By Tom Smart (@InvisibleManMC)
A disappointing end to January and transfer deadline day ended with the Sky Blues sinking to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Everton. A January that included being knocked out of both domestic cups and involving some particularly dubious decisions around the club.
Nevertheless the away side would continue to not appeal nor complain about the treatment from the nations governing body of football. There currently appears to be very little interest from the FA into the treatment of the league leaders and it appears that it will be this way for the foreseeable future if the past few weeks are anything to go by.
Before the game, City had all but confirmed the signing of technically gifted midfielder David Pizzaro from Roma on a loan deal until the end of the season. Rumours had also suggested of an option to buy for the price of £2.5M at the end of the season. It was a good move to bolster the midfield with Yaya Toure still missing from the side due to the Ivory Coast’s campaign in the African Cup of Nations.
City’s third loss of the Premier League season came about after a lacklustre first half display from both sides. The few highlights included in the opening minutes after an Everton corner was cleared off the line by Joleon Lescott following a header at goal by Denis Stracqualursi. Micah Richards shortly after was fed in by David Silva following some neat passing around the Everton box, before firing a low shot that Howard deflected away for a corner.
In the 23rd minute a long accurate pass from Silva found the superb touch of Sergio Aguero. Aguero shuffled the ball to the left before striking it just wide of the Everton goal. Shortly afterwards Everton were able to engineer themselves a move, floating a ball into the path of Stracqualursi who nodded it across to Felliani. The Goodison faithful saw the strike float past Joe Hart's goal.
City’s best effort of the night came immediately after Fellaini's chance, from a Samir Nasri 25 yard thunderbolt, that struck the cross bar before bouncing into the path of Sergio Aguero who was found to be offside.
The night’s most bizarre incident was then to follow. A home fan protesting about his daughter’s recent sacking from flight company RyanAir, handcuffed himself to the goal post of the Manchester City goal. The incident caused play to be stopped for approximately 5 minutes before police and stewards were able to cut him lose of the goal and play was able to continue. An odd form of protest, yet one the fan thought would be viable.
City’s first attack of the 2nd half was a break by Aguero into the Everton box before Felliani made an excellent tackle to halt the run of the Argentine forward. Some appealed for a penalty but the appeals were weak and Peter Walton had made the correct decision.
It wasn’t until the hour mark that Everton were able to push forward and break the deadlock. Dzeko lost the ball at the midway point in the Everton half after another superb Felliani tackle. Roysten Drenthe was able to skip away from Gareth Barry, before laying a weighted pass into the oncoming Baines. Baines placed over a cross that was deflected into path of Donovan who laid the ball off to ex-Manchester United midfielder Darren Gibson to shoot at goal. The ball deflected on it’s way through and hit the back of the Manchester City net, and it was ultimately the first away goal City have conceded in the Premier League since New Years day against Sunderland.
City continued to press for the remainder of the game but to no avail, as Everton claimed their fourth home win of the season against the now joint Premier League leaders, after Manchester United’s win at home to Stoke earlier in the evening.
Ultimately a setback for the Blues at a place that City always seem unable to get a result at. This fixture proving no different in a long running trend that City have had to deal with, only one win in the last 11 meetings at Goodison Park for us.
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