Premier League 2 holders Everton claimed a fine 3-0 victory on a cold Friday night at the Academy Stadium over Manchester City thanks to goals from Bassala Sambou,Luke Garbutt and David Henen to send David Unsworth’s side two points behind league leaders Liverpool.
It was the visitors who started the brighter of the two sides and created the first chance inside six minutes as Jose Baxter was played in by Anthony Evans but his low effort was well saved by Daniel Grimshaw in the home sides goal.
Manchester City were playing some neat football and it was they who nearly broke the deadlock on 12 minutes as Brahim Diaz saw his effort tipped over the crossbar by Toffees stopper Louis Gray.
The side from Goodison Park took the lead on 34 minutes as Anthony Evans played a superb ball over the top of the static City defence into David Heren before his effort was saved by Grimshaw however Sambou reacted quickest to tap the ball into the net.
Three minutes later the Toffees doubled their lead as Garbutt fired in a superb freekick that left Grimshaw scrambling across his goal the ball sailing low into the net to the delight of manager David Unsworth.
City manager Simon Davies was then to rue his luck on the stroke of the break as Goalkeeper Grimshaw was stretchered off he was replaced by Pavel Sokol in first half stoppage time.
Everton started the second half as they finished the first and they went 3-0 ahead on 54 minutes as Henen skipped his way around the Manchester City defenders before rounding Sokol and placing the ball into the empty net.
City should have pulled a goal back on 61 minutes as Demeaco Duhaney fired a low Sadou Diallo into the side netting when he really should have scored.
Everton could have had their fourth on 71 minutes as Nathan Broadhead fizzed in a low cross looking for Henen only for Tosin Adarabioyo slide the ball behind for a corner saving his team from further embarrassment.
Matthew Smith was inches away from pulling a goal back for City on the 75th minute as nice link up play between Duhaney and Diaz saw the latter pull the ball back for him before his effort was well kept out by the fine reactions of Gray.
The home side should have pulled a goal back after some fine football in the final stages of the match and should have put their name on the scoresheet as Diaz pulled the ball back for Jacob Davenport but he thumped his effort over from range with ten minutes to go.
Gray in the Toffees goal was proving a real problem for Manchester City as he made yet another fantastic save on 83 minutes when he kept out a powerful freekick from Jacob Davenport when it looked set to hit the back of the net.
As City pressed for a consolation they nearly pulled a goal back as Diaz fizzed a low strike from range just wide of the target when it looked set for the bottom corner of the net.
It just wasn’t the home sides night as they hit the crossbar late on as great play from Diaz saw him skip around the Everton defence before his cross picked out former Fulham winger Taylor Richards who saw his header hit the crossbar.