Everton defeated Manchester City 1-0 to drop the English Premier League leader into a tie on points with Manchester United, which beat Stoke 2-0.
Everton’s Darron Gibson scored the goal last night that left the Manchester teams with 54 points each. Third-place Tottenham beat Wigan 3-1, Chelsea tied Swansea 1-1 and Liverpool won 3-0 at Wolverhampton.
City has won once in its last 14 visits to Goodison Park and stays on top of the standings only on a superior goal difference to United. City has a goal difference of 41, 6 better than United after 23 games.
Everton’s Denis Stracqualursi had a header cleared off the line by Joleon Lescott in the fifth minute and City’s Samir Nasri hit the crossbar from 30 yards out. Play was held up for a brief time just before halftime as a man ran onto the field and handcuffed himself to the goal post in the City end before being removed by police.
Everton took the lead in the 60th minute when Leighton Baines found American Landon Donovan with a cross at the far side of the area. Donovan laid off a pass for Gibson, who joined Everton from Manchester United on Jan. 13, and his shot from the edge of the box deflected in off City’s Gareth Barry.
City later had a penalty appeal of handball against Phil Neville turned down by referee Peter Walton. City pressured the Everton goal in the closing moments but couldn’t get the tying goal.
“I think the team spirit today was terrific and we were fighting to the last minute,” Everton’s John Heitinga told Sky Sports. “That’s how you beat the big teams.”
United Overcomes Injuries
United overcame the loss of several regulars to beat Stoke. Third-string goalkeeper Ben Amos started with Anders Lindegaard injured and David De Gea ill. Nani, Ashley Young and Wayne Rooney also missed the game with illness.
Javier Hernandez scored with a 38th-minute penalty kick after Jermaine Pennant fouled Park Ji-Sung. Dimitar Berbatov then scored from the spot eight minutes into the second half after Jon Walters took down Antonio Valencia.
Gareth Bale had two goals as Tottenham beat last-place Wigan to pull within five points of the league leaders. Luka Modric also scored for Spurs.
An own goal from Neil Taylor in stoppage time gave Chelsea the tie at Swansea, which got a first-half goal from Scott Sinclair. Chelsea finished with 10 men after Ashley Cole received his second yellow card with four minutes remaining.
Andy Carroll, Craig Bellamy and Dirk Kuyt scored as Liverpool extended Wolves’ winless run to nine games. The Reds moved into fifth place, two points ahead of Arsenal and Newcastle, which both play tonight.
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