EVERTON 2 MAN CITY 0 – Toffees stick it to City

Roberto Mancini had a headache from the moment Yaya Toure reported unfit with a migraine.

It didn’t get any better when Marouane ‘Microphone Head’ Fellaini and his mates pumped up the volume and blasted Manchester City’s last lingering title hopes to smithereens.

Once again City are left desolate and defeated by an Everton side who have the hex on the Etihad outfit… and probably will have until Arma’bleedin’geddon brings a merciful end to these trips to Merseyside.

Sadly, City are Premier League Champions in name only for a few matches more, before they have to give their prized possession over to the dark forces.

Perversely, this was a City side who, from the outset, were not up for the battle that lay ahead, not fit for purpose, quite simply not good enough.

Shorn of three vital vertebrae from their spine in the shape of  Vincent Kompany, Yaya Toure and Sergio Aguero, City were shown to be lacking backbone at Goodison…for the umpteenth time over the years.

The loss of the skipper, the talisman and the super-striker would hit any team, but man-for-man City should still have had the edge on their neuralgia inducing nemesis.

Not so.

In a demoralising display of déjà vu, Everton’s dogs of war savaged City’s best of breed pampered pooches and were thoroughly deserving of the spoils.

Of course it was all blood and thunder – it always is with Moyes’ boys – but someone forgot to tell Edin Dzeko who whinged and pouted instead of putting in a shift.

Leading the line? On this showing the Bosnian couldn’t hang out a washing line.

Roberto Mancini has done great things with Manchester City, but every once in a while he has a tactical aberration – and so it was with a three-man backline.

The best defence in the PL looked awkward and unbalanced as Everton carried the game to them from the off.

Early bookings for Fellaini and Pienaar came with the territory as Everton dispensed with the subtleties and set about tenderising the main course from Manchester, with heavy tackles on Milner and Barry.

Stand-in skipper Leon Osman was the unlikely architect of a masterpiece opening goal, a boomerang like strike from 30 yards that curved away from a nigh on cataleptic Joe Hart.

City should have been two down at this point – a disallowed Kevin Mirallas goal in the 14th minute was marginally onside thanks to Aleksander Kolarov’s heel.

The home side had a decent penalty shout when Matija Nastasic’s right arm prevented Fellaini’s forward progress. It was one of countless decisions that prat-like ref Lee Probert contrived to miss, screw up or just plain bottle.

City just couldn’t get going – a 38th minute long range shot by Carlos Tevez and a 42nd minute flicked header by Dzeko – being the best of a handful of underwhelming attempts on goal.

The second half saw City more purposeful. Garcia thwarted by a Distin intervention in the six yard box, Nastasic within a hair’s breadth from a Kolarov corner, a Jan Mucha double save from Tevez and Milner and finally a Zabaleta shot smothered when the City skipper took one touch too many.

Pernicious Pienaar saw red for a snide tackle down Garcia’s shin in the 61st minute, but still City couldn’t press home any advantage against the 10 men…until five minutes from time.

Carlos Tevez – perhaps the only City player to give a decent account of himself – struck a rising drive from 25 yards out to finally try and trouble Mucha.

The shot was intercepted by an airborne brillo pad with flailing limbs as Fellaini deflected the shot away, a good three yards inside the penalty area.

Astonishingly Probert signalled for a free kick on the edge of the box – no penalty and not even a second yellow for the Belgian bullyboy. The hunchback bowed to the pressure of the baying Evertonian hordes and completely bottled his responsibilities.

Shameful and indefensible and typical of the man’s total ineptitude.

With City throwing caution to the wind and their title hopes blowing out to the Mersey, Everton broke deep into added time with the felon Fellaini. The marauding mop head fed goal starved sub Jelavic, who proceeded to curl home the winner past a helpless Hart, as Everton wiped the floor with the crestfallen champions.

Goodison erupted, Moyes punched the air in celebration, his chairman Bill Kenwright cried and Mancini placed the order for a freshly severed horse head for Probert’s bed.

