Former Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney revelled in silencing his critics after netting his 200th Premier League goal in Everton’s draw with Manchester City.
Half-time substitute Raheem Sterling rescued a point for City inside the final 10 minutes after Rooney’s second goal in as many games had put Everton on course for back-to-back victories this term.
City played the entire second half with 10 men after Kyle Walker was harshly dismissed moments before the interval, while Everton also ended the clash short on numbers as Morgan Schneiderlin received his marching orders late on.
Rooney became only the second player after Alan Shearer to reach a double century of goals, and his strike has given England boss Gareth Southgate something to ponder as he prepares to name his squad for next month’s World Cup qualifiers on Thursday.
“I am focusing on Everton. I am sure I will speak to England manager Gareth Southgate over the next few days and we will see what happens,” said Rooney.
“To do it [score his 200th Premier League goal] in such an important game for us was a sweet moment and I am sure the red half of Manchester will have enjoyed it as well. It’s not bad for someone who is not fit anymore and can’t get about the pitch.”
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola, meanwhile, refused to discuss the dismissal of Walker but heaped praise on his side for their second-half retaliation.
“We are here for the results but we have to analyse the performance and it is one of the proudest days of my life to see the way we have done, 10 against 11 against Everton,” said the Spaniard.
Everton frustrated City for the opening half an hour with a perfectly-executed game-plan although momentum appeared to be building in favour of the hosts.
Prolific marksman Sergio Aguero had two sights of goal, both ultimately snuffed out by Phil Jagielka, and David Silva crashed an effort against goalkeeper Jordan Pickford’s near post. But it was Everton who took a 35th-minute lead.
After Leroy Sane lost possession, Mason Holgate found Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who showed composure and trickery to cut inside and square for Rooney to side-foot past City stopper Ederson.
City’s half deteriorated as Walker, on his home debut, received a second yellow card from referee Bobby Madley for a fairly innocuous incident in which he appeared to back into Calvert-Lewin and catch him with his shoulder.
Despite being a man light, City rallied and Sterling blazed over, while Pickford made a smart save to thwart fellow substitute Danilo. Salvation, however, was at hand.
With eight minutes remaining, Holgate inexplicably headed Danilo’s cross back into the danger area and Sterling volleyed past Pickford from 12 yards. The number of red cards was also equalised as Schneiderlin was dismissed despite appearing to cleanly tackle Aguero.