Manchester City were held by Everton as Carlos Tevez's penalty cancelled out Marouane Fellaini's opener in a 1-1 draw.
A slow first half broke into life as Fellaini opened the scoring on 33 minutes for an Everton side who had drawn six of their last eight league games, arriving first to the rebound after Joe Hart had saved his initial header.
The goal woke up a lacklustre City who responded 10 minutes later through a Tevez penalty after Fellaini was harshly adjudged to have pulled down Edin Dzeko in the box.
A fairly dull game came to life when Leighton Baines whipped a delightful ball into the box that Fellaini managed to get his head on. Hart produced a great save but the Belgian reacted far quicker than the City defence and converted the rebound to take his tally to five goals in as many league games.
The goal woke up a lacklustre City side who reacted instantly with a Tevez header and a Dzeko snapshot bringing good saves from Tim Howard.
Everton knew how important it would be to hold onto the lead up until the break, though sadly for the away side City’s pressure finally took its tool.
Just two minutes before half-time, Fellaini and Dzeko both took a tumble in the box as a City corner came in. To David Moyes’ astonishment, and anger, referee Lee Probert pointed to the spot.
Up stepped Tevez to level proceedings and slot the penalty calmly right down the middle as Howard was given the eyes.
Though the late drama of the first half did not end there, as almost immediately Everton went up the other end and Steven Pienaar sent in a fine cross to which that man Fellaini again got his head to. Cue a fine save from Hart who this time was able to claw it past the post.
City picked up where they left off after the break but the champions were unable to make their possession count and struggled to open up the resilient and often brilliant Everton defence, despite the best efforts of David Silva.
Maicon’s driving effort from the edge of the box, that brought out a decent save from Howard, was the best they could come up with.
As the game went on the chances continued to dry up with the exception of a late Nikica Jelavic free-kick that Hart somehow managed to turn around the post.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Sylvain Distin – The defender up, against his old club, was a colossus at the back for Everton. Made the likes of Tevez and Sergio Aguero look fairly anonymous and put in some important challenges when the away side were under siege in the second half.
MANCHESTER CITY: Hart 7, Maicon 7, Lescott 6, Kompany 7, Kolarov 4, Toure 6, Barry 5, Silva 7, Tevez 6, Nasri 5, Dzeko 6; Subs: Aguero 5, Balotelli 5, Zabaleta 6.
EVERTON: Howard 7, Hibbert 6, Jagielka 7, Distin 8, Baines 7, Osman 7, Gibson 6, Naismith 5, Pienaar 6, Fellaini 7, Jelavic 6; Subs: Heitinga 4, Oviedo 6.