Moyes has now beaten Mancini six times in the PL – twice as many times as Slur Baconface. It’s an abysmal statistic, but amid all the outrage at City’s sustained shortcomings when they head west down the M62, let’s have a perspective.

City have lost four PL encounters in just under 12 months and are heading towards their second highest ever PL finish. They could be lifting their second FA Cup in three seasons in May and they will replenish their squad with quality signings this summer.

Sheikh Mansour had a five year plan to become PL champions. Roberto Mancini delivered it ahead of schedule last season. City’s Abu Dhabi owners are in this for the long haul and are laying sustainable foundations to put the club at the forefront of both English and European football for years to come.

However, this match DID highlight the need for managerial change at the end of this season for the benefit of Manchester City.

The sooner Moyes – Goodison’s gloating Glaswegian – buggers off the better!

This scribe is no turncoat or kneejerk reactionary – FORZA MANCINI.


  1. March 16, 2013  8:14 pm by Brian Entwistle Reply

    Worth my wait David, smiling now :-)

  2. March 16, 2013  8:21 pm by Graham Ward Reply

    A very disappointing day, David, and, as a result, this report makes for depressing reading. City were poor today, and I think it would have been a barely deserved point if the decision that wasn't had been made, and the penalty converted.
    Having said that, we got lucky with the offside decision, shades of West Ham earlier in the season.
    Chronic lack of pace today, and I think the home crowd were very ordinary in their attitude to Garcia regarding the red card. Looked a straight red to me, but it would have been a second yellow in any case, surely?

    • March 16, 2013  11:18 pm by David Walker Reply

      Everton got away with disciplinary murder today. Probert was/is pathetic but City did themselves no favours.

  3. March 16, 2013  8:34 pm by roy sykes Reply

    Bad day at 'black rock', thats just one day in a sparkling era for Manchester City #forzamancini

  4. March 16, 2013  8:57 pm by susan richardson Reply

    Excellent unbiased account. Spot on about Dzeko has he learned nothing about playing to the whistle! It is galling that the scum will probably win the Premiership BUT no-one except rag loving press will take much notice it will be a damp sqib after our glorious win last year. Very boring run in in prospect! So Forzamancini for me!

    • March 17, 2013  12:16 am by David Walker Reply

      We can't win the PL every year - certainly not this one - but the PL trophy will be no stranger to the Etihad in the next 20 years

  5. March 16, 2013  9:11 pm by Alan Baxter Reply

    I think you summed it up very well there David. Dzeko = Lightweight. Disappointed. Poor decision for the handball, but we didn't deserve anything from that performance.

    • March 17, 2013  12:17 am by David Walker Reply

      It sticks in the craw to say it but you're absolutely right - we just didn't perform to anywhere near an acceptable level today.

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  7. March 16, 2013  9:32 pm by Andy Devereux Reply

    Well my deep lying hatred for Everton is still there after today but the nonsense of today was all of our own making.The tactics of the first half hour were not right,has as been proved in previous games,however the attitude of the players was not good from the start which won't do and will cost some there place at the Etihad next year.As champions we were always gonna face 38 cup finals this season and we now have to learn from this for next season.As you say though David a possible 2nd place and a fa cup win is no bad thing and everyone involved will learn from this season that i'm sure of. Top quality read again David cheers and i'm with you FORZAMANCINI

    • March 17, 2013  12:25 am by David Walker Reply

      In Mancini we have a successful manager who can improve our performances way above and beyond this season. We just didn't have a good transfer window. He wanted RVP and Daniele De Rossi. There are reasons why we didn't get RVP because we delayed. Had we not done so he would be a City player and not at Manure. What a two-way difference that would have made! It wasn't Mancini's fault.

  8. March 16, 2013  9:35 pm by lisa royle Reply


    • March 17, 2013  12:26 am by David Walker Reply

      Could you be more succinct please Lisa? #Together

  9. March 16, 2013  9:44 pm by Fifthcolumnblue Reply

    We never got going, fair dues, but in the first half had 3 shots on target in the space of two minutes, and I thought their keeper was MoTM in the second half. Don't even get me started on Felaiini's hand ball!

