A late Phil Foden winner proved enough on the day as Manchester City took home a hard-fought victory against Everton at Goodison Park, though a nervy display from the league leaders made sure that the Toffees were always in with a chance in the tie.
However, Lady Luck smiled on the Premier League champions as an error from Michael Keane gifted Foden a gilt-edged chance to slot the ball into the back of the net with less than 10 minutes left on the clock.
A controversial VAR decision saw the visitors avoid conceding a penalty for what appeared to be a clear handball from Rodri in the box, which could have seen Frank Lampard's men steal a point on another day.
Ultimately, Pep Guardiola's side would be smiling from ear to ear as they leave Merseyside with a six-point lead at the top of the league, with the pressure back on Liverpool ahead of what has all the makings of a fascinating end to the title race.
Here are five things we learnt from Manchester City's narrow triumph in Merseyside.
The Bernardo Silva experiments need to stop
It’s baffling how arguably Manchester City’s best player this season has played out of position two games in a row; and against Everton, the Portugal international was inexplicably deployed both as a false nine and as a right-winger.
The 27-year-old was on the periphery for a majority of the contest and the lack of his defensive presence in the middle of the park left a gaping hole in midfield that made City susceptible to halting transitions, much like against Tottenham last week.
Up against Everton’s high press, the midfield was crying out for Silva to drop deep and receive the ball on the half-turn to keep things ticking and add a sense of control that was sorely missing.
Or the former AS Monaco man could have been given the keys as he would drive past the opposition when needed, as his understanding of when to throw caution to the wind and when to play it safe is an extremely underrated facet about his game.
Instead, the playmaker was stood in the box as crosses were constantly launched into him and all he could do is put his hand on his hips, which was a painfully redundant sight.
Ultimately, it all boils down to how criminally under-utilised Bernardo Silva was, which is nothing lesser than a cardinal sin to this Manchester City side.
IMAGO / Sportimage
The Manchester City players celebrate Phil Foden's late strike
IMAGO / Sportimage
Manchester City and Everton players show their support to Ukraine ahead of kick-off
City survived a tactical shocker from Guardiola
Now that we’ve addressed the Bernardo Silva problem, there's more to unpack as it has to be said that Pep Guardiola was guilty of making plenty of tactical howlers against Everton on Saturday evening.
First things first, it was bizarre to see Phil Foden deployed as a right winger, much like against Tottenham, considering the experiment wasn’t one to write home about last time out. The England international is City’s best man for the false nine role and is at his decisive best from the left wing.
Funnily enough, Foden’s output was at its sharpest from the left flank in the second half and eventually, he took his goal from a central position. It seemed blatantly obvious throughout the contest and yet wasn’t particularly addressed as such.
Also, the decision to utilise wide full-backs was ironically as anti-Guardiola as it gets. Instead of tasking John Stones and Joao Cancelo to tuck inside and help their side to progress the ball, City’s build-up suffered as all Ruben Dias and Aymeric Laporte could do is look for a Hollywood pass to bypass Everton’s settled mid-block.
Also, Stones’ body-positioning up against Anthony Gordon was all over the place as he let the dynamic winger constantly put crosses into the box and on the ball, he was comically chaotic at times.
Instead, Kyle Walker could have been introduced and Stones could have been shifted to centre-half; however, Guardiola’s seeming reluctance to making substitutions failed to fix a pertinent issue.
Another instruction that didn’t quite add up was demanding Kevin De Bruyne to drop deep to receive the ball on the half-turn in build-up. The Belgian was constantly conceding turnovers in a role that suits superior ball-retainers such as Bernardo Silva or Ilkay Gundogan.
Don’t let that Aymeric Laporte performance go under the radar
On a day where it was next to impossible to pick a standout for the entirety of the 90 minutes, Aymeric Laporte was the closest thing to that very description.
The Spanish defender was as comfortable on the ball as ever, playing his trademark diagonal ball to perfection and advanced up the pitch to assist City in constantly foraying forward.
Unlike Joao Cancelo, who struggled at times against Alex Iwobi, Laporte had the entire left-hand side on lock.
There were times when Cancelo left a bit too much space behind him, but Laporte stepped in and swept everything that came his way to absolute perfection.
When the centre-half doesn’t quite have his best games, there’s a lot that is said and the same should be the case when he steps up as he did against Everton. Credit when it's due.
IMAGO / Sportimage
Phil Foden and Bernardo Silva
IMAGO / Sportimage
Kevin De Bruyne and Allan
The stuff of champions
The classic footballing cliché is perhaps underused when a side rides their luck and still manage to walk away with the three points. 
There’s no denying that for a majority of the contest, the Sky Blues were absolutely tragic. And yes, Foden’s winner was as jammy as it gets. And sure, Rodri’s handball decision perhaps should have been overturned by VAR.
But as we've seen with several title winners from the past, it takes the odd game where you get the rub of the green that gives the side that extra push to glory.
What separates champions from runners-up is the ability to turn games such as against Arsenal at the Emirates or Everton at Goodison Park that seem nailed-on draws on paper into wins.
And who knows, but if City did the same against Southampton home and away this season, we perhaps wouldn’t have been talking about a title race at this point.
Fortune favours the brave and City got the job done, which is all that matters sometimes.
A word on Oleksandr Zinchenko and Vitaliy Mykolenko
It is immensely important to emphasise that these two would have been as strong as they are if they decided to opt out of the contest. All one can say that their presence was powerful as Goodison Park as well as the two teams on show were in full support of Ukraine.
Oleksandr Zinchenko and Vitaliy Mykolenko embracing ahead of kick-off at Goodison Park on Saturday was the moment of this Premier League weekend and perhaps a sight that should be cherished for years to come as there’s no telling the mental burden these proud Ukrainians are undergoing at the minute.
After cameras spotted Zinchenko in tears before and after the contest, it was lovely to see him end up on the winning side. And as for Mykolenko, Everton’s spirited display would have instilled the hope within him that Frank Lampard could well steer them into safety.
But there’s more to life than football, and all one can hope for is the utmost best for these two incredible humans beings as they inspired everyone watching on.
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By faress

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