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By Jonathan Stevenson
2222: Time to call it quits, folks. It only leaves me to thank you for your company and to wish you a truly magical Christmas. Our next live text is on Boxing Day with
and I'll see you a couple of days later. Hope you have a cracker. Night.
Everton manager David Moyes: "There's a big smile tonight, I feel terrific. I thought we played well in the first 20 minutes and in the end it's a really, really good three points. Tim Cahill takes the fight to people - he's the one who leads us into battle. We've moved him about and he willingly does it. His attitude is terrific and he puts himself on the line for his team."
BBC Radio 5 live's Mark Lawrenson: "For a side that had the chance to go top of the league, it was a bit like they thought they would turn up and win quite comfortably. We've seen this in the Premier League all season - if you do that, you are always likely to get beaten."
From Filip on 606:
"City got punished for the first 20 min. They were pathetic. They weren't even trying to play. They were not competing. In the second half, they were great and unlucky to lose, but that's life. It happens. If you exclude the first 30 min today, we can say that in the last 3-4 weeks they are really gelling and playing like a top team. I knew they were pathetic defensively without De Jong, but two goals conceded in 20 min is beyond belief."
From Dom, a jubilant Toffee, on text: "Sylvain Distin does not get enough recognition, a giant amongst men at the back tonight and this season."
Everton keeper Tim Howard: "They were on top of us most of the second half, we knew we'd have to dig in and fight and we did that. That was as cold as it gets, but it feels a lot warmer now we've won."
Everton's Tim Cahill: The achievement is massive. We've worked hard, we've not got rewards in the last couple of months but we showed our mettle and deserved to win. This team works hard for each other and we're proud of the result for the fans."
2202: So, what does all this mean? Man City stay third in the Premier League, two points behind neighbours Man United having played two games more. Everton move up to 14th, but they are now only six points adrift of Tottenham in fifth.
From InfostradaLive on Twitter:
"Man United are now top of the table on Christmas day for a record breaking 17th time and for the first time since 2006/2007."
2158: Rarely after a league game have players seemed so pumped at a victory - the Everton boys are overjoyed with that win and they are throwing high-fives, hugging and punching the air in the direction of their travelling fans. Manager David Moyes, who has endured a hugely difficult campaign so far, looks every bit as pleased as his players.
2155: Full-time Manchester City 1-2 Everton That is an absolutely magnificent display and result from Everton, and it came completely out of the blue. On a night that was supposed to be a celebration of all things Man City/Carlos Tevez, Everton have stolen all the headlines.
Red card: No choice for referee Peter Walton there. Kolo Toure had just been booked for a cynical foul on Sylvain Distin and he throws his right boot at Diniyar Bilyaletdinov, bringing the Russian down and receiving his marching orders.
2153: SENDING OFF, KOLO TOURE, Manchester City
2153: One minute left for Manchester City to salvage their evening...
2152: Carlos Tevez suddenly bursts into life with a run along the 18-yard box and when he lets fly with a fierce right-foot shot he draws another top-class save from Tim Howard, who has been magnificent in the second half for the Toffees.
2151: Manchester United are a couple of minutes away from being top of the Premier League at Christmas. Now where have I heard that before?
2150: We're into four minutes of injury time at Eastlands. Man City 1-2 Everton.
2148: Man City play a corner short from their left and David Silva tries to catch Tim Howard out from an angle on the left, but the American keeper is perfectly placed to make the save.
2147: Whoosh. Yaya Toure catches a right-footer out of the sweet spot and it sizzles through the freezing cold air at Eastlands, forcing a stunning fingertip behind from Tim Howard. When that boy hits them, they stay hit. Great save.
2146: Guess what? Man City appeal for handball as David Silva's shot hits Tony Hibbert inside the six-yard box, but I think that's a good decision again by Peter Walton to wave play on. Not much longer left at Eastlands.
2145: Bit more pressure from Man City, first as Gareth Barry's sweetly struck 20-yard volley is blocked by Tony Hibbert and then as Aleksandar Kolarov's screaming cross-shot from a seemingly impossible angle on the left flies just past Tim Howard's left-hand upright.
From Anon, on text: "Why wasn't that a penalty then? Balotelli was caught late and the ball didn't go in, and I'm a ref and a United fan!!!" Amazing - only one they haven't appealed for tonight.
