First-half goals stood strong on Saturday, as Manchester City and Everton battled to a 1-1 draw that will leave the Sky Blues kicking themselves heading into next week's slate of matches.
Saturday's match was a story of frustration on the attack, with neither City nor Everton getting much past the first 45 minutes.
Marouane Fellaini hit the back of the net for the match's first goal on a scintillating play that saw Joe Hart stop the initial attack before a second effort from the Everton forward went through. That play came in the 33rd minute and was Fellaini's eighth goal of the season.
Unfortunately for Everton, the lead did not last long, as a huge mistake in the box left Carlos Tevez with a penalty kick. He drilled a shot right down the middle of the net past Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard and brought the score to a 1-1 tie to end the first half.
And despite opportunities for both sides to capture the three table points, that's where the score stayed.
City has to be particularly peeved about the draw. The Sky Blues held possession for 59 percent of the match and had five shots on goal, compared to just three for Everton. Though neither attack can be happy with its performance, Roberto Mancini's squad of high-priced stars has to do better than it did on Saturday.
With a matchup against Manchester United on the slate for next week, this was not the time for City to fall farther behind in the table.
Meanwhile, Everton should be satisfied getting a draw against its more talented counterparts. The Toffees are still just three points out of the top four and have played the Premier League elite pretty tough this season.
It may not have been an upset win, but David Moyes can't be displeased with his squad's effort as of late.
Marouane Fellaini, Everton: A
The Everton forward found himself as the lead attacker for much of Saturday's match. He attempted three separate shots on goal and was consistently inside Manchester City's zone.
Though much of Fellaini's aggressiveness went unrewarded, the Toffees striker found the back of the net in the 33rd minute to give his team its only goal.
When you put the ball in the back of the net, it's almost always a guaranteed "A" in my book.
Carlos Tevez, Manchester City: A
Much like Fellaini, Tevez was easily his squad's best attacker, attempting five shots, three of which were on goal. His ability to cut through the Everton defense was rewarded with a penalty kick that brought the Sky Blues back into the match and gave them momentum heading into the half.
The goal was Tevez's seventh on the season, bringing even more hope that he can recover from his lost 2011-12 campaign and become the superstar City so desperately needs.
Tim Howard, Everton: A-
Howard may not have had his hardest day at the office, but his four saves on Saturday were key to keeping Everton in the match. Outside of a penalty kick that wasn't his fault, the USMNT goalkeeper did his job when asked and played his area quite well.
Howard has been solid for most of the season and looks to be a strong option going forward for Moyes.
Joe Hart, Manchester City: A-
As always, the City goalkeeper kept his squad in the match and did not make any critical mistakes. Joe Hart's only goal allowed came off a deflection from his own scintillating save and had the attack played up to par, the Sky Blues would have been walking away with three points.
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