Carlos Tevez provided Manchester City with some Christmas cheer but Everton denied them the present they really wanted with a 2-1 victory.
Instead of sitting top of the table on December 25 for the first time since 1929, they remain in third, beaten by the Toffees once more who registered their fourth successive win at Eastlands.
First-half efforts from Tim Cahill and Leighton Baines were enough for the visitors, who defended valiantly once they had gained the initiative and secured their first win since October.
Not even the needless dismissal of Victor Anichebe could stop them as Mario Balotelli hit a post after Yaya Toure's deflected effort had pulled one back.
City piled forward at the end, but their only notable entry into referee Peter Walton's notebook was for the dismissal of Kolo Toure for two injury-time bookings.
It meant there was no dream end to an evening that began with a statement confirming Tevez's intention to remain at City - for the short-term at least - after a week of bad blood between player and club.