'Another level today': Sky reporter stunned by Everton defender's 'sublime' display v Man City
Everton defender James Tarkowski delivered an impressive performance as Frank Lampard’s Toffees held Manchester City to a 1-1 draw on Saturday.
The Blues’ final Premier League game of the calendar year saw them head to the Etihad to take on Pep Guardiola’s giants.
Everton fell behind to the prolific Erling Braut Haaland, who bagged his 21st goal of the season in the 24th minute.
However, the Toffees levelled with their first shot of the match in the second half.
Demarai Gray cut inside Manuel Ajankji and found the far corner via the underside of Ederson’s crossbar.
The returning winger got the better of Nathan Ake before letting rip with a superb strike past the City keeper.
As expected, the hosts dominated possession and weighed in with plenty of efforts, but just three of those were on target.
The Everton defence stood firm against the City attack, and Tarkowski was key to this.
The 30-year-old weighed in with a staggering 13 clearances, as well as two blocks, a tackle and an interception.
Tarkowski was also involved in a coming together with Haaland, which resulted in the Norwegian getting booked.
Sky Sports reporter Ben Grounds, covering the match at the Etihad, loved what he saw from Tarkowski.
“The dark arts of Everton in this game has been outstanding if you’re into that sort of thing,” he said on Sky Sports (31/12, 16:42).
“Tarkowski fouls Haaland. And he stays down. It’s right on the edge of a booking but it’s not a booking.
“The time ticks away, but we’ll have a fair amount of stoppage time.
“Tarkowski has actually taken an arm into his chin. It’s a painful one and Tarkowski isn’t one to stay down.”
Grounds also lauded the “sublime” last-ditch challenge on Rodri in the 83rd minute.
And deep into injury time, Grounds said: “Foden is yet to get up to speed since he’s come on.
“Tarkowski is marshalling a back five for Everton. He has been another level today.”
Tarkowski has to go down as one of the signings of the season.
Everton got him for nothing and he’s been superb for them.
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