2142: Jo comes on for Mario Balotelli. He can't be any worse than the Italian has been tonight.
2140: Mario Balotelli is struggling here, looks like he's picked up a problem with his knee in that challenge with Tim Howard. Man City are getting Jo ready.
2138: Phil Jagielka limps off for Everton and Tony Hibbert comes on in his place.
2137: Man City could not have got any closer to levelling. A ball over the top finds Mario Balotelli in space and he races through, clipping the ball over the advancing Tim Howard. It rolls agonisingly against the post and comes back towards Balotelli - but Howard superbly stops him from shooting before pulling off a wonderful save to deny Carlos Tevez as the Argentine followed up. Brilliant goalkeeping.
2136: A corner from the Man City left falls for Adam Johnson 22 yards out, but the former Middlesbrough man can only curl a couple of yards over the Everton bar.
2135: Second substitution for Everton, with Louis Saha coming on for Seamus Coleman. Couple of big calls for David Moyes, the master manager.
2133: Everton make a change, with Russian flier Diniyar Bilyaletdinov coming on in place of Leon Osman.
Man City goal: Lovely move from City, but that's unlucky for the visitors. A neat interchange down the right ends with David Silva slipping in Adam Johnson and he sends it on to Yaya Toure - from an angle inside the area, the Ivorian sees his right-foot shot take a crucial deflection off Phil Jagielka and fly past Tim Howard. Game on.
2131: GOAL Manchester City 1-2 Everton (Jagielka og)
2130: Mario Balotelli has had a woeful evening. Gareth Barry slides him into space on the left-hand side of the Everton box, but he slips and then kicks the ball behind for a goalkick when he tries to get it under control.
2130: David Silva plays a neat one-two with Gareth Barry and after the Spaniard's shot is blocked, it breaks for Barry to volley a yard or two over Tim Howard's crossbar. Everton look quite content at the moment.
2126: Man City seem desperate to win a penalty tonight. Moments after a ludicrous shout for handball against Phil Jagielka is waved away, David Silva's shot thumps into Phil Neville and they want a penalty again. Play is still going on while Gareth Barry furiously runs up to the referee to remonstrate. Needless, and correct decision.
2124: Anyway, we've had 64 minutes and it's still Man City 0-2 Everton. Tim Cahill fires narrowly over, but he'd correctly just been flagged for offside so it wouldn't have counted. Cahill is now playing as a half-striker for the visitors.
2121: I'm not entirely sure either of Victor Anichebe's bookings were really warranted, though the second one was probably more of a yellow card than the first. It's heartbreak for David Moyes - he was just about to take the striker off and send on Louis Saha. Horrific bit of timing.
Red card: If Everton don't win this game, there's your turning point. Moments after a super soft yellow card for the challenge on Joe Hart, Victor Anichebe fouls Pablo Zabaleta and is cautioned again, with the inevitable red card to follow.
2119: SENDING OFF, VICTOR ANICHEBE, Everton
2119: Schoolboy, from me. You set them up, they let you down. Aleksandar Kolarov's shot is low and into the wall. Danger over.
2118: Man City have a free-kick on the right-hand corner of the Everton penalty area...
2115: Victor Anichebe is cautioned for following through and knocking Joe Hart on to his back after trying to charge the keeper down as he cleared a backpass. Looks like Hart has the world's smallest snood on, if I'm not mistaken. Maybe I am.
From Calam, London, on text: "Yaya Toure looks like he's got a bucket over his head. Shocking choice of snood." Is there a good choice, though? Really?
BBC Radio 5 live's Mark Lawrenson: "Mario Balotelli is just strolling through this game - he's watched Carlos Tevez just throw himself into a tackle and he's just standing there, watching, hardly moving. He looks like a man off to the beach with a big cosmopolitan. Mancini needs to get a reaction out of him."
2110: Man City's best chance of a goal? Aleksandar Kolarov. The left-back goes close for the umpteenth time, rifling a low drive from 25 yards inches past a sprawling Tim Howard's left-hand upright. And Pablo Zabaleta's back with us again!
2109: Pablo Zabaleta is furious at the ref for not giving him a free-kick after pressure from Victor Anichebe, and the ref Peter Walton reacts by sending Zabaleta off the pitch. No, he hasn't been sent off - but blood is coming through his bandage again so he needs to get stitched up. Can't they just bring someone else on?
