Full-time - 90'
2 - 0
11:45 +00:00, September 24, 2011
Referee: Howard Webb
Balotelli's deflected strike and Milner's late finish, set up by gorgeously by Silva, were enough for City in a rather sluggish game. A win's a win, and City will not care a jot that it wasn't inspirational. Everton tried but lacked any creativity or impetus. Thank you for your company today. Why not enjoy the rest of this football-fuelled Saturday with my colleague Chris Murphy here.
FULL-TIME: Manchester City 2-0 Everton.
Savic clears off the line from Fellaini's effort. Almost a late consolation for Everton.
Drenthe, in spite of his error, looks bright. He does things quickly, which Everton have not done today.
Saha tries his luck but Hart is equal to it with a simple save.
David Silva has been awarded man of the match by the television channel screening the game in the UK.
Four minutes of added time to be played.
The goal came from Drenthe making a mess of things just when the ESPN office was applauding his quality. Kiss of death.
Brilliant stuff from Silva as he manipulates the ball, bamboozling his opponents before threading in Milner with a class through ball. Milner dashed clear and toed home past Howard.
GOAL James Milner wraps up the win for City!!!
Jagielka is carded for a poor challenge on Mario.
Goal scored, but it is offside. Balotelli hit a low shot/cross into the box and Silva tapped into an empty net. The flag rightly went up for offside.
Toure thunders a shot towards the bottom corner and Howard is there to save with a solid palm away.
Savic is on for Nasri as Mancini looks to close this game out.
Drenthe has a crack but it is with his weaker right foot and the ball zooms over. Hart had previously punched clear the corner.
Corner to Everton...
Drenthe has shown some quality since coming on. And willing too, which'll please Moyes.
Vellios comes on for Coleman.
Textbook strop for Balotelli there, beating the floor. Love it.
Drenthe surges on and the cuts back onto his left foot. He lifts a pass to the back post but the delivery is a touch heavy and skips out of play.
Milner comes on for Aguero, who has shown flashes of quality but it hasn't really been his day.
Milner's about to come on.
What?! Saha just got clobbered by Kompany and a free-kick looked certain. Webb, though, dismisses the claim. Amazing really, because it was a clear foul on the edge of the area.
Lovely ping of a pass from Drenthe just then.
Summer signing Drenthe enters the fray for Neville.
Balotelli catches Jagielka a little late. The defender should be fine.
Of the goal, Dale Johnson says on Twitter: "An assist for Sergio. A rare fantasy boost."
Under the cosh. Balotelli flings a half volley at goal and the ball whistles a yard or so wide.
Balotelli looks up for this as he scampers down the right and cuts in a cross. Silva strikes and his low shot cracks agains the foot of the post.
Ah, it's a wicked deflection that ensures Balotelli breaks the deadlock. The Italian struck from the edge of the area and his shot clipped Jagielka and dropped into the bottom corner. 1-0 to City.
GOAL Balotelli scores for Manchester City!!!
Oh, come on. Saha has a chance to make an immediate impact as Everton break from a corner. He slides a pass to Fellaini, who dallies and loses the ball. Rotten awareness and shaprness there.
A save! Nasri pings from 20 yards out and Howard dives to his left to turn the ball round the post. Meanwhile, Saha is on for the injured Cahill.
Cahill is in some trouble here following that challenge. His boot is off and his head is in his hands.
Saha is about to come on, it seems.
Cahill goes into the book after getting to his feet following treatment.
Awkward coming together there as Kompany and Cahill collide. Looked a reckless slide from Cahill on Kompany, but the former has come off worse.
You jammy boy. Lescott looks to ease out Cahill, who was aiming to pinch the ball and counter. Lescott JUST manages to twist away.
Balotelli is on! Dezko off for the mad/brilliant striker.
Despite City failing to really create much of note, it does seem a matter of time before they score.
Balotelli is about to enter the fray. Now we're talking.
Inspire me, game of football! Please.
Baines flings in the third corner and Hart fists away. There was a foul on the keeper but Webb waved play on.
Oooo. Coleman embarks on a run down the right and looks to pick out Cahill with a cross. The Australian rises and plants a header towards the top corner, but it is a little high. Better from the Toffees.
It's a shambles! The ball is bobbling around madly as players scrap for possession. City very nearly broke through as Dzeko did well, but Everton hung on. That period of play got the fans on their feet.
Baines puts in a right shift, doesn't he, bombing up and down the left flank.
Clichy cross in from the left and Silva gets a toe on the ball at the near post. But the effort lacks venom and Howard gathers easily.
Tevez is trotting up and down the touchline. Mancini perhaps considering whether to introduce the Argentine in a bid to break the deadlock.
Osman has a swipe at goal and it is straight into the hands Hart, who was well positioned.
Aguero shapes to shoot but gets it all wrong, the ball floating into the stands.
Bit of a flat atmosphere at the Etihad, in truth. They've had little to rouse them so far.
Bright start from City with Aguero at the heart of matters. He drills in a low cross and Distin is forced to sramble the ball behind.
Kick-off: Everton get the second period under way.
One thing you can applaud Everton for is their winning of the second ball, which has been key to frustrating City.
Oh dear. Well that wasn't very good, was it? Aguero had the best pop at goal, which Howard saved. Other than that, erm ... Everton received three bookings.
Half-time: Manchester City 0-0 Everton
It's a bit turgid.
Two minutes of added time will be played.
Everton loop in a cross and Hart is hugely unconvincing as he flaps. Everton now with the ball in City's half, but a lack of focal point hurst them.
Kompany clips a through ball forward looking for Richards, but the right-back is flagged offside.
