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Barclays Premier League

Goodison Park (ATT 37,351) 7th May 2011 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: P Dowd

Everton Everton vs Manchester City Man City

Everton 2

S Distin (65)
L Osman (72)

ft

Man City 1

Y Toure (28)

Toffees halt City charge

Sweet revival for Toffees at Goodison as City collapse

Last Updated: 07/05/11 5:35pm

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Everton put a dent in Manchester City's push for a UEFA Champions League spot as they produced a second-half revival to clinch a 2-1 victory at Goodison Park.

Man of the match: Leon Osman. The Toffees midfielder was industrious throughout and crowned his display with a great headed winner. Goal of the match: Everything about Everton's equaliser was easy on the eye, from Mikel Arteta's wonderful free-kick to Sylvain Distin's precise finish. Chance of the match: Patrick Vieira almost broke the deadlock for the visitors early in the first half but volleyed his effort over from inside the six-yard box. Moment of the match: The Toffees put everything behind their attack after the restart and the opening minutes of the second half saw some of the most entertaining action of the clash. Talking point: Have City damaged their chances of securing a Champions League spot or is this just a minor blip they can recover from?

A win on Merseyside would have gifted fourth-placed City a 10-point lead over nearest rivals Liverpool and Tottenham, but they were unable to stretch their advantage as Leon Osman's strike crowned an impressive Toffees comeback.

Roberto Mancini's men were flying at the break after a bright first half which saw Yaya Toure slot home a tidy opener from a precise David Silva pass.

But the Toffees came storming back in the second 45 minutes as Sylvain Distin headed an equaliser against his former club from an impressive Mikel Arteta free-kick before Osman nodded home the winner seven minutes later.

The win cements Everton's spot in seventh and leaves City without a win over David Moyes' side since Mancini took the helm at Eastlands in December 2009.

Rivals

City now face their chief rivals for fourth, Tottenham, on Tuesday knowing they cannot ease up ahead of next week's FA Cup final against Stoke at Wembley.

Much talk before the game centred on Joleon Lescott's first return to Goodison since his controversial £22million move to City 21 months ago.

Yet it was Distin, also facing his old club, who turned the match and Osman settled it with his fourth goal in nine games.

City left Mario Balotelli, Gareth Barry and Adam Johnson out of their line-up and talisman Carlos Tevez, as expected, did not appear.

City soon asserted themselves, although Everton had the first chance when Osman fired over from a cleverly-worked Leighton Baines free-kick.

The visitors looked composed in possession with Silva exhibiting some sublime touches.

The Spaniard went close after brilliantly controlling a hopeful punt from Vincent Kompany and beating Tony Hibbert to shoot across goal.

He showed more skill when he tapped a James Milner cross into the six-yard box but Patrick Vieira volleyed over.

Milner found space in the area as Everton pushed up but he opted to pass instead of shooting and the hosts got back to clear.

The respite was shortlived for the hosts, however, as City claimed the lead moments later, in the 28th minute.

Silva was again the orchestrator, although he benefited from a lucky ricochet as he took the ball past Distin.

He found Toure unmarked to his right and the Ivory Coast international powered forward to clip the ball over Tim Howard.

Edin Dzeko tested Howard with a fierce shot from the edge of the area after the restart but the American gathered well.

Silva created another good chance for Toure when he threaded a low ball into the area but the former Barcelona midfielder sidefooted over.

Kompany needed to be alert to deny Jack Rodwell a shooting chance early in the second half.

The ball looked to be rolling to the midfielder in the box after a powerful Baines free-kick struck Toffees substitute Jermaine Beckford but the Belgian defender got a foot in.

City replied with a quick breakaway as Silva freed Toure but Howard stood up well and denied the advancing midfielder with his feet.

Dzeko then headed wide from an Aleksandar Kolarov free-kick as City built more pressure.

A scuffle broke out when Kompany responded to a Rodwell tackle on Nigel de Jong by pushing the Everton midfielder.

Rodwell's subsequent reaction led to both he and Kompany being booked.

City quickly got back into their stride and Dzeko, looking for his second Premier League goal, struck a firm shot wide from the edge of the area.

The visitors paid the price for their profligacy as Everton equalised in the 66th minute through Distin.

Everton had sent on Tim Cahill - scorer of five goals against City - just moments earlier and the Australian went straight into the box for an Arteta free-kick.

But it was Distin who did the damage, rising at the far post to power a header into the bottom corner which Joe Hart failed to keep out.

Confidence

The goal infused Everton with confidence and Beckford went through. The striker was ruled marginally offside and chipped wide anyway, but nevertheless it was a warning for City.

It was one they failed to heed as the Toffees grabbed a second in the 72nd minute.

Phil Neville delivered an inviting cross into the area and Osman timed his leap superbly, beating Kompany in the air and glancing a looping header over Hart into the top corner.

It almost got worse for City as Beckford shot straight at Hart from close range.

City's frustrations were perhaps evident at the final whistle as Cahill and Kolarov appeared to argue with each other while Neville exchanged words with the visitors' assistant boss Brian Kidd.

EvertonTeam StatisticsManchester City
2Goals1
01st Half Goals1
4Shots on Target3
3Shots off Target5
4Blocked Shots4
11Corners6
16Fouls16
1Offsides1
4Yellow Cards2
0Red Cards0
73.1Passing Success80.1
14Tackles9
78.6Tackles Success77.8
48Possession52
59.9Territorial Advantage40.1

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Matches

Table

Barclays Premier League

Barclays Premier League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Liverpool 34 77
2 Chelsea 35 75
3 Manchester City 33 71
4 Arsenal 34 67
5 Everton 34 66
6 Tottenham Hotspur 35 63
7 Manchester United 33 57
8 Southampton 35 49
9 Newcastle United 35 46
10 Stoke City 35 44
11 Crystal Palace 35 43
12 West Ham United 35 37
13 Swansea City 35 36
14 Hull City 33 36
15 Aston Villa 34 35
16 West Bromwich Albion 33 33
17 Norwich City 34 32
18 Cardiff City 35 30
19 Fulham 35 30
20 Sunderland 34 29

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