Everton played Manchester City for the second time in a matter of days last night, and the two sides are starting to develop a sense of familiarity. This meeting had three Premier League points at stake and City could have gone top of the table with a win, while visitors Everton had just one win in the last seven and needed the points just as badly.
The Blues looked chaotic in the first few minutes of the game as the Citizens looked to get an early goal to overwhelm them, but Everton eventually found a foothold and ended the first half the better side, having had one of the best chances to score when Leon Osman's first-time volley swerved inches wide of Joe Hart's far post with the goalie rooted to the spot.
However the second half was a different story as the home side attacked in waves but the Toffees defended the siege quite resolutely, led by a timely return to form for goalie Tim Howard and also bolstered by club captain Phil Jagielka's return to the starting lineup.
Young defender John Stones has hit a rough patch in the last month or so, and while he might have started his career as a right back, he looked distinctly uncomfortable in that position yesterday as Raheem Sterling gave him a torrid time all game long. Stones looked to have undone all the solid defending in the waning minutes of injury time when he slid into Sterling in the box, but was extremely lucky to see the referee point for a goalkick instead of a penalty. Oddly enough, while the whole Etihad Stadium and ten City players bayed for a penalty, Sterling got up, dusted himself off and walked away.
Manager Roberto Martinez applauded the team's resilience in his post-match comments, but should come under fire for not pulling the trigger on making substitutions earlier in the second half when both Leon Osman and Gerard Deulofeu were visibly flagging and Everton were largely overrun in the middle of the park.
Video courtesy of Full Matches and Shows