    The major problem with this team seems to be the way they let their heads drop when they play well but fail to score. We definitely did enough in terms of shots on target and/or saves from their keeper to have won this game, but sadly, the team don't seem to have the bottle to keep going in adversity.

    Hopefully we keep hold of Mancini in the summer, buy the top-class players we failed to get this summer and march on with a Taggart-less rags for company next season.

    • March 17, 2013  12:28 am by David Walker Reply

      Well if it's not Slur Baconface we'll be facing Jose won't we? Either way, if Txiki & Ferran Soriano can sort the business revenue streams and broker the transfer deals, Bobby Manc will have much much more with which to go at reclaiming 'our' title.

  10. March 16, 2013  11:11 pm by Arthur Spedding Reply

    Fair report as always and we didn't deserve anything for an inept performance.Love the " Godfather " bit.

    • March 17, 2013  12:31 am by David Walker Reply

      Cottonwool balls in 'da' mouth - Hey Roberto, make dem an offer dey can't refuse! #FORZAMANCINI. If Bobby has his detractors then please step forward and say who should replace him, why and what they bring to the party.

  11. March 17, 2013  8:00 am by Evelyn Spence Reply

    I always read your articles twice; the first time to appreciate your humour & writing and then again from a footballing perspective! Love them, thank you as always.

    Had to admit to reading one of the paragraphs a few times before moving on! Managerial change? - got me there, Almost had a heart attack.

    Forza Mancini x

  12. March 17, 2013  8:30 am by David Walker Reply

    Does that mean I get twice the number of hits to the website? No, didn't think so - damn. Now now young Evelyn, we can't have you have any scares with that big heart of yours, so I will try and be less of a tease in the future with my humble scribings.

    Thanks, as ever, for taking the time to read and, better still, be moved to comment.

  13. March 17, 2013  8:49 am by carol Reply

    sadly all true Davy, we were woeful

  14. March 17, 2013  9:41 am by Chris Jones Reply

    One question David,

    The final paragraph of your blog seems to suggest you are behind Mancini 'Forza Mancini'. But the penultimate one youve intimated a need
    for managerial change.
    This leaves me confused as to which camp you are in?

    • March 17, 2013  10:26 am by David Walker Reply

      The managerial change that will benefit Manchester City is if Moyes leaves Everton and we might have a better chance of beating bloody Everton. FORZAMANCINI.

  15. March 17, 2013  9:54 am by mark james Reply

    for some unknown reason this season we have given our t league poor at everton as always ur article as always was spot on

    • March 17, 2013  10:26 am by David Walker Reply

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

  16. March 17, 2013  11:12 am by rayray6666 Reply

    Probably a fair report on what occurred yesterday, Dzeko especially seemed to be more interested in practicing his prone positioning for any sun bathing to be done when he arrives back in Germany!
    With no body to accept the ball in midfield and play those little passes Yaya is so good at, all our possession broke down too early, plus the majority of the team didn't fancy rolling their sleeves up and getting stuck in. God we miss NDJ!
    I don't know if you just added the Mancini thing out of frustration or devilment but it is the one thing I will not agree,with 3 key players out and Everton certainly wanting to bounce back after getting mauled by Wigan last week, it was the outcome we all knew was coming!
    FORZA Mancini

    • March 17, 2013  11:21 am by David Walker Reply

      The 'Mancini thing' is whole hearted support for the manager. The managerial change is for Moyes to leave Everton - hope that clarifies matters and, in so doing, does not insult your intelligence.

      • March 17, 2013  11:34 am by rayray6666 Reply

        No probs, as per my twitter reply, I will read it properly next time!!!
        Good piece David!

