By Rhonda Richards | In Match Reports - Away Games
Manchester City suffered defeat at the hands of Everton on a cold January night, former Manchester United midfielder Darron Gibson’s goal handing his new side a 1-0 win and the three points.
The loss was only City’s third this term, and with the Red Devils beating Stoke City , it means the two Manchester sides are level on points at the top of the Premier League.
There was a scare before a ball had even been kicked as Micah pulled up during the warm-up with an apparent knee injury, but thankfully he took his place in the starting XI. The right-back needed to be on full alert straight away as the Toffees – backed by a home support in full voice – went in search of an early goal.
And they nearly had one as Leighton Baines’ corner was met by Denis Stracqualursi, but Joleon Lescott was well-placed to block on the line. City and Micah responded immediately, David Silva slotting the ball in delightfully to pick out his team-mate who struck powerfully on goal, with Tim Howard getting down to make the save.
A James Milner charge down the right saw the England international whip in a cross that evaded three of his team-mates before Gael Clichy spooned over, whilst an exquisite strike by Samir Nasri from 35-yards rebounded off the woodwork.
Events too a more sinister twist as an Everton fan ran on the pitch and handcuffed himself to the goalposts, with the stewards having to call on an emergency pair of cutters to free him and escort him off the field. Unsurprisingly, when the game did recommence, the momentum had been taken right out, and both sides were content to play out the remaining few minutes leading to the interval.
There was plenty of endeavour from City in the first 10 minutes of the second half without any real end product, and the visitors were forced to pay the price as David Moyes’ side grabbed the lead. Royston Drenthe picked up the loose ball following a charge forward by Micah, jinking his way through midfield and picking out Baines, who in turn found Landon Donovan, and the US forward’s tee-up was smashed home by Gibson via a deflection.
Mancini made an immediate change by bringing on Adam Johnson for James Milner, and they had a strong shout for a penalty turned down after Aleksander Kolarov’s cross was seemingly beaten down by Phil Neville’s arm.
In injury time and with Micah playing almost as an out and out striker, a cross was swung in which he met with a header from an off-balance position which Howard caught, and the final whistle was blown to call a halt on proceedings and confirm a disappointing defeat for the away side.
Everton: Howard, Neville, Hibbert, Heitinga, Baines, Donovan,Gibson, Fellaini, Drenthe, Cahill, Stracqualursi. Subs: Mucha, Gueye, Barkley, Vellios, Forshaw, Duffy, Baxter.
Man City: Hart, Richards, Kompany, Lescott, Clichy, Barry, Milner, Silva, Aguero, Nasri, Dzeko. Subs: Pantilimon, Zabaleta, Johnson, Kolarov, Savic, De Jong, Razak.