Under no pressure, Fellaini launches a clearance to no-one. Everton keep gifting the ball to City.
Webb waves play on as the challenges fly in. A red card looks likely in this match.
Clichy lets fly with a horrific strike. He slices it wayward. Rubbish.
Everton have committed seven fouls to City's five. Three of the seven have resulted in yellows.
Baines blocks off Aguero. No booking this time though.
Dzeko springs forward and he has several options as his team-mates make runs for him. He opts for the ambitious shot though, and the ball bounces off the turf and off target. Silva's unhappy.
Barry has a strike after the ball falls kindly to him. It is a decent effort but Howard is right behind it to get two hands on the ball. City have had five shots to Everton's two.
The corner is dealt with but only half cleared. Aguero picks up possession the left and curls an effort towards the top, far corner. Howard springs to his left and tips wide. Best effort of the game so far.
Corner to City...
Another half chance for City as Richards' low cross is scooped over the bar by Dzeko. The deliery was a little behind the striker, so that made it tough to execute.
Some boos from the away fans as former Everton defender Lescott picks up the ball.
Everton embark on an attack down the left but Richards does enough to limit Baines' cross.
City earn their first booking, Toure the man to get it after a clumsy lunge.
Another card for Everton, this time for Osman after a foul on Toure. They are tallying them at a rapid rate.
Our very own Richard Jolly makes the point on Twitter: "First Rodwell booked, then Neville. Everton running out of man-markers for Silva."
Silva is penalised for a late-ish challenge on Jagielka. Looked a little soft.
Everton struggling to hold onto the ball now. City's momentum, sort of, gathering.
In case you were wondering, Howard Webb is today's referee. He looks beefy.
Neville is booked for clipping the heels of Silva, who went down like he had been snipered. The fans wanted a red card, which was never going to happen.
Phil Neville could be in trouble here...
Cahill is an unhappy bunny after being muscled out of matters by Lescott. Looked a fair challenge to me.
Mancini is prowling on the touchline. As always, he looks dapper, sporting a rather trendy trenchcoat number.
Everton's only form of attack at present seems to be launching the ball at Cahill or Fellaini. Bit predictable thus far.
Nasri delivers the free-kick but the cross is disappointing as Everton clear comfortably.
Rodwell is carded after a late sliding tackle on Silva. It'll now be a long 70 mintues for the young midfielder should his man-marking job on Silva continue.
Toure returns to the action.
Yaya Toure is receiving some treatment.
Ooof. Aguero drops a shoulder sweetly before pulling the trigger with his left boot. The ball whips over the crossbar. Half a chance.
City are passing it around sharply but Everton's shape is decent and compact.
Fellaini cuts a frustrated figure after being penalised for backing in when challenging for a header.
Richards looks for the run of Aguero but the pass is too heavy and Howard plucks the ball out of the air.
Lescott just went on a burst out from the back only for Distin to shut the door and bomb on like his counterpart. The move broke down.
Co-commentator Alan Smith reckons Jack Rodwell is doing a man-to-man job on Silva. Bold move if true. Shall keep an eye on it.
The stadium is peppered with a few empty seats. Maybe down to late-comers. Perhaps.
Now City up the ante. Silva is at the heart of matters, buzzing around and looking dangerous. Nasri then fizzes a shot wide of the far stick. The home fans are a bit happier now after a poor start.
Couple of niggly fouls going on which are disrupting the rhythm.
Woah! Jagielka's head back to his keeper is not long enough and Dzeko dashes in looking to get ahead of Howard. But the Americna keeper is quick to sweep up, much to the relief of Jagielka.
Silva looks to nip in as a cross is delivered but Howard is there to claim and relieve the pressure.
Baines is invited to cut in from the left and he duly has a pop. But the effort is on his weaker foot and the ball, as expected, loops off target.
Baines swings it in but the marking is right and City clear for a throw-in.
Chance for Everton as they win a free-kick out on the left following a handball by Richards...
Rodwell tries his luck from range but it is a tad ambitious as the curled effort drifts comfortably wide.
Everton enjoying some possession. Lescott just nodded away from a Coleman cross.
Decent tempo to the early stages with Everton snapping at the heels of City. Fellaini will be looking to suppoter Cahill, the towering midfielder playing closest to the Australian.
KICK-OFF: Manchester City get us under way.
Everton are again playing without a recognised striker, with attacking midfielder Tim Cahill leading the line. He could get isolated.
The teams are in the tunnel. Phil Neville, Everton's captain, has a steely look in his eye.
For a full preview of today's match-up, click this way.
The Carling Cup draw is currently under way, and Manchester City have been drawn away at Wolves. Everton, meanwhile, will take on Chelsea. The draw in full will follow on ESPNsoccernet.
Welcome, welcome, one and all. Today's lunchtime kick-off comes from the Etihad Stadium as Roberto Mancini's men look to go at least temporarily top of the Premier League table with a win over Everton, who boast a decent record at City's home having won on their last four trips.
Manchester City subs: Pantilimon, Zabaleta, Milner, Kolarov, Savic, Tevez, Balotelli.
Everton subs: Mucha, Heitinga, Bilyaletdinov, Saha, Drenthe, Stracqualursi, Vellios.
Everton starting XI: Howard, Hibbert, Baines, Distin, Jagielka, Coleman, Rodwell, Fellaini, Osman, Neville, Cahill.
Manchester City starting XI: Hart, Richards, Kompany, Lescott, Clichy, Yaya Toure, Barry, Silva, Nasri, Aguero, Dzeko.
ESPNsoccernet will bring you live commentary of today's meeting between Manchester City and Everton at the Etihad Stadium which kicks off at 1245 BST. Team news to follow...