2107: Good hit, son - a cross from Pablo Zabaleta is headed away by Phil Jagielka only as far as Aleksandar Kolarov, who strikes a fine volley from 25 yards that forces Tim Howard to parry away.
2106: Marouane Fellaini goes in on Mario Balotelli and the Italian goes down - it's a bit similar to the one in the first half when the Belgian was booked, remarks Lawro on BBC Radio 5 live. He's right, too.
2105: Under way in the second half with two quick notes - Phil Neville is indeed OK to continue despite a cut to his mouth and Manchester City have brought Adam Johnson on for James Milner.
2104: Man City have already laughed in the face of The Big Freeze 2010 Pt II to get this game on and they have consigned their squabble with jewel-in-the-crown Carlos Tevez to the dustbin of history. Now they need at least three second-half goals or their perfect hat-trick of going top of the Premier League will fail to materialise.
Manchester City 0-2 Everton half-time snap-shot: Catherine Etoe reports: "City's former want-away striker Carlos Tevez stole the headlines before Everton's visit to the City of Manchester Stadium, but it is Tim Cahill who deserves the plaudits at half-time. The Australian has maintained his away scoring record against the Blues, heading in the opener and playing a neat pass to Leighton Baines for Everton's second."
From Nasrant Cambs, on text: "Is it sad I rewound to count the number of passes Everton put together before they scored? Probably, I know... it was 16 if you're interested. Arsenal-esque."
2049: Phil Neville walked into an accidental elbow from Yaya Toure towards the end of the half and he leaves the pitch at Eastlands with blood pouring from a cut in his mouth. He'll be OK in 15 minutes, though.
2048: Half-time Manchester City 0-2 Everton What a perfect example of a smash-and-grab away from home. Everton have scored two top-quality goals and since going 2-0 up have soaked up all of City's pressure without Tim Howard having to make too many saves. Roberto Mancini marches down the tunnel - he's fuming.
2045: Man City are having far more of the ball, but their build-up is laboured and there isn't enough urgency to their play. Everton are working really hard to cut off the supply line to Carlos Tevez and Mario Balotelli and it's working.
2042: I'm sure I'm going to regret saying this (at least 100 messages later starting "See 2042...") but Carlos Tevez does not look like he is at the races tonight at all. His touch is heavy, he doesn't look like he's moving well and he's not even harrying the Everton defence in his usual manner.
2041: It's gone quiet again. A flurry of activity at the Everton end, but the visitors have survived and if they can make it another five minutes or so to half-time leading 2-0 they will fancy getting all three points tonight.
2037: Oooh, best effort from City so far. They have a free-kick at least 30 yards out, slightly right of centre, and Aleksandar Kolarov curls it beautifully towards Tim Howard's left-hand post, the American flying across his line to feather the ball behind. From the resulting set-piece, it falls kindly to Yaya Toure 20 yards out, but he can only blaze over.
2034: It's one of them. Marouane Fellaini goes in looking like there's a bit of intent on Carlos Tevez - all he's doing is trying to win the ball and he does, but Tevez goes down and Peter Walton brandishes a yellow card.
2032: More pressure from the hosts as a corner from the right leads to a hat-trick of blocked shots - firstly Vincent Kompany, then David Silva and finally Mario Balotelli. My word, there's another as Phil Neville throws himself at Pablo Zabaleta's effort. Superb defending.
BBC Radio 5 live's Mark Lawrenson: "The body language of the Manchester City players isn't good, hasn't been all night. I've just been looking around and most of the Everton players are wearing short-sleeves..."
2029: Everton look seriously dangerous every time they go forward, and it's been a while since anyone's been able to say that. City give the ball away and Leon Osman runs through, but instead of picking out Tim Cahill he shoots, and it deflects off Kolo Toure and loops into the grateful arms of Joe Hart.
2028: Finally, some Man City intent and some noise at Eastlands. A lovely move gets in Pablo Zabaleta down the right and his cross is pumped behind for a corner with Carlos Tevez preparing to pull the trigger. Two corners later and Mario Balotelli hits a left-foot volley sweet as you like, sending it a foot or two over.
From Use all 3 subs Roy on 606:
"Everton are really a baffling side aren't they? Lose when they should win, win when they should lose. I pity the fool who tries to take a punt on their games."