  17. March 17, 2013  11:49 am by David Walker Reply

    No problem - nice that you 'fell' for it

  18. March 17, 2013  1:12 pm by Russell Carson Reply

    Disappointing performance and result. We showed little desire had no pace and we were very one dimensional. That said the referee was abject, words fail me with the Fellani handball! We've never really hit the heights of last season but we can still finish 2nd and win the FA Cup, not too shabby. With a good summer transfer window I can see only good times for us next season, Forza Mancini!!

    • March 17, 2013  1:36 pm by DAVID WALKER Reply


  19. March 17, 2013  10:19 pm by nicola mahon Reply

    Not even a MCFC supporter but a great read every week!

    • March 17, 2013  11:09 pm by David Walker Reply

      Thanks for commenting - glad you enjoyed the read even though it wasn't very pleasant to write for me as a MCFC supporter.

  20. March 18, 2013  12:45 am by Kev Russell Reply

    When i served in the army, I knew that when we were told we were off to "The Gulf" it was taken as read that we wouldn't need to pack our swimming trunks! All we needed to head off to war was a big heart & courage. I thought it was the same when told - We are off to Goodison. Obviously not!!! Completely unbiased, easily read & true account of our usual day at Everton. I'm sure I commented on your preview to this match that unless we match them in the "Grunt" areas, we will not be allowed to play our more refined football. We didnt. Well we are definitely in a battle now to keep our spot in second place. With our spine returning soon we will have enough to secure that.....surely! We have a couple of massive games coming up & not just the derby. If that "grunt" that "need" returns now, we will finish 2nd, win the derby & finish with an FA Cup winners parade.
    One of my favourite articles David. I hope the team reads it as well.
    Really enjoy the site & appreciate your professional journalism. #TopScriber

    • March 18, 2013  6:45 am by David Walker Reply

      Thanks Kev for your sincere feedback and apt analogy. It was a bad day on the battlefield and we were found wanting. Thankfully that doesn't happen very often, but nonetheless, still very disappointing.

  21. March 18, 2013  10:30 am by Chris Jones Reply

    I like Mancini, and you're right to point out that he delivered the title ahead of schedule, a fact that cannot be simply ignored by those in the 'Mancini out' camp.

    It was always going to be a challenge to reach the highs of last season, especially after the euphoric manner of our victory in May - but in saying that these are professional footballers and its their responsibility to have the required motivation and drive to want to achieve success year in, year out. They are after all paid huge sums of money to at least put in their very best every time they pull on the jersey. I'm not sure they've done that this season.

    The manager is always accountable when a team doesn't perform, especially when they look like they aren't interested. Right before we sold De Jong I was extolling his virtues as a footballer, and saying that how having him in the side gives us a better degree of balance - as he is so effective at what he does in terms of breaking up play and allowing his midfield counterparts to bomb on. I was also firmly in the 'please don't sell Johnson' camp. I went to many many games last season where Johnson had an impact both as a goalscorer and a goal creator. Those who don't attend as often as I do can simply watch the end of season highlights and in particular the first 10-15 games to see what Johnson brought to us as an impact player. Losing those two and replacing them with Garcia (who may yet come good but hasn't pulled up any trees whatsover so far) and a guy in Scott Sinclair who never plays was always going to have an impact. Nobody seemed to agree with me at the time - and I firmly believe that some of our fans had their head in the clouds and thought the new 'mighty City' didn't need 'little old Nigel de Jong and Adam Johnson'. Point proved, as it much as it pains me to say so (ok it doesn't pain me, I take a certain degree of pride in being right!)

    I dont care that Johnson hasnt done much or isnt doing much at Sunderland. That's irrelevant. He was doing well at City and was a big dangerman especially against tired defenders. I genuinely believe that Mancini feels he made a mistake with him. we should have valued him more and treated him a lot better. In my opinion.

