The EPL weekend got off to a rousing start at Goodison Park on Saturday as Everton took down Manchester City, 2-0, in dominant fashion.
The Toffees came out of the gate with a fierce pace that was rewarded in the 32nd minute as Leon Osman scored on a brilliant left-footed shot.
David Moyes' club were at a disadvantage for the final 30 minutes after Steven Pienaar was sent off for receiving his second yellow card of the match.
Despite being down a man, the Toffees defended with plenty of heart, and Nikica Jelavic clinched the victory with a goal in the final minute of stoppage time.
Here are six things we learned from the thriller on Merseyside between Everton and Manchester City.
Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini was highly criticized for using three defenders during the group stage of the UEFA Champions League earlier this season.
On Saturday, Mancini went back to the 3-4-3 formation after seeing what Wigan did to Everton in the FA Cup last weekend in the same formation.
The result was not the same for City, who looked like an uninspired team for most of the first half.
While City looked better as a whole in the second half after switching back to a 4-4-2, the slow start cost the Citizens the match and most likely the title race as well.
Everton fans were curious to see how backup keeper Jan Mucha would do in place of the injured Tim Howard last week against Wigan.
Mucha did not have a stellar performance in the FA Cup quarterfinal loss but he made up for that performance against Manchester City.
The Slovakian keeper made his presence known in the penalty area for the entire match and he came up with a few crucial saves in the second half.
The biggest save of them all came in the 79th minute when Pablo Zabaleta was left open in the penalty area.
Mucha made eight saves for the Toffees in the victory and fully deserved the title of Man of the Match.
Aleksandar Kolarov was handed a start on Saturday on the left wing as City lined up in a 3-4-3, but the Bosnian failed to defend properly when Everton went forward.
Everton exploited the defensive weaknesses of Kolarov by feeding the ball to Seamus Coleman, who made run after run on the right wing in the first half.
With Kolarov continuing to fail on the defensive end, many fans and critics alike will be criticizing Mancini for not starting Gael Clichy.
Clichy is the more defensive-minded player of the two left-backs in the City squad, and if he had been in the starting 11, the result of Saturday's match might have been different.
Lost in all of the attention around the star players at Everton has been the talents of Leon Osman.
On Saturday, Osman showed why his name should be mentioned in the same breath as the likes of Leighton Baines and Marouane Fellaini.
The 31-year-old English midfielder delivered a piece of individual brilliance in the 32nd minute as his left-footed shot curled past Manchester City keeper Joe Hart into the back of the net.
Osman has been one of the best players for Everton all season, and having him in the midfield for the rest of the season will give the Toffees a better chance of clinching a spot in Europe next season.
With the win at Goodison Park on Saturday, David Moyes defeated Roberto Mancini for the sixth time since Mancini joined Manchester City in 2009.
No other manager in the EPL has had the same success that Moyes has had against the Italian.
Moyes now has three more wins over Mancini than any other manager in the EPL has.
The manager who is second on the list is Sir Alex Ferguson of Manchester United, who has only beaten Mancini three times.
There are two goals that Everton are looking to accomplish by the end of the season: finish in the European places and finish above Liverpool.
Both of those goals can be easily achieved in the final nine matches of the season.
The win over Manchester City propelled the Toffees into fifth place at the moment, but their permanent spot in the table after this weekend will be determined by the results of the Arsenal and Liverpool matches being played later on Saturday.
With a game in hand over Liverpool and with a squad that has plenty of momentum after Saturday's victory, a spot in the top five at the end of the season is a realistic possibility for Everton.
Follow me on Twitter, @JTansey90.