All of Cahill's five Premier League goals this season have come via his head
By Nathan Mercer
Everton dented Manchester City's hopes of a Champions League place with a fully deserved win at Eastlands.
Tim Cahill scored a trademark header after a neat build-up between Mikel Arteta and Leighton Baines, who provided the cross.
City raised the tempo in the second half but after finding no way through, Arteta slotted home a fine second after a superb run from Jack Rodwell.
In the final stages both managers were sent to the stands as tempers frayed.
Angry City boss Roberto Mancini raced to retrieve the ball, clattering into his opposite number David Moyes in the process, sparking a melee on the sidelines and prompting referee Peter Walton to dismiss them both.
And after inflicting Mancini his first defeat as Manchester City manager back in January, Moyes once more masterminded a fine victory for his side.
Mancini plays down fracas with Moyes
The win takes Everton to within three points of rivals Liverpool in the Premier League and puts them firmly in contention to clinch a Europa League spot - a feat Moyes described would be one of his finest achievements.
The Toffees, who have won their last three visits to the City of Manchester Stadium without conceding a goal, were again good value for their win here and in the process ended City's unbeaten record at home this season.
Carlos Tevez's typically industrious efforts aside, City struggled to break the visitors' stubborn resistance with the Argentine cutting a frustrated figure by the lack of service.
Sylvain Distin and Phil Jagielka marshalled Everton's defensive unit superbly throughout, pressing and closing City's forwards, while Johnny Heitinga was effective in breaking down the supply line.
And after absorbing the home side's early pressure, the visitors caught the City defence unprepared with a clinical free-kick on 33 minutes.
Arteta disguised the set-piece by pulling back for Baines, who clipped in a cross for Cahill to guide his effort - the fifth from his head this season - through a crowd of players and beyond Shay Given.
In contrast to Everton's tight defensive line, Arteta and Cahill were able to pick holes and expose frailties in the home side's rearguard.
City upped the tempo midway through the second half and pinned the Toffees in their own half, with the away side retreating and comfortable in containing their hosts.
Substitute Roque Santa Cruz blasted an effort over the bar after finding space on the edge of the box, but Howard was seldom called into making a save.
Moyes praises passing and possession
And Everton killed City off on 85 minutes with an electric counter-attack in which Cahill and Arteta once again combined to devastating affect.
Substitute Rodwell broke down the right and squared across the box which Cahill left for his midfield partner to drill low into the net.
And as Mancini grew ever more frustrated, his over-enthusiastic efforts to retrieve the ball for his side ended in him being sent from the dugout.
Moyes was also dismissed, albeit harshly for his part in the incident in which he appeared only to be standing his ground.
Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini on the incident with Moyes: "I've spoken now with David and if I made a mistake I am sorry.
"I wanted to get the ball because there was another five minutes at the end.
"This can happen sometimes in a game but it is finished now. I was frustrated for the players."
Everton boss David Moyes: "I wasn't the one waving my hand for bookings.
"I was very surprised, I didn't know what I had done wrong. I shouldn't have been sent off, simple as."
"I held the ball longer than I should have but I was trying to make a change. He showed his passion for his team and his club and I can accept that."
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