FA Premier League
Saturday 1 December 2012, 15.00 KO
City: Hart, Maicon, Kompany (c), Lescott, Kolarov (Zabaleta 8), Y Toure, Barry, Silva, Nasri, Tevez (Aguero 68), Dzeko (Balotelli 81)
Unused: Pantilimon, K Toure, Garcia, Sinclair
Goals: Tevez (pen 43)
Booked: Lescott, Zabaleta
Referee: Lee Probert
Man of the Match: Vincent Kompany
It was a slow start to the game and City weren’t quick in coming out of the blocks. Early on, the home side lost Kolarov to injury, before Maicon fizzed a great ball into the box for Dzeko to challenge. Howard got up above him to claim it and both players fell heavily, needing treatment. It was Everton’s turn to press moments later, but Baines’s cross wasn’t threatening anybody after some good build-up.
Just before the 25 minute mark, Nasri pulled away into space inside the box and found room to shoot, but it hit Dzeko and bounced behind for a goal kick. City were uninspiring and Everton were in control of the play, despite creating little for Joe Hart to stop. Soon, though, that had changed, as a ball from the left was met by Fellaini. Hart pulled off a brilliant save, but he could do nothing to stop the Belgian slotting the rebound into the net. Everton deserved their lead.
Two minutes later, City were almost level, but for a great save by Howard. Tevez found a pocket of space inside the box and flicked a header towards the back post as the cross dropped his way. It looked destined for the corner, but the visiting goalkeeper got across to push it behind for a corner. Dzeko then set himself up for a volley, via Silva and Barry, but Howard got that behind awkwardly.
From the resulting flag kick, City earned the chance to equalise. Dzeko went down under pressure from Fellaini and the referee agreed that he’d been dragged down by the Everton goalscorer and pointed straight to the spot. Tevez stepped up and, as Howard dived to his left, smashed the penalty right down the middle to level the scores.
City started the second half much better than they had the first. Tevez had a shot blocked at close range, before Distin took an airshot under pressure from the Argentine forward. Howard, though, was there to mop up the danger and City were looking much more like the team they normally do, rather than their first-half stifled selves. And that was almost summed up by Maicon, who powered into the Everton box and shot, but his effort was beaten away by Howard.
But the home side appeared to relax, and Everton were sniffing all three points. Zabaleta got up well to clear a corner, after Kompany had cleared a free kick from Baines. Dzeko tried to nod the ball down for Toure when he could have had an attempt on goal, before he tried the same for Aguero, but the Argentine couldn’t quite latch onto it before it was cleared.
With minutes to play, City stepped up the pressure with a series of corners, but that almost cost them as the visitors broke away. Everton had a four-on-three for a moment, but Zabaleta cynically brought down Jelavic to give the home side time to get back. He got booked and, from the free kick, Hart just about got the ball behind. It was an awkward save, but it earned City a point.