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Wayne Rooney scored his 200th Premier League goal but Raheem Sterling came off the bench to snatch a 1-1 draw for Manchester City against Everton.
In a frantic contest that saw both sides reduced to 10 men, Rooney’s second goal since rejoining the Toffees looked to have earned victory after Kyle Walker was harshly sent off at the Etihad Stadium.
City responded in the second half and substitute Sterling volleyed a fine 82nd-minute equaliser before Everton’s Morgan Schneiderlin also saw red.
City may feel the result was the least they deserved after controversy erupted before half-time when Walker was ruled to have floored Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
It was a breathless contest, one that underlined pre-season optimism at Everton after their summer outlay – and record signing Gylfi Sigurdsson was held back until the second half.
The fireworks even started before the game as the players arrived onto the pitch to a flurry of pyrotechnics.
On the night City launched their new Tunnel Club – an exclusive new hospitality offering in which patrons get to see players in a new glass tunnel – there was clearly an eagerness to open the home campaign in style.
On this occasion they may have gone slightly overboard, as the flares left the pitch shrouded in fog for at least the first 20 minutes.
There initially appeared plenty of clarity to City’s thinking, however. With David Silva pulling the strings, Pep Guardiola’s men looked confident in attack and carved out a number of openings.
The frustration for them early on was that Jordan Pickford was not really threatened, the Everton goalkeeper saving comfortably from Nicolas Otamendi and twice from Kevin De Bruyne.
Phil Jagielka was extended, heading over from Sergio Aguero and then producing a well-timed tackle to deny the Argentinian as he shaped to shoot.
Despite this, Everton were not being overrun. Calvert-Lewin and Tom Davies both went close and after Silva thumped a shot against the post, the visitors broke and Calvert-Lewin turned provider for Rooney on 35 minutes.
The rejuvenated former England captain latched onto his strike partner’s pull-back with a first-time shot that Ederson failed to keep out with his feet. He raced away cupping his ears in celebration, clearly enjoying a landmark moment. His former Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho, who sanctioned his return to Everton in the summer, was in the stadium to witness it too.
That saw the game spark into life with Walker racing towards the box but then colliding with Leighton Baines to earn his first booking.
Moments later came the game’s major flashpoint as Calvert-Lewin and Walker came together under a high ball and the Everton man fell to the ground. Referee Robert Madley deemed Walker, who had his back to Calvert-Lewin, the aggressor and showed a quick second yellow.
It was the former Tottenham defender’s first sending-off in 200 Premier League appearances and he immediately protested to fourth official Michael Oliver, along with Guardiola.
City tried to freshen things up, with Sterling introduced at half-time and new signing Bernardo Silva with just over 20 minutes remaining.
It took some time for City to break down the Everton rearguard but as the game moved into the latter stages, Sterling came to the fore.
He fired one shot narrowly over after a powerful run and was wasteful with another opportunity from close range before finally making a firm connection to level the scores eight minutes from time.
City pushed to the end for a winner but to no avail, though there was still time for drama when Schneiderlin earned a second yellow card for a foul on Aguero.
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