Nigeria national football team midfielder Alex Iwobi is facing a stint in the EFL Championship after Everton fell at home to champions-in-waiting of the Premier League, Manchester City.
The former Arsenal man has been one of the bright sparks in a very sour Toffees side this season but his efforts have not been enough to help them solidify their top flight status.
The AFCON 2023 hopeful has been shaky this season which has also adversely affected the team on occasion, but with nine assists in 39 games across all competitions, it shows that he has put in a great shift.
𝙎𝙀𝙑𝙀𝙉 Premier League assists for Alex Iwobi this season 🙌🏽
He equals Peter Odemwingie's record (2010/11) of most assists by a Nigerian in a single #PL season. pic.twitter.com/PRmfuDFbua
— Soar Super Eagles (@SSE_NGA) May 8, 2023
Everton 0-3 Manchester City: As it happened
Everton went into the game on 32 points, two points above the relegation zone. The game was an important game for their chances of remaining in the Premier League, especially after Leeds United's impressive comeback draw against Newcastle United on Saturday.
The likelihood of beating the Premier League defending champions was slim but Super Eagles midfielder Alex Iwobi and his teammates were ready to take their chances.
They almost did in the first 30 minutes of the game but Mason Holgate and James Tarkowski both failed to find the back of the net with their headers from set pieces; the latter being denied by a save from Ederson.
City would go ahead through Ilkay Gundogan in the 37th minute and take control of the game from that point. Two minutes later, the City captain would provide the assist for Erling Haaland's 36th goal of the season to send them into halftime with a 2 – 0 lead.
Iwobi would see his team further lose momentum when key striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin had to be hooked off at halftime as he picked up an injury in the first half.
Gundogan would finish the job minutes after the restart with a brilliant freekick to keep Everton in 17th place.
Man City superior in every way to Everton
Alex Iwobi and his midfield partners were outclassed from start to finish by Pep Guardiola's well drilled midfield.
Their visitors held more than 60 percent possession until Everton's first chances which Tarkowski and Holgate could not turn in.
The game evened out a bit as the clock ran down but the Toffees depended more on counterattacks to get the jump on the champions-in-waiting. The tactic did not work much and in the end, Iwobi could not add to his nine assists in the season.
Everton will now turn their attention to their last two games against Wolverhampton Wanderers and Bournemouth respectively. With history hanging by a thread, Iwobi will be pulling all the stops to help his team stay up.
🎙️| Sean Dyche: “I thought Dwight McNeil was absolutely outstanding, Doucs with his constant energy, constant running, I thought Conor Coady did great when he came on, Amadou [Onana] tried to affect the game, Alex Iwobi stuck at it… Everyone is sticking at it.” pic.twitter.com/htSw7gLxuH
— Everton Extra (@Everton_Extra) May 14, 2023
It could also be the difference between him and a possible transfer to a more comfortable mid-table side in the summer.
As one of the Nigeria Super Eagles stalwarts, relegation will not look good on his résumé. It will not affect his chances of making the upcoming AFCON 2023 qualifiers fixtures, however, but it could see him lose face among the national team's fans.
This article was most recently revised and updated 2 weeks ago