Everton came out of the blocks early as they secured a 2-1 victory against Manchester City, preventing the Eastlanders from going top of the table over the Christmas break. It was Australia's Tim Cahill who put the Toffee's infront in just the fourth minute. He got on the end of a Seamus Coleman cross to score once again with his head. The goal moves him to nine for the season putting him in fourth place on the top scorers list.
Manchester City went on to dominate possession constantly bombarding the Everton defence with long balls from Yaya Toure and runs by David Silva. Although it was Everton once again who would go on to score. This time Chaill turning scorer to provider as he set up Baines with a layoff allowing the defender to beating Joe Hart at the far post.
Tim Howard was having an inspired game as he continued to make some unbelievable saves to ensure City did not strike before half time, including a diving save from a driven Kolarov free kick. Carlos Tevez had been un-troubling upfront failing to find his scoring form, preventing City from getting a goal before the break.
The Second half saw Mancini change tactics, bringing on Adam Johnson, who had been instrumental in their draw with Juventus midweek. Johnson cause trouble down the flanks as he continued to feed balls into the Everton penalty area. Early in the second half City were given hope of restoring parity when Victor Anichebe was shown his second yellow card. From here Manchester City pressed on and were eventually rewarded in the 72nd minute when Johnson once again broke into the box, making way for Yaya Toure shot which heavily defelected off Phil Jagielka, which resulted in a breakthrough for City.
The goal looked to have brought about a new City as each successive attack came close to an equaliser. First through a Baotelli effort the bounced of the post, then through the rebound which saw Tevez almost slide the ball into the net, if it wasn't for another brilliant save by Howard. The more and more city pressed the more impressive Howard's reactions were going on to once again deny Tevez from close range.
Towards the final whistle City's hope of an equaliser took a blow when Kolo Toure was also sent off following a second yellow. Mancini's side will know that the game was a missed opportunity as the comprehensively dominated possession but were denied by a desperate Everton side led by Tim Howard's heroics in goal.
Final Score - Manchester City 1 Everton 2
Jagielka(og) 72 Cahill 4
Man of the Match : Tim Howard (Everton)
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