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Iwobi finds it tough on 100th Premier League appearance as Everton hold Man City

2:45 AM MYT 01/01/2023
Alex Iwobi Everton 2022-23
Alex Iwobi had a tough 100th Premier League game for Everton while Riyad Mahrez provided an assist as Manchester City were held on Saturday.
  • Iwobi joined the list of Everton's Premier League centurions against City
  • Everton playmaker was unable to create for his teammates
  • Nigeria international formed part of a compact Everton midfield

WHAT HAPPENED? Iwobi was part of a four-man midfield as Everton manager Frank Lampard went with a 5-4-1 formation in an effort to contain the Premier League champions but he had little impact as Mahrez teed up Erling Haaland to make it 1-0 after 24 minutes.

However, Demarai Gray’s determined run took him into the penalty box, and despite momentarily losing his footing, he produced a powerful shot into the top corner to even the contest after 64 minutes.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: With City hogging possession, Iwobi found it difficult to make an impact given Everton defended for most of the game.

The Nigeria international operated largely in his own half and was restricted to just two crosses, with his only attacking contribution coming in the first half when he received a pass from Gray and guided a low cross that got stuck under the feet of Bernando Silva.

Meanwhile, Idrissa Gueye put in a solid performance at the base of Everton’s midfield and started the move that led to Gray’s goal. Gueye intercepted Rodri’s pass inside his own half and played a quick pass to Gray who raced forward before unleashed the sumptuous finish.

The Senegal international had earlier brought in a cross that met the head of Dominic Calvert-Lewin 12 yards out, only for the striker to be punished for a push on John Stones.

ALL EYES ON: Iwobi was making his 100th Premier League appearance since joining Everton in August 2019 and while his team gained a point to ease pressure after losing six of their previous eight league games, it was not a display to remember as he failed to create for his teammates.

THE VERDICT: Everton’s overreliance on Iwobi for creativity was for laid bare once again given they way they looked toothless with the Nigerian unbale to create, and they required a moment of brilliance to rescue a point.

WHAT’S NEXT? Everton host Brighton and Hove Albion in their next league fixture on January 3.