Tevez can't save City from Moyes' brigade

Manchester City 1 Everton 2

Carlos Tevez provided Manchester City with some Christmas cheer but Everton denied them the present they really wanted.

Instead of sitting top of the table on December 25 for the first time since 1929, they remain in third, beaten by the Toffees once more who registered their fourth successive win at Eastlands.



First-half efforts from Tim Cahill and Leighton Baines were enough for the visitors, who defended valiantly once they had gained the initiative and secured their first win since October.



Not even the needless dismissal of Victor Anichebe could stop them as Mario Balotelli hit a post after Yaya Toure's deflected effort had pulled one back.



It meant there was no dream end to an evening that began with a statement confirming Tevez's intention to remain at City - for the short-term at least - after a week of bad blood between player and club.



How quickly football can change moods.



Thirty minutes before kick-off, Mancini was all smiles, explaining what a fillip it was that Tevez had withdrawn his transfer request and how the City family were now looking forward to the future with confidence.



Less than an hour later, he was angrily booting over a set of neatly-arranged water bottles, gesticulating wildly at his disappearing defence, not knowing whether to stand or sit such was the height of his agitation.



It is not as though City were without warning.



Everton's last three visits to this ground had ended in victory, the last two of which had involved a goal from Cahill.



That the Australian should find the net with a trademark header, after only four minutes, having been left completely unmarked by Vincent Kompany could explain Mancini's arm-waving reaction.



In fairness to Kompany, he was gambling to try and block a potential Seamus Coleman lay-off to Jack Rodwell.



Unfortunately for the hosts, in doing so, he offered Cahill a far easier opportunity as Coleman picked him out inside the six-yard box.



Everton's second came when Pablo Zabaleta was off the field having stitches inserted in a wound that followed a clash of heads with Cahill.



The bitter pill for City came in the form of Baines and Anichebe combining down the wing Zabaleta was supposed to be patrolling and Cahill providing the lay-off for a precise finish.



It was superb simplicity, although the beauty was lost on Mancini as Baines wheeled away in glee.



For a side that had not won in seven games since October, it was a glorious half, which they defended with vigour.



Six blocks to six shots in one City barrage, Phil Neville getting in the way of a Zabaleta shot and Phil Jagielka stopping one from Kompany, both of which brought penalty appeals.



Aleksandar Kolarov also went close with a free-kick Tim Howard just managed to turn round the post as it threatened to creep in.



The Serb went close with a dipping shot at the start of the second period after David Silva had combined with Tevez to set him up.



But City were running out of ideas until Anichebe threw then a lifeline with his ridiculous red card.



The striker, who has refused to sign a new contract and was a surprise selection ahead of Louis Saha, could just about be excused for barging over Joe Hart as he challenged for a ball he was never quite getting to.



His needless trip of Zabaleta four minutes later was totally irresponsible as it earned an obvious second yellow card and left Everton to fight on with only 10 men.



For good measure, Anichebe threw his gloves at Mancini's feet before marching off down the tunnel.



Even with their numerical advantage, City still needed a massive slice of good fortune to get themselves back into the contest as Yaya Toure's wayward shot struck Jagielka and bounced in.



That Jagielka was forced off through injury merely compounded Everton's woes, although City had gone agonisingly close to grabbing an equaliser when Mario Balotelli sprinted on to Toure's excellent pass, chipped Howard but saw the ball bounce back off the post.



Howard recovered his ground quickly enough to deny Tevez's close range effort with the follow-up.



City piled forward at the end, but their only notable entry into referee Peter Walton's notebook was for the dismissal of Kolo Toure for two injury-time bookings.



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
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory