Manchester City Roberto Mancini admitted he was disappointed not to see his side top the Premier League following their 2-1 defeat to Everton.
City had the chance to move to the top of the table at Christmas for the first time in 81 years, but they were stung early on by two goals in the first 20 minutes by Tim Cahill and Leighton Baines for the Toffees.
Mancini received a welcome boost earlier in the day with Carlos Tevez committing his future to the club, but his side, and his star striker, failed to convert their chances, having 25 shots at goal and only seeing one go in.
The Italian felt the game had very much been an opportunity missed, bemoaning their inability to make their dominance count and saying their response must be a swift one.
"We have missed a big opportunity to go top and I think we are disappointed because we had a lot of chances to score a goal," Mancini told Sky Sports.
"Football is unbelievable but the season is long and we must now start again. There are three more games this month.
"Maybe in the first half we started not very well, but they had only two chances and scored two goals, the same as against Everton last year."
Mancini admitted that Tevez's decision to withdraw his transfer request was the only comfort he could take from a tough night.
He said: "We are happy for this. This is the only good news of the evening."