Manchester City miss chance to go top after Everton loss

Monday, December 20, 2010

LONDON - Manchester City missed a golden chance to be on top of the table at Christmas as they were beaten 2-1 Monday at home by Everton.

Tim Cahill and Leighton Baines put Everton up 2-0 at half-time. City pulled one back through a Phil Jagielka own goal but could not force an equalizer.

The result gave Everton their first win in eight games, lifting them to 14th place, while City remain third, two points behind neighbours Manchester United.

The build-up to the game was dominated by Carlos Tevez, who received a rousing reception from the crowd, as he captained the side hours after withdrawing his transfer request.

But Everton were the better side throughout, and Cahill headed them in front inside five minutes, before Baines curled a second on 19 minutes.

City struggled to make their possession pay - they had 25 goal attempts to Everton’s two - but were given a lifeline when Victor Anichebe was sent off early on the hour mark for a second booking.

Jagielka deflected a Yaya Toure shot past his own goalkeeper on 71 minutes, and City almost equalized only for Mario Balotelli to hit the post.

Toure forced a stunning save from Tim Howard in the Everton goal, while the American saved smartly from Tevez.

But City could not find a way through, and as their frustration boiled over, Kolo Toure was sent off for two bookings inside a minute as Everton hung on for three well-deserved points.

“The achievement is massive for us,” Cahill said.

“We knew we had to work hard, but what’s been going on in the last couple of months, we’ve been working, playing some good football and not got the rewards. But we’ve come to a stadium where it is hard to play and showed our mettle and played some good football, too.”

Filed under: Football, Soccer

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