    For me, I'll always be grateful to Mancini and hold him in high regard. But we must pass the next challenge and kick on with this project. For me, that doesnt start and end with what happens in the FA Cup. We need to have a strong summer, buy sensibly, we need a proper midfielder like Schweinsteiger and we need to move Gareth Barry out. He is just not good enough and he never will be. Then we need to buy a class winger who will run at defenders and who can actually cross the ball. We don't have enough players with raw pace to burn - which makes us look one dimensional at times and easy to defend against (like this weekend at Everton).

    The main question for me is - can Mancini get the best out of these players? On this seasons evidence the answer is no.

    Herein will also determine the future of Nasri and Dzeko. For all Dzeko's faults he's still our top scorer!

    Cheers - here's my Twitter handle: @CF_Jones

    • March 18, 2013  9:33 pm by DAVID WALKER Reply

      Thanks Chris. Agree like most MCFC fans we all miss the legend that is NDJ but it was he who turned down two lucrative contract offers. As for AJ - good riddance Billy Big Bollo*!s who thought he was the best but didn't heed good advice to get his head down and be the best that he could be.

      Mancini was let down - imho - in summer transfer window. Hoefully we won't have a reoccurence of that this year. I think out attack will be radically reshaped - perhaps 100% and fear Aguero may go to Real Madrid because of his domestic difficulties. Yes, it's dissapointing not retaining the title but these are still early days in MCFC development.

      Expectation levels are disproportionately high but anyone who advocates selling a manager who could deliver the FA Cup and PL title in two years is barking mad.

      Bloody hell, we all got a bit giddy under Stuart Pearson if we grabbed a 0-0 draw not so long ago and then we have dumb asses on here saying sack the guy who could be THE most successful MCFC manager of all time within a couple of years.

      These folk want to be careful what they wish for.

  22. March 18, 2013  1:41 pm by Steve Garnsey Reply

    Good acerbic stuff David but it needs to address other issues too. I agree Mancini is the best bet around (at least for next season) but as Chris says there are nettles he must grasp asap. Nasri and Dzeko should be on their way to help fund what I consider is our two most urgent needs, a ball winner in the middle of the park and a proven left back. Up front needs refreshing but I see this as less of a problem given the talent likely to be about in the close season. I'm not as convinced as you obviously are about the manager and I will be looking to you holding him to account in the coming weeks. After all, he doesn't have any problems publically bollocking the players when they get it wrong

    • March 18, 2013  9:38 pm by DAVID WALKER Reply

      There will definitely be a good churn of MCFC personnel in the near future - wouldn't expect to see Dzeko, Nasri, Lescott, Kolo, Maicon, Kolarov, Sinclair and possibly even Barry at the pre-season photo call. That said I believe Mancini and Txiki have some top top targets and if we move swiftly I have no doubt we WILL be back at the top in no time.

      As for bollocking the man who has enriched my life immeasurably these past two years...don't hold your breath.

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

  23. March 19, 2013  8:59 am by Chris Jones Reply

    Mancini was let down - by who?

    David - Are you suggesting Mancini has no control over the players he buys and sells? It was his decision to replace AJ with Scott Sinclair, a decision I said at the time was madness.

    I dont think the contract offers to De Jong were good enough and we should have fought tooth and nail to keep the guy.

    As for AJ - you can understand why he wanted to leave, I dont think it was a case of billy big boll)cks so much as it was a case that he just wanted to play football regularly. I very much doubt that Sunderland would have increased his wages from what he was on at City.

  24. March 19, 2013  11:40 pm by David Walker Reply

    Who let Mancini down? Who screwed up the RVP deal by quibbling with Arsenal BEFORE Man Utd appeared on the scene? I'm not going to name names but it isn't rocket science.

    As for AJ he brought it on himself - given every chance by RM to excel but he thought he'd already arrived & didn't aspire to improve still further.

    Blimey, even Colin Bell criticised him for his attitude! How often does Colin The King get involved?
    Agree, we all miss NDJ, but he had good offers which he declined.
    We're going to have to agree to disagree. I am not suggesting Mancini doesn't have a say in who he wants & who he sells but the fact remains City did not get Mancini's primary targets for one reason or another.

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