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Man City 0 Everton 2: Moyes and Mancini scuffle after Cahill strikes blow
Published : 25 Mar 2010 10:30:41Rss feed
Roberto Mancini has taken three months to show any signs of the pressures of managing in the Premier League. But last night unflappable Italian cool gave way to a bizarre moment of Mancunian street fighting as the Manchester City manager made the mistake of picking a scrap with David Moyes - of Glasgow - on the Eastlands touchline. My ball: David Moyes catches the ball and angers Roberto Mancini Touchy: Moyes throws the ball away from Mancini as Yobo watches on Red mist: Mancini grapples with Moyes Mancini may feel a little foolish this morning. He and his Everton counterpart Moyes were sent to the tunnel by referee Peter Walton after a spot of argy-bargy that, had it taken place in a public house, would certainly have reached its conclusion out on the pavement. MATCH FACTSMANCHESTER CITY (4-3-2-1): Given 6;Richards 6 (Vieira 75), Toure 5,Kompany 6, Zabaleta 6; Ireland 6(Wright-Phillips 41min, 6), De Jong 6,Barry 6; Johnson 6 (Santa Cruz 57, 6),Bellamy 6; Tevez 7.Booked: Tevez, Given, De Jong. EVERTON (4-1-4-1): Howard 7; Neville 6,Jagielka 6, Distin 6, Baines 7;Heitinga 6; Osman 6, Arteta 7(Yobo 90), Cahill 7, Pienaar 6; Saha 6(Rodwell 72, 6).Booked: Heitinga, Pienaar.Man of the match: Johnny Heitinga. Referee: Peter Walton. But the City manager was the aggressor and as such will perhaps be receiving communication from the FA in the coming days. Mancini said: 'If I made a mistake then I'm sorry. I have spoken with him. I wanted to get the ball because we had another five minutes.' The home defeat - City's first since last April - will hurt Mancini this morning. This setback has left the impetus with Tottenham when it comes to the race for the fourth Champions League qualifying place. Be under no illusions, though. Mancini's aura of Italian chic has gone for good. This was an embarrassing night for him, even if he did have the grace to accept responsibility and apologise afterwards. On the field the killer blows were landed by Tim Cahill and, at the death, Mikel Arteta. The second goal was stunning. Few better have been scored this season. Afterwards, Moyes tried to keep the talk to the football. He failed. All smiles: Moyes and Mancini are filmed shaking heads afterwards 'We should be sitting here talking about an outstanding performance of spirit and quality football,' said Moyes, who was barged violently by Mancini after catching the ball in front of the dug outs in injury time. 'That should be the story. 'I thought we were fantastic and I want to sit here and talk with some dignity about that. All I can say is that I was surprised that I was sent off. But it's fine. There's no problem. He was just showing his passion for his team. I will be going to his office now for a glass of wine. I hope he is there. On the up: Everton's Tim Cahill scores with a trademark header 'Next time I won't catch the ball. I will let it run off down the tunnel. That would havewasted more time. 'I wasn't doing anything on purpose. I don't know why I was sent off. And I, by the way, wasn't the one waving imaginary yellow cards around trying to get people booked.' Last night's talking point began as Mancini tried to retrieve the ball from Moyes. It ended with staff and players from both sides keeping the two men apart. There has been some bad blood between the clubs in recent times. It began with City's pursuit and capture last summer of defender Joleon Lescott, who watched injured from the stands last night, and continued with Moyes suggesting in the build-up to this game that City's players did not have the passion to match that of his own. Body blow: Everton's Tim Cahill celebrates opening ther scoring Last night, however, Everton proved themselves to be superior in every way. They came in to this game having lost just twice in just 16 games. Over the second half of the season they have proved themselves to be one of the best teams in the country. City, needing the three points desperately, began the game brightly and could have scored early on. Carlos Tevez was denied at close range by Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard after Stephen Ireland played him through. But Everton are resiliant and City, largely, are not. As such, the emphasis of the whole night changed just after the half hour when Gareth Barry was harshly adjudged to have fouled Cahill. Pien-alised: Everton's Steven Pienaar brings down Man City's Micah Richards Everton worked a neat free-kick routine and Cahill showed up seven yards from goal to head in Leighton Baines' cross. From then on, it was uphill work for City. They are not a team that bounces back well from setbacks. Certainly referee Walton didn't enjoy his best night and City got the rough end of a few decisions. But Mancini's team seem mentally weak at times and though they pushed hard for parity in the second half, they never really forced Howard in to doing anything remarkable. Fall guy: Manchester City's Carlos Tevez goes down in collision with Tim Howard Ultimately, as was always the danger, Everton caught them on the break. And what a goal it was. Young substitute Jack Rodwell turned Vincent Kompany tight to the right-hand touchline and then checked back inside the Belgian again as he dashed in to the penalty area. His low cross was aimed for Cahill but the striker stepped over the ball to allow Arteta to apply a crisp first-time finish with his right instep. Taking the Mik: Everton's Mikel Arteta scores their second goal Watching Everton it is hard to believe they are not bidding for fourth themselves. Their wretched start to the season is to blame for that. As for City, it will be a nervy few weeks now. 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