Rodri felt Manchester City did exactly what was required as they clinically dismantled Everton, but also knows they cannot let any complacency set in if they want to keep hold of their Premier League crown ahead of “tough” rivals.
Spanish midfielder Rodri got on the scoresheet himself as the champions moved back up to second in the Premier League with a 3-0 win at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.
It was the perfect response to equally convincing wins from fellow title chasers Chelsea and Liverpool the previous day.
— Manchester City (@ManCity) November 21, 2021
“We know we have to give 100 per cent every game, we need to win, win, win,” said Rodri, who scored City’s second with a ferocious strike from outside the box.
“There is no other way to achieve the Premier League. We know it is going to be a tough season with tough contenders.
“But we don’t focus much on them, we just focus on ourselves and go every game to play like this. I think we grow every game.”
Everton hardly had an opening all afternoon as City controlled the game from start to finish. The hosts began patiently but upped the tempo towards the end of the first half.
With 19-year-old Cole Palmer impressing on his full debut, chances came with increasing regularity and Raheem Sterling eventually opened the scoring in the 44th minute, soon after having a penalty award overturned.
Rodri’s thunderbolt doubled the lead 10 minutes into the second half and Bernardo Silva completed the scoring four minutes from time after a Palmer shot was deflected into his path.
“It is an unbelievable feeling,” said Rodri of his goal. “I realised I was far away and had to shoot strong. When I hit it first time I knew it was in.
“It was an amazing feeling but more than the beauty of the goal was the importance of the goal. At 1-0 you are always on a risky line, with the second goal we could control more the game.”
It was another frustrating day for Everton, who are now without a win in six games, and it was compounded by an injury to Demarai Gray and yellow card for Richarlison.
Gray left the field with a groin problem after just 17 minutes, and now joins Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Tom Davies, Abdoulaye Doucoure and Andre Gomes on the sidelines, while Richarlison will serve a one-match ban.
Manager Rafael Benitez said: “Injuries are a problem for us. Hopefully we can bring some players back and go to January with some players and start thinking about some solutions.
“Some of the injuries are long term – Tom Davies was unlucky with his knee, the metatarsal of Doucoure the same. It is something we cannot control and the worst was Dominic, because it takes too long.
“We are trying to change the way we approach the injuries, recover in a different way and hopefully we will see in a few weeks.
“It takes time but when you have players injured you are overloading the other players and then they have a risk.”