Gabriel Jesus extended his remarkable record against Everton as the Manchester City striker’s second-half brace sealed a 2-1 win on Wednesday.
Jesus was handed the start as City manager Pep Guardiola rested Sergio Aguero, but the decision to select the Brazilian ahead of the club’s record goalscorer could easily have been inspired by his mastery of Everton.
Repaying his manager’s faith, Jesus feasted on the Everton defence once again.
He has now scored seven times in his last five appearances against the Merseyside club, who must be sick of the sight of him.
City remain third in the Premier League after a second successive win left them 11 points behind runaway leaders Liverpool, who have two games in hand on the champions.
Richarlison got one back for Everton, but it was a first defeat for new boss Carlo Ancelotti, who had masterminded wins over Burnley and Newcastle in his first two matches since replacing the sacked Marco Silva.
The former Chelsea chief got the better of Guardiola in their previous meeting two Real Madrid wins against Bayern Munich in the 2014 Champions League semi-finals.
There would be no repeat against a City side with a point to prove after a spluttering end to 2019.
City won 10 trophies, including four Premier League titles, in the decade just closed, but Liverpool’s remarkable form over the last 18 months is a serious threat to that dominance.
Guardiola has already conceded City have no chance of catching Liverpool this season, instead setting his sights on a more sustained challenge next term by admitting they need to “play better and pray”.