The 2003-04 season was a poor one as far as City fans were concerned. It had been a long, hard battle against relegation which had included a 13 match winless run.
But by the time Everton had arrived at Eastlands, the blues were safe and two points behind the visitors in 17th place. Robbie Fowler had been left on the bench and replaced by Paolo Wanchope and the Costa Rican repaid his manager’s faith after 16 minutes.
Nicolas Anelka’s free kick was deflected into Wanchope’s path and he made no mistake from just 6 yards out. City were dominant and Shaun Wright-Phillips almost got a second but for the heroics of Nigel Martyn in the Everton goal.
But City weren’t to be denied and when Claudio Reyna was allowed space on the left, it was only going to end one way. His cross was missed by Anelka but Wanchope was on hand to seep the ball home for his fourth goal in three games.
Ten minutes later and it was game over and again it was Wanchope who was involved. His ball forward released Anelka and the French striker beat Martyn from 18 yards out and send City into the break three goals to the good.
Half Time: City 3-0 Everton
Kevin Campbell came on for the ineffective James McFadden for Everton at half time and it took him 15 minutes to get on the scoresheet. Wayne Rooney’s corner was met by the head of Campbell to reduce the deficit.
But City continued their dominance of the game and Martyn had to be at his best to twice deny Wanchope his hat-trick with a superb display of goalkeeping.
Joey Barton, who had previously been booked, was replaced by Antoine Sibierski with five minutes remaining and the Frenchman took three minutes to score and in a grandstand finish, Wright-Phillips scored the fifth and ended a miserable season with a fine won that took the blues above the visitors and finished in 16th place.
Final Score: City 5-1 Everton
Man City: James, Jihai, Distin, Dunne, Tarnat, Wright-Phillips, Barton (Sibierski 85), Bosvelt, Reyna (Jordan 82), Anelka, Wanchope (Macken 79).
Subs Not Used: Arason, Fowler.
Everton: Martyn, Watson (Chadwick 71), Stubbs, Weir, Hibbert, Carsley, McFadden (Campbell 45), Yobo, Osman, Rooney, Radzinski (Linderoth 86).
Subs Not Used: Wright, Clarke.
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