Dec. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Everton won 2-1 at Manchester City to deny the home team the chance to top English soccer’s Premier League hours after captain Carlos Tevez withdrew his transfer request.
First-half goals by Tim Cahill and Leighton Baines put Everton ahead at the City of Manchester Stadium last night before Phil Jagielka’s 72nd-minute own goal made it 2-1.
Everton’s first victory in eight games lifted it above Aston Villa into 14th place in the standings and kept City in third, preventing it from topping England’s elite division at Christmas for the first time since 1929.
“It wasn’t just a victory, we beat a team who are expecting to be Premier League champs,” Everton manager David Moyes told his club’s website. “The boys went out and got a great result.”
City fell to its first loss in eight league games, less than five hours after the club said top scorer Tevez formally withdrew his transfer request following “clear the air” talks. The Argentine, who joined the team in July 2009, said earlier this month that he wanted to leave after falling out with club officials.
“It was the only good news from this evening,” City manager Roberto Mancini said. “We had a big chance to go top after 81 years. It was a fantastic thing. But now we must restart.”
Tevez was recalled to the starting lineup and handed the captain’s armband after missing last week’s 1-1 Europa League draw with Juventus.
While City had 60 percent of the possession and five times as many shots on target, the Blues’ only goal came when Jagielka deflected Yaya Toure’s cross into his own net. Everton led 2-0 at halftime after Cahill headed a fourth-minute opener and Baines curled in the second 15 minutes later.
Both teams ended the game with 10 men. Everton played the last half an hour a man down after Victor Anichebe was red-carded for a second bookable offense, while City’s Kolo Toure was sent off for two injury-time fouls.
The match was one of three Premier League fixtures to take place over the past three days after snow forced the postponement of seven games including Manchester United’s visit to defending champion Chelsea.
United, which leads Arsenal and City by two points, hosts Sunderland on Dec. 26, one of nine games scheduled on the U.K.’s Boxing Day holiday. Chelsea visits Arsenal the following day.
United has played two fewer games than crosstown rival City because its Dec. 4 visit to Blackpool was also postponed because of a frozen pitch.
“The season is very long,” Mancini added. “We have time to recover.”
To contact the reporter on this story: Dan Baynes in Sydney at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at at email@example.com