Everton 1 Manchester City 0
Republic of Ireland’s Darron Gibson threw the title race wide open with a stunning goal to rock Manchester City and leave them level on points with Gibson’s former club Manchester United, who beat Stoke 2-0.
Gibson lashed home his first goal for Everton since leaving Old Trafford earlier this month as the Premier League leaders slipped up at Goodison Park.
The visitors shaded a fiercely-contested first half, with Samir Nasri’s thunderbolt – which rebounded off the bar – the closest either side came to breaking the deadlock.
The biggest drama came when play was held up just before the interval when a man ran into City goalkeeper Joe Hart’s goalmouth and handcuffed himself to one of the posts. He was removed by police and led away after a short struggle.
Manchester City began the second-half well as Dzeko and Nasri missed two good chances just after the restart. Although City were retaining a great deal of possession, they were not making it count in the final third.
The lack of cutting edge would come back to haunt Mancini’s side as Gibson gave the Toffees a shock advantage on the hour, drilling in a shot from 20 yards.
City poured forward in search of an equaliser, but Everton’s defence held firm and they closed the game out to claim a well-earned victory.
City now lead the table only on goal difference, where they have a six-goal advantage on their local rivals.
Everton: Howard, Hibbert, Baines, Heitinga, Neville, Drenthe, Fallaini, Gibson, Cahill, Donovan, Stracqualursi. Subs: Baxter, Vellios.
Manchester City: Hart, Clichy, Lescott, Kompany, Richards, Barry, Milner, Silva, Nasri, Dzeko, Aguero. Subs: Kolarov, de Jong, Johnson.