Manchester City have been held to a halt by Everton in a fiery Premier League affair at the Etihad Stadium.
Erling Haaland, notably furious after an early exchange with Ben Godfrey which left the Norwegian striker in need of treatment, completed a fine move to open the scoring in the 24th minute.
Riyad Mahrez received the ball at the edge of the box and, after some clever footwork to get around defender Vitaliy Mykolenko, found Haaland, who finished smoothly past Jordan Pickford from the middle of the penalty area.
However, in a tumultuous second half, Demarai Gray scored a superb equalizer after Rodri gave the ball away, making ground on the right and driving home a shot just inside the box.
City threw what they could at the visitors for 11 