Sean Dyche names Everton player who was ‘outstanding’ as four more praised after Man City

Sean Dyche gives his verdict on Everton’s 3-0 loss to Man City at Goodison Park.

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Sean Dyche heaped praise on ‘outstanding’ Dwight McNeil following Everton’s loss to Manchester City.

The Toffees were unable to ease their Premier League relegation fears after suffering a 3-0 defeat by the champions-elect. However, the scoreline was somewhat of a disservice to Everton, who were very much in the game before Ilkay Gundogan’s 37th-minute opener.

The home side were then hit with a hammer blow when Erling Haaland doubled City’s advantage on 39 minutes before Gundogan sent home a free-kick six minutes into the second half.

Everton stay one place and one point above the drop zone and now have just two fixtures remaining to avoid the drop - against Wolves and Bournemouth respectively.

Dyche felt that the Blues were ‘punished’ by City but took plenty of positives - including the performances of McNeil, Abdoulaye Doucoure, Nathan Patterson and substitutes Conor Coady and Amadou Onana.

Speaking at his post-match press conference, the Everton manager said: “The takeaway was that a lot of the performance was right against a top side but saw that you get punished against a top side if you make the slightest mistake. Until their first goal, our shape was good. We knew we would have to give up the ball and work hard out of possession - we did it so well at Brighton. Different side, they can open you up in many different ways which they did in the end.

“The early performance was very good, the shape was very good, we looked to build on the idea at Brighton where you could counter. We did on many occasions without the final details. We arguably had the best chance with Mason Holgate from a set-piece.

“Sometimes, you’ve got to be realistic with the oppositio and what they do. They weren’t outstanding but found the moments. The first goal was a very clever finish, a very clever bit of play, the second goal was knockdown football. They do it very well, a top side reacting with what they had to do. They stretch the pitch, get the bits, cross, finish - simplistic football but done with detail but there was no lack of will, no lack of demand.

“There were some outstanding performances. Dwight McNeil was outstanding, Doucs with the constant energy, Conor came on and affected it in a change of shape, Patto is growing again and maturing. He’s earning the right to be a proper Premier League player and has done terrific since he got into the side. These are good signs. Ama came on an tried to affect it. The mentality is important and over the next two games. They’re very tough games for different reasons but you’re playing a top side.”