Cahill exposes City weaknesses ahead of final

Everton 2 Manchester City 1

It was put to Roberto Mancini that the Stoke City manager, Tony Pulis, who was in the stands at Goodison Park, must have been rubbing his hands after watching Manchester City fold under Everton's second-half onslaught, as he plots his team's approach to the FA Cup final next Saturday.

"Do you think so? I'm happy with that," the Italian countered, bristling at the suggestion. Mancini looked rattled after this defeat, although his mood will have lifted in the evening when Tottenham Hotspur could move only a point closer to his team. Provided they do not lose against Spurs at Eastlands tomorrow, City will all but secure a Champions League place and can focus on the danger Stoke's physical style may pose at Wembley.

Mancini's players are no lightweights but at Goodison they lacked the controlled aggression required to turn a one-sided first half into a convincing victory. Instead they mirror their manager's tetchy side; Mancini's frustration boiled over in an altercation with Phil Neville at the end, when he would have been better off keeping Aleksander Kolarov and Seamus Coleman apart following Everton's fourth straight victory against City.

"After the way we played the first half it was incredible how we played the second very soft and too wide," Mancini said. "It is not easy to come here and dominate the game against Everton. We did that for 45 minutes and had five chances to score. We need to improve, that is for sure."

In reality, Pulis, and the Spurs manager, Harry Redknapp, will spend more time worrying about City's attacking capabilities. David Silva gave a masterclass and orchestrated most of City's bright attacking play, including the pass he flicked into Yaya Touré's path for the opening goal. Silva also teed up Patrick Vieira with a stunning piece of skill and went close himself, pulling his shot across Tim Howard's goal.

"They could have been out of sight at half-time," the Everton manager, David Moyes, conceded. "Even after that Touré had a chance when he went through." Howard saved on that occasion. After that, Everton found the intensity that had been lacking in the first period and, with Jermaine Beckford coming on to support the willing Victor Anichebe, began to press. But it was the introduction of Tim Cahill for the final half-hour that was the game changer.

The Australian, who had scored in three of his previous four games against City, is only just back from injury but sparked a frenzied effort from Everton, who equalised within a minute of his introduction. Mikel Arteta's free-kick was met by Sylvain Distin, who got above Vincent Kompany to score against his old team. Kompany was also at fault when Osman beat him in the air from Neville's cross for the winner.

"It's a completely different team and club from when I was there, but it's still a bit special," said Distin, who left for Portsmouth in 2007. "We had a few words from the manager at half-time, which woke us up, and we all knew we had to do much better."



Scorers: Everton Distin 65, Osman 72. Manchester City Y Touré 28.        

Subs: Everton Beckford 7 (Hibbert, h-t), Cahill 7 (Rodwell, 64), Coleman (Anichebe, 86). Man City A Johnson (Vieira, 78), Balotelli (Zabaleta 81), Jo (De Jong, 89). Booked: Everton Neville, Osman, Rodwell, Coleman. Man City Kompany, Kolarov. Man of the match Silva. Match rating 8/10. Possession: Everton 59% Man City 41%. Attempts on target: Everton 6 Man City 7. Referee P Dowd (Staffs). Att 37,351.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific