By William Wood | In Match Reports - Home Games
Manchester City’s top-four aspirations were dealt a blow as Everton continued their fine form with a 2-0 win at the City of Manchester Stadium.
Micah started having overcome the knock that saw him placed on the substitutes bench for City’s last outing, and whilst the youngster was in solid form, the Toffees were able to pick their opponents off despite a number of chances befalling the hosts.
The City defence signaled their intention to close the Everton forwards down whenever possible, and Micah’s stern but fair challenge on Steven Pienaar was one such example, leaving the South African crumpled on the turf.
At the other end, Kolo Toure burst forward and was almost clean through before Phil Jagielka made the interception, and minutes later Pablo Zabaleta picked Micah out in Everton’s box only for his header to be clawed off the line by Tim Howard.
The 21-year old was in the thick of it, picking out Gareth Barry after some fine possession work only for the England midfielder’s header to go behind for a goal-kick.
The openings were falling to the Eastlanders, this time Carlos Tevez racing through only for Howard to sprint from his line and block the Argentine’s effort.
Craig Bellamy was next up to sting the palms of Howard as the US stopper grabbed the ball at the second attempt, and Everton’s opener came somewhat against the run of play.
Mikel Arteta laid a free-kick back to Jagielka, and the latter’s shot found its way to Tim Cahill who turned the ball home to hand David Moyes’ side the lead.
City left the field feeling hard done by at half-time, with the referee an unpopular figure amongst the home faithful, and things almost took a turn for the worse as Arteta’s shot soon after the restart was denied by Shay Given.
With the tide changing, Cahill went close with a chip over the Republic of Ireland international which flew just wide, though substitute Shaun Wright-Phillips should have done better with a half-volley inside Everton’s penalty area.
Micah himself had a further chance to draw City level as a loose ball fell to the defender, but his miskick and Howard’s subsequent quick thinking handed the away side a let-off.
With time running out, Moyes’ side doubled their advantage as Jack Rodwell broke beyond Vincent Kompany down the right, pulling the ball back towards Cahill, and when the Australian dummied the ball Arteta was well-placed to direct the ball beyond Given.
Zabaleta had a chance to draw a goal back for City but his shot was wayward, and the 2-0 defeat leaves City in fifth-place.
Man City: Given, Richards, Toure, Kompany, Zabaleta, Adam Johnson, Ireland, De Jong, Barry, Bellamy, Tevez.
Everton: Howard, Neville, Jagielka, Distin, Baines,Osman,Heitinga, A rteta, Pienaar, Cahill, Saha.
Man City: None
Everton: Cahill (33’), Arteta (85’)