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City frustrated by Naismith leveller

By The Citizen
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Steven Naismith earned Everton a sorely-needed point and denied Manchester City the chance to keep pace with Premier League leaders Chelsea in a 1-1 draw at Goodison Park on Saturday.

Manuel Pellegrini's team took a 74th minute lead when Samir Nasri set up a shooting opportunity for David Silva, whose blocked strike fell for Brazilian midfielder Fernandinho to head in from close range past the despairing goalline lunge of Seamus Coleman.

But second placed City held the lead for just four minutes as they defended poorly at Leighton Baines' left-flank free-kick and the unmarked Naismith was allowed to head home powerfully past the stranded Joe Hart.

City's frustration was compounded as leaders Chelsea beat Newcastle to open up a two-point lead over the champions.

The best chance of the first half had fallen to Everton, although it took the home side 42 minutes to create their first opening as Coleman fed Romelu Lukaku in the area.

The Everton forward easily beat his marker Eliaquim Mangala before forcing Hart into a fine save with an outstretched boot.

Better yet, for home fans frustrated both by their team's recent form and their first half performance, Aiden McGeady gathered the rebound from Hart's save and completed a short pass to Coleman who struck the cross-bar with a 20-yard shot.

Had Roberto Martinez's struggling side taken a lead into the half-time interval, it would have been an injustice on a City team which, aided by strong winds behind them, had dominated first half proceedings.

Everton did not help themselves, however, with their back four - England defender Phil Jagielka in particular - making far too many unforced errors and constantly gifting City the ball.

Had City forward Stevan Jovetic shown better aim on a number of occasions, they would have had a stranglehold on the game well before the halfway point.

It would have been a good occasion for Jovetic to prove his attacking value to Pellegrini given that Sergio Aguero, a substitute at Goodison, and Edin Dzeko are both close to full fitness and Wilfried Bony is poised to complete a transfer to City from Swansea. Agency report