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English Premier League

Manchester City’s Premier League title hopes nosedive in 4-0 loss at Everton

Pep Guardiola suffers his biggest-ever defeat in league football

PUBLISHED : Monday, 16 January, 2017, 12:01am
UPDATED : Monday, 16 January, 2017, 12:07am

Manchester City’s Premier League title hopes were delivered a grievous blow on Sunday as Everton’s inspired Romelu Lukaku and teenagers Tom Davies and Ademola Lookman made it another crushing afternoon for Pep Guardiola in a 4-0 romp.

The Spaniard suffered his biggest-ever defeat in league football after they had enjoyed the lion’s share of possession and chances but paid for sloppy defending that led to the Belgian powerhouse Lukaku converting his 12th league goal of the season after 34 minutes.

Kevin Mirallas struck right after the break and excellent 18-year-old academy graduate Davies dinked a brilliant first goal for his boyhood club as City looked increasingly clueless.

Substitute Lookman, making his debut at 19, then completed the rout with his first touch in stoppage time, a goal that stemmed from a mistake from Everton old boy John Stones as City suffered a fourth league defeat in their last eight league matches.

“You cannot plan a game like this,” said Everton boss Ronald Koeman. “It is always difficult against City, they play great football but the second half was perfect in every aspect.”

Guardiola said: “We created enough chances in the first half to score. After what happened we were not able to score and they had one chance and scored. They scored straight after the second half and that is tough mentally for the players.”

Goalscorer Davies said: “It is unbelievable. I got a chance and managed to take it. I am really happy that Ross Barkley spotted me. To beat City and do it comfortably is a great feeling.”

Lookman said: “The gaffer said I should play behind Romelu Lukaku and I was lucky to anticipate the ball.”

Coming hot on the heels of their last loss in Merseyside at Liverpool on New Year’s Eve, City were left in fifth place, 10 points adrift of leaders Chelsea, as Guardiola cut a forlorn figure on the bench.