Verdict: Manchester City 1 Everton 2

So much for a merry Christmas and a happy first birthday for Roberto Mancini. The City manager took a well aimed kick at the Lucozade bottles after Everton’s second to sum up another night of frustration against the Toffees.

Rather than sitting top of the league, such a game brings back fears of whether we will finish above one of last season’s top four to secure a Champions League place. We sit third, but with our rivals now having games in hand, our position is less convincing.

It all began so brightly with the news that Carlos Tevez had withdrawn his transfer request and was committed to the club, following a meeting with Khaldoon al Mubarak. The captain was once again able to lead the team out to a warm reception from the crowd.

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Player ratings: Manchester City v Everton

Hart – After conceding the two early goals Joe was a virtual spectator, not having to deal with even a corner. 6

Zabaleta – In the wars throughout, and still didn’t shirk a challenge. Needed to offer a little more invention when going forward once we were chasing the game. 6

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