Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has claimed his side commanded the game in their 3-0 win as they should do to “beat teams like Everton”.
The reigning Premier League champions were by far the better team in their clash at the Etihad. The Toffees mustered just one shot on target and sat behind the ball for the majority of the 90 minutes.
City ended the match having had 77% possession, a level of control which Guardiola feels they should have against that level of opposition.
Speaking to Sky Sports, he said: “We gave rhythm into our game, they defended really well, so deep, on the counter-attack.
“In general we controlled the game. We played the game we should play to beat teams like Everton.”
It was Raheem Sterling who got the hosts’ opener. After a tricky season so far, he put in a solid performance on his 300th Premier League appearance.
“I know him quite well,” Guardiola said of Sterling. “Since I arrive he has been a key player for us.
“He has to perform like he performed today and I am happy for him. He did a great job.”
Man-of-the-match Rodri doubled the lead with a phenomenal strike from distance. It flew into the top corner past Jordan Pickford.
City’s Spanish manager added: “It was great, the strike was amazing. Great goal.
“When one team comes just to defend it is always going to be difficult and you have to be careful. Everything is going to be well in the right moment. The quality of the players we have made the difference.”
While City’s side was stacked with that “quality”, it did also feature 19-year-old Cole Palmer, who Guardiola was complimentary of.
“He played almost 90 minutes. He has more experience and he is a huge talented player. It was difficult with not much spaces there but he played a good game and he will improve in the future as he is so young.”
Rodri buzzing with City strike
Goalscorer Rodri added: “Fortunately it was in – a beauty. It is the feeling… imagine the strikers scoring 20 goals, I score two or three and I’m the happiest man.
“It’s an incredible feeing. I was watching the screen to realise the goal I scored.”
The win pulled City backed ahead of Liverpool and within three points of leaders Chelsea once more, and Rodri acknowledged it’ll be tight throughout the campaign.
“We know it’s going until the last games of the season, with lots of contenders. We have to be ourselves and if we keep the same way we will be in fighting.”