Premier League
EvertonEverton1Man CityManchester City1

Everton 1-1 Manchester City

By Phil McNultyChief football writer at Goodison Park
Everton forward Steven Naismith (right) heads in his side's equaliser against Manchester City
Everton forward Steven Naismith (right) scored his sixth league goal of the season
  • Man City held to second league draw in three games
  • Everton end run of four top flight losses
  • Fernandinho scores second league goal of campaign
  • Sergio Aguero returns after injury

Manchester City lost ground to Chelsea in the Premier League title race as Everton came from behind to earn a fully-deserved point against the champions at Goodison Park.

Fernandinho's scrambled goal - as Everton appealed in vain for offside - with 16 minutes left looked to have condemned Roberto Martinez's side to their fifth successive league defeat.

Everton, however, built on their midweek improvement against West Ham United in the FA Cup third round and merited the point they were given when Steven Naismith's glancing header put them level within four minutes of City's opener.

Everton have platform - Martinez

City boss Manuel Pellegrini will be disappointed at a result that saw Chelsea regain a two-point lead at the top after their win against Newcastle United - but he can have no complaints about the final outcome.

Everton's players have been questioned, as has their belief in Martinez's passing approach, after their recent dismal run but there was plenty of spirit on display here - exemplified by the outstanding Romelu Lukaku, who gave Manchester City's £30m defender Eliaquim Mangala a torrid time.

City were without Yaya Toure, on Africa Cup Of Nations duty, while Vincent Kompany was on the bench, along with fit-again Sergio Aguero, and their presence was sorely missed against an Everton side that looked more rejuvenated and confident as the game progressed.

Everton's fans were angry at a second-half goal from Phil Jagielka being ruled out for offside and were complaining about offside and a possible handball in the build-up to Fernandinho's goal, but the rousing reception Martinez's players received at the final whistle showed Goodison Park's appreciation for a much more resolute display.

Everton striker Romelu Lukaku (centre) has a shot saved by Man City keeper Joe Hart
Everton striker Romelu Lukaku (centre) twice had shots saved by Man City keeper Joe Hart

Lukaku revealed after the draw with West Ham United that the players had approached Martinez with a suggestion to occasionally adopt a more direct approach.

And yet it was Everton's tendency to over-play ponderously in defence that placed them in most danger in a first half City dominated without demonstrating the required cutting edge.

Goalkeeper Joel Robles was fortunate to get away with a poor clearance when he was played into trouble by John Stones while Jesus Navas failed to hit the target after Mo Besic's risky pass bounced off Jagielka.

Lukaku clearly had the weapons to trouble City's defence when he got the right service, as he proved just before half-time when he outpaced Mangala only to be blocked by Joe Hart. Seamus Coleman then picked up the loose ball and rattled the bar from 25 yards.

Man City will keep fighting - Pellegrini

The striker left Mangala trailing again just after half-time to bring another fine save from Hart as Everton finally played to Lukaku's strengths in the hope of making the breakthrough.

City's failure to break the deadlock saw Pellegrini send on Aguero for Stevan Jovetic after 66 minutes, the Argentine returning for the first time since suffering a knee injury against Everton in early December.

The goal finally came after 74 minutes when, as Everton appealed for offside, Fernandinho's effort squeezed past Coleman on the line from David Silva's cross-shot.

Everton responded swiftly and were level inside four minutes, Naismith beating Hart to Leighton Baines's free-kick to score with a glancing header.

Everton defender Seamus Coleman watches as his shot hits the Manchester city crossbar
Everton defender Seamus Coleman hit the Manchester city crossbar
Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero (second right) makes his comeback to action after being out since 6 December last year
Sergio Aguero (second right) mades his comeback to action after being out since 6 December
Manchester City midfielder Fernandinho celebrates his goal at Everton
Fernandinho has scored two goals from three shots on target in the Premier League this season

Line-ups

Everton

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Robles
  • 23Coleman
  • 26StonesBooked at 63mins
  • 6Jagielka
  • 3Baines
  • 17Besic
  • 18Barry
  • 7McGeadySubstituted forMirallasat 77'minutes
  • 20Barkley
  • 14Naismith
  • 10Lukaku

Substitutes

  • 5Eto'o
  • 8Oviedo
  • 9Koné
  • 11Mirallas
  • 29Garbutt
  • 30Alcaraz
  • 45Griffiths

Man City

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Hart
  • 5Zabaleta
  • 26Demichelis
  • 20MangalaBooked at 50mins
  • 22Clichy
  • 25FernandinhoBooked at 69minsSubstituted forLampardat 82'minutes
  • 6Reges
  • 15Navas
  • 21Silva
  • 8NasriSubstituted forKolarovat 90+2'minutes
  • 35JoveticSubstituted forAgüeroat 67'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Sagna
  • 4Kompany
  • 11Kolarov
  • 12Sinclair
  • 13Caballero
  • 16Agüero
  • 18Lampard
Referee:
Martin Atkinson
Attendance:
39,499

Match Stats

Home TeamEvertonAway TeamMan City
Possession
Home38%
Away62%
Shots
Home11
Away18
Shots on Target
Home4
Away2
Corners
Home4
Away9
Fouls
Home9
Away10

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Everton 1, Manchester City 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Everton 1, Manchester City 1.

  3. Substitution

    Substitution, Manchester City. Aleksandar Kolarov replaces Samir Nasri.

  4. Post update

    Attempt saved. Samir Nasri (Manchester City) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by David Silva.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Sergio Agüero (Manchester City).

  6. Post update

    Phil Jagielka (Everton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  7. Post update

    Corner, Everton. Conceded by Eliaquim Mangala.

  8. Post update

    Attempt saved. Kevin Mirallas (Everton) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Leighton Baines.

  9. Post update

    Attempt missed. Sergio Agüero (Manchester City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Jesús Navas with a cross following a corner.

  10. Post update

    Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Leighton Baines.

  11. Substitution

    Substitution, Manchester City. Frank Lampard replaces Fernandinho.

  12. Post update

    David Silva (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Muhamed Besic (Everton).

  14. Post update

    Offside, Everton. Seamus Coleman tries a through ball, but Romelu Lukaku is caught offside.

  15. Post update

    Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Leighton Baines.

  16. Goal!

    Goal! Everton 1, Manchester City 1. Steven Naismith (Everton) header from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Leighton Baines with a cross following a set piece situation.

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, Everton. Kevin Mirallas replaces Aiden McGeady.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Pablo Zabaleta (Manchester City).

  19. Post update

    Phil Jagielka (Everton) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  20. Goal!

    Goal! Everton 0, Manchester City 1. Fernandinho (Manchester City) header from very close range to the bottom left corner.