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Haaland powers Man City past Everton

Haaland powers Man City past Everton

Erling Haaland netted a brace with his first goals since his return from injury to lift Manchester City to a 2-0 home victory over relegation-threatened Everton on Saturday (Feb 10). Pep Guardiola’s side have 52 points after 23 games, while Liverpool – who reclaimed the lead with a win over Burnley later on Saturday – have 54 points, from 24 games. Everton are in the relegation zone in 18th.

Erling Haaland scored his first goals since November to help Manchester City see off a determined Everton side and briefly move top of the Premier League. The Norwegian has had to wait to find the net since his return from the foot injury that sidelined him for most of December and January, but he made up for lost time here.

His first goal was a brilliant first-time finish that gave his side a crucial breakthrough in the second half, and he made sure of the three points when he ran clear to slot past Jordan Pickford late on.

Until then, Everton's organisation and resilience had frustrated the defending champions, who had not managed a shot on target until Haaland struck with 19 minutes to go.

The visitors failed to clear a corner and the ball fell for Haaland at the back post to smash home a fierce first-time strike that Pickford got a hand to, but could not keep out.

Haaland was not done there, and made the most of the space Everton left pushing for an equaliser when he galloped on to Kevin de Bruyne's through-ball, held off Jarrad Branthwaite and found the bottom corner of the net.

Man City's time in top spot was limited – Liverpool reclaimed their place at the summit later on Saturday by beating Burnley at Anfield – but their return to the head of the table for the first time since Nov 24 is a reward for their impressive form.

This was their 10th successive win in all competitions, including the Fifa Club World Cup and FA Cup, and their sixth in a row in the Premier League.

Everton, meanwhile, remain stuck in the relegation zone and have now gone seven league games without a win.