City ended Everton's unbeaten run in the Premier League this season with a 3-1 win on Saturday as Alvaro Negredo and Sergio Aguero scored superb goals in an entertaining game featuring plenty of chances.
City bounced back from two consecutive losses in all competitions to move two points behind league leader Arsenal, which has a game in hand.
Romelu Lukaku gave the visitors the lead but Negredo quickly canceled out the Belgian striker's opener after a flowing collective move before Aguero handed City the advantage just before halftime.
Aguero then added the third from the spot in the 69th minute after Tim Howard tipped his penalty onto the post but the ball bounced in off the American goalkeeper.
Everton, which was the only team to remain unbeaten before the game, matched City's pace early in the game but quickly faded after the interval.
Criticized for his recent mistakes both with his club and England, goalkeeper Joe Hart kept his place in the starting lineup even though City manager Manuel Pellegrini made several changes to his side, with Pablo Zabaleta, Joleon Lescott, Aleksandar Kolarov, David Silva, James Milner and Alvaro Negredo coming in.
Everton got off to a strong start and looked dangerous immediately as Lukaku threatened City's defense at the conclusion of his team's first move.
Fresh from consecutive losses against Aston Villa and Bayern Munich, City had its first real opportunity in the seventh minute after a soft free kick was given against Phil Jagielka for a foul on Sergio Aguero, but Aleksandar Kolarov's curled shot went inches wide.
Kolarov missed the target again a few minutes later when he sent his header from a corner over the bar before Hart diverted a fine effort from Lukaku in the 15th minute.
Lukau then made the most of City's poor defending as he beat the offside trap to open the scoring after skipping past Lescott and sliding the ball under Hart.
But the Everton fans' celebrations were short-lived, with City leveling the score in the next minute when Negredo scored a goal similar to Lukaku's from Yaya Toure's excellent through pass.
The game continued in a fast pace with both teams combining well from end to end. City had another great chance in the 26th minute when Fernandinho and Silva managed to open some space for Aguero in front of goal, only for the striker to bend the ball wide at the far post.
Aguero could again have given City the lead after Negredo opened up the Toffees defense but completely missed the ball in the 39th. The Argentine player finally made amends for all his wasted chances when he fired in David Silva's pass past Howard from a tight angle in the 45th minute.
City had the upper hand early in the second half but suffered a blow when Kolarov, pushed in the back by Steven Naismith, collided with teammate Matija Nastasic and had to leave the pitch with his face bloodied. He was replaced by Gael Clichy, while Naismith escaped any punishment.
City however kept controlling the game and was awarded a penalty in the 69th minute after Zabaleta was fouled by Seamus Coleman in the area. After being booked for protesting, Howard almost denied Aguero's shot but the ball hit the post and bounced off him before ending in the net.
Updated October 5, 2013