2025: Marouane Fellaini gives the ball away 30 yards from his own goal and David Silva tries to play a one-two with Carlos Tevez, only for Tim Howard to race off his line and thwart the Spaniard.
2023: Man City have been warming Jerome Boateng up, but Pablo Zabaleta has just emerged from the tunnel with a big bandage wrapped around his bonce and he'll carry on. It's awful quiet at Eastlands.
From Guy, Manchester, on text: "No matter which league or club scored it, that is a stunning goal. Footballing perfection from Everton."
2021: Man City have got Pablo Zabaleta off the pitch at the moment due to a head injury and he was off when the ball went in. But take nothing away from Everton, that was a breathtaking goal.
Everton goal: So far, this is one of the great party-pooping performances of modern times. It's a truly wonderful team goal for Everton as Leighton Baines makes hay down the left, finds Victor Anichebe and makes his way into the box - Anichebe finds Tim Cahill in the area and the Australian's lay-off is perfectly into the path of Baines, who curls a delicious right-foot shot around Kolo Toure and into the far corner. Glorious.
2019: GOAL Manchester City 0-2 Everton (Baines)
2018: Sylvain Distin, who used to play for Manchester City, is not letting Carlos Tevez so much as breathe at Eastlands right now - every time the Argentine gets the ball, the big centre-back is all over him like a rash. He'll be trying to find out if Carlos's snood is big enough for two if that carries on.
2014: A corner from the Manchester City left is met on the penalty spot by Mario Balotelli, but he is leaning back and can only head into the arms of Tim Howard.
2012: Brilliance, then rubbish. Yaya Toure floats a cracking ball over the top of two defenders into the path of David Silva inside the Everton box - his first touch sets up a left-foot volley perfectly, but the execution is poor and slams into the side-netting. Got to hit the target.
2009: Carlos Tevez looks tired out by all those talks about his future - he gives the ball away easily and Everton are very much in the ascendancy at the moment.
2007: Roberto Mancini was absolutely furious when that goal went in - presumably not best pleased with his £19m left-back Aleksandar Kolarov, who went missing in a big way for that goal. Everton are strutting around Eastlands right now. They could only be cockier if they were wearing Mario Balotelli's hat (see 1952).
Everton goal: Goals don't get much easier than that - it's an early Christmas present for the visitors. Leighton Baines' cross from the left is just too high for Victor Anichebe and he flicks it on - it falls for Seamus Coleman on the right-hand side of the City area, and with no-one marking him he clips a cross into the six-yard box where the equally unmarked Tim Cahill is all alone to nod down and into the net.
2005: GOAL Manchester City 0-1 Everton (Cahill)
2004: Lots of early possession for the hosts, while Everton need to stop giving the ball away so cheaply. It all feels a little muted at the moment.
2003: Lots of empty seats at Eastlands, presumably people struggling to get along to the game because of the apocalyptic conditions in Britain these crazy days. Lawro notes on BBC Radio 5 live that there are neither cheers nor jeers for Carlos Tevez.
2000: It's snood o'clock at Eastlands, and two wearers-in-chief Carlos Tevez and David Silva get us under way.
BBC Radio 5 live's Mark Lawrenson: "It's not going to be an easy game for Manchester City, this. Everton's away record is good and they are a very good side, they've played well without scoring in a lot of games this season."
From Butch, Didcot, on text: "Looks like Balotelli was celebrating the Trashmen making it to number three in the Xmas chart! The bird is the word!"
1955: The teams are in the tunnel. Everton captain Phil Neville looks properly pumped - can he do his old club a favour and keep Manchester United top of the league at Christmas?
1952: Other football news just in, courtesy of AP: Diego Maradona says he should be the new coach of Boca Juniors and has criticised the club for being on the verge of appointing Julio Cesar Falcioni to the job. "I say to the people at Boca that I will be on the bench there one day," said El Diego.
From Kit, Manchester, on text: "Stevo, Forget Tevez. The real headline news amongst Blues is Balotelli's Feathers McGraw-inspired headgear on his way into Eastlands." Haha. Well done
ChristianMcr on Twitter
posting this pic.
1947: Everton fans, keep the faith. After all, you've won three times in a row at Eastlands, remember - 2-0, 1-0 and 2-0 since a 2-1 defeat on New Year's Day, 2007. The Toffees did the double over Man City last season, but things seem very different this time around, don't they? The hosts are unbeaten in seven in the Premier League, while Everton are winless in their last seven.
1944: Congratulations, meanwhile, to Samuel Eto'o, as the Inter Milan and Cameroon striker has just been crowned African Player of the Year for 2010."
From rrengland3 on Twitter:
"Anichebe... Oh dear. Don't see why Moyes won't give Beckford a start. Out of all our strikers he's scored the most goals."
Manchester City v Everton team news: Catherine Etoe reports: "It is back to business for Manchester City's Carlos Tevez - the Argentine is back on the team sheet and will retain the captain's armband. Nigel de Jong is suspended so Roberto Mancini brings in James Milner, while Jo drops to the bench. Everton boss David Moyes gives Victor Anichebe a start ahead of Louis Saha, who is on the bench, while Leon Osman comes in for the injured Steven Piennar."
From Anon, on text: "Stevo, left late from Liverpool, only just coming from M62. Coach load of Evertonians completely optimistic until we heard formation. Now 52 Evertonians very, very unhappy."
1934: According to
Euro Club Index,
Manchester City are currently ranked 18th on the ECI and Everton are 30th. City have a 53% chance of winning tonight's match and Everton have a 19% chance of victory. If City win, they will move up to 16th place on the Euro Club Index, overtaking Liverpool.
Everton boss David Moyes: "I always thought Carlos Tevez was going to play, so it doesn't change much from that point of view. We've done OK recently, but not scored enough. We've played well here in the past and we'll try and do it again tonight."
From mikeeightynine on Twitter:
"All these stats about City potentially going top, but United will have two games in hand. So it doesn't really count, does it?"
Manchester City v Everton scene-setter: Catherine Etoe reports: "Christmas could come early to the blue half of Manchester tonight should Roberto Mancini's side beat visitors Everton: victory would see Manchester City top the league table at Christmas for the first time since 1929. Leading striker Carlos Tevez has already raised spirits by formally withdrawing his transfer request hours before kick-off. But despite their struggle for form, Everton will be determined not to gift City a win as they eye a fourth consecutive league victory over the Blues at the City of Manchester Stadium."
Man City boss Roberto Mancini: "It's very important for everyone that Carlos stayed. It was easy to keep Carlos as the captain. I'm not worried about tonight, I think he'll have a good game. It's an important game for us and for him, but they are all important games at the moment."
From Nick in surprisingly snowless Nottingham, on text: "Balotelli will certainly keep us warm with his fiery personality, glad to see he's starting." Always sunny in Nottingham. Always.
From Amir Mir on 606:
"Stevo, where have you been? I heard rumours that you had handed in you resignation to the BBC, who had rejected it, and now all of a sudden you have withdrawn your resignation. Oh, what has the world come to!"
1917: Manchester City v Everton line-ups: Man City: Hart, Zabaleta, Toure, Kompany, Kolarov, Milner, Toure Yaya, Barry, Silva, Tevez, Balotelli. Subs: Given, Richards, Wright-Phillips, Adam Johnson, Boateng, Vieira, Jo. Everton: Howard, Neville, Jagielka, Distin, Baines, Coleman, Rodwell, Fellaini, Osman, Cahill, Anichebe. Subs: Mucha, Hibbert, Bilyaletdinov, Saha, Beckford, Gueye, Yakubu. Referee: Peter Walton (Northamptonshire)
1915: Probably also not worth telling Everton fans that the last time Man City were top on 25 December, the Toffees went on to get relegated - one of only two times in their history they have lost their top-flight status. Plenty of reasons, then, why they will be going all out to deny their hosts this evening.
1913: You know, it's no wonder Manchester City have moved heaven and earth to get this game on. If they can beat Everton, the Eastlands outfit will sit happily at the summit of the top flight in English football at Christmas for the first time since the 1929-30 season. (Don't tell City fans they finished third back then, will you? Behind champions Sheffield Wednesday and Derby County, fyi)
BBC Radio 5 live's Darren Fletcher: "There were talks on Sunday and Monday, but Roberto Mancini was not involved in these negotiations and neither was Carols Tevez's agent Kia Joorabchian. They were between Tevez, chief executive Garry Cook and chairman Khaldoon al-Mubarak and Tevez was happy to put his name to
the statement on the club's website."
1906: Carlos Tevez retains the captaincy and starts for Man City.
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