Ilkay Gundogan It’s not leaving that late this year. won goals 12 months ago Manchester City championship: a comeback decision in the 81st minute against Aston Villa on the final day of the season sealed the trophy. Now City’s May consists of more Gundogan targets to set up another coronation. An even better duo came after the captain’s support against Leeds. Everton, an impromptu volley of shine, compressed with an assist, and a free kick that makes it look enviably easy. 300. The city view ranks as one of the best.

The player, who hasn’t shot twice in a game since last May, has done so in consecutive league games. Gündoğan becomes more determined when the business end of the season comes. Inspirational leadership but with a velvet touch.

His excellence could render Arsenal’s results irrelevant. It keeps the Gunners away. named Player of the Year, Erling Halandinstead, he’s waging war on Everton’s past. His 52nd goal in the campaign means he now needs 11 to equal the record for a top English club that Dixie Dean set almost a century ago. Despite only scoring one goal in his last three games, the equation is weighted in favor of Everton’s top scorer. In one respect, Haaland was extremely productive: it was only his third touchdown in the afternoon, as he faced Gundogan’s master middle with a high jump and an empathetic header in the 39th minute. However, he scored 33% of the time. He finished with 13 touches and a goal.

In a way, City mirrored Haaland: Not much happened for a while, and then they were deadly. The half-hour of nothingness at the start was befitting of Everton, with the league leaders not even hitting goal until the 35th minute, but The Toffees conceded three goals in a quarter-hour on either side of the timeout. Before them, a glaring miss followed as Mason Holgate threw the ball over the four-yard post, and Everton’s shock chance came and went with a frenzied kick of his right foot.

If City had had a small cut in the beginning, that wouldn’t be surprising. Pep Guardiola had put most of his preferred midfielder to rest with Real Madrid in mind, by eliminating Kevin de Bruyne, Bernardo Silva, Jack Grealish and the semi-official John Stones. But his captain was steady and a catalyst.

City’s 11th consecutive league win was due to several classy touches: first with Gundogan’s knee to control the middle of Riyad Mahrez, and then with his right boot hooking a volley in a way few can imagine, let alone an execution. City’s paradox is that they have a robotic air, as if they are putting their practice routines into practice on the field, but can sometimes rely on their individual virtuosity: five days after De Bruyne’s death. Amazing goal at the Bernabeu Another great goal came in.

Gundogan’s improvisational genius brought City closer to victory


And a few minutes later, someone much more familiar. Haaland’s huge breakthrough added another dimension to City’s attack and headed into the middle of Gündoğan. Perhaps the goalkeeper should have done better when the German free kicker passed Jordan Pickford. Still, it’s been a throwback to past title-fixing exploits. Gundogan had previously scored only one free kick in the Premier League: in Brighton in May 2019 as City finished one point ahead of Liverpool.

The task for Everton is to finish ahead of two of Leeds, Leicester and Nottingham Forest and win their 70th consecutive season in the top flight. Last week’s destruction of Brighton by five goals felt like a mirage, even though the elite opponents wanted a very different approach. They started with nine outfielders in a narrow box just outside their home area and camped behind the ball.

The final scoreboard represented some kind of improvement. At Burnley, Sean Dyche had a habit of losing 5-0 to City, often playing 4-4-2. Here, the game plan was different: Dwight McNeil, who scored two goals against Brighton and was included in four, was a supporter who dropped off at left-back and scored five goals in the back. Dyche also ended 5-4-1 instead of risking more damage.

At the moment, his record is perhaps understandable, as his 16 games against Guardiola are without a win, with five goals scored and 54 without conceding 15 losses. There could have been a sixth goal when Ederson kicked Amadou Onana’s header to the bar. Everton could have questioned whether Aymeric Laporte deserved impunity when he attacked Yerry Mina hard. However, they currently have two matches against Wolves and Bournemouth to ensure they recover from the relegation. The season may bring three trophies for Gundogan and City yet.