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Tim Cahill and Marcus Bent were on target as Everton stayed third in the Premiership with a hard-earned win against ten-man Manchester City.

Cahill headed in Thomas Gravesen's free-kick after 22 minutes, but Robbie Fowler responded with a powerful header two minutes before half-time.

Gravesen delivered a perfect cross for Bent to head home after 63 minutes.

City's misery was complete when substitute Christian Negouai was sent off for a foul on Bent late on.

The extent of Everton's improvement is that they have now exceeded their entire total of 39 point from last season.

City made much the better start, and Paul Bosvelt should have done better with a header when he was unmarked only eight yards out, but he was wastefully off target.

Everton slowly worked their way into the game, but it was slightly against the run of play when they took the lead after 22 minutes.

Gravesen's free-kick delivery was perfect and Cahill stole in ahead of his marker Danny Mills to head past goalkeeper David James from close range.

Everton gained in confidence, and it took a smart save from James to stop Steve Watson doubling their advantage.

Just as Everton looked set to go in at half-time ahead, City struck to equalise after 43 minutes.

Everton failed to clear Anelka's free-kick, and when Macken delivered a perfect cross, Fowler powered a header past Nigel Martyn.

Fowler, a Liverpool old boy, then foolishly ran half the length of the field taunting Everton's fans and was deservedly booked by referee Phil Dowd.

Everton almost restored their lead immediately, but Richard Dunne bravely blocked from Watson.

City pushed on after the break, and only an excellent diving save from Martyn kept out a powerful 25-yard drive from Mills.

James produced an outstanding piece of bravery to deny Bent as Everton pushed forward - but it was a brief reprieve as the Merseysiders went back in front after 63 minutes.

Gravesen was the creator, with a glorious cross to the far post that Bent headed beyond James.

Martyn was then Everton's saviour again, turning a fierce drive from Shaun Wright-Phillips around the post.

Mills was then booked for a flare-up involving Gravesen as the influential Dane exerted control in midfield.

The former England defender was then replaced by Negouai with 10 minutes left, but he only lasted three minutes before being sent off.

He left Bent in agony with a reckless challenge and was shown the red card.

City pushed for the equaliser, with even goalkeeper James thrown forward, but Everton's trademark resilience secured another crucial win.




Everton: Martyn, Hibbert, Stubbs, Weir, Pistone, Carsley, Watson, Gravesen, Cahill, Kilbane, Bent. Subs: Wright, Ferguson, McFadden, Naysmith, Yobo.

Man City: James, Mills, Dunne, Distin, Jordan, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Bosvelt, Sibierski, Fowler, Macken, Anelka. Subs: Waterreus, Onuoha, Barton, Negouai, Flood.

Referee: P Dowd (Staffordshire)
 

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Ah eight Ball I was looking for this thread last night and was almost tempted to start one but I decided not to tempt fate and was going to start one after I knew the result. :notlist:

Great win to start the Christmas stretch. Cahill and Bent seemed to get belated Christmas gifts. as we keep on rolling.
 

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Now why must these EX Everton players knock Everton, and its nice to have them all eat there words.

'Not as big' jibe is not very clever Dec 24 2004




By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo






JOEY BARTON'S bizarre behaviour at Manchester City's Christmas party wasn't the only stupid decision he made this week.

The City midfielder's action in stubbing out a cigar in a youth team player's eyes was appalling.

It wasn't Barton's only appearance in the headlines this week, for he also announced that City are a club "ten times bigger than Everton."

The name Manchester City might be twice as big as Everton (14 letters to poor old Everton's seven) and Manchester City Council does allow them to play at a very impressive new stadium, but that's about the only areas I can see for claims of superiority.

City have been champions just twice, have spent almost as much time in the Second Division as the top flight, and have even plunged as low as the third tier of English football.

Everton? Well, Joey is an Everton fan, so he'll know all about nine titles, five FA Cups, founder members of the Football League, 100 seasons of top-flight football and only four seasons outside the top division.

If he doesn't, I'm sure a full house at Goodison Park on Boxing Day might remind him.

During a week when the Christmas party season has been in full swing it was also refreshing to read how Everton's players have conducted themselves this past seven days.

Last weekend they enjoyed a civilised Scottish-themed break with their manager to celebrate Christmas, went as a group to the Empire Theatre on

Monday to watch Jesus Christ Superstar with Goodison staff, former players and chairman Bill Kenwright, then on Tuesday turned up at Alder

Hey Hospital for their traditional Christmas visit.

Everton getting it right on and off the pitch?

This could be a happy New Year after all!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
PAULMAY said:
Ah eight Ball I was looking for this thread last night and was almost tempted to start one but I decided not to tempt fate and was going to start one after I knew the result. :notlist:

Great win to start the Christmas stretch. Cahill and Bent seemed to get belated Christmas gifts. as we keep on rolling.
Yeah, I've been a bit busy with new jobs, formatting my comp and with christmas. Shame about the Charlton score, the spurs game will be hard, but I can see us bouncing back and getting a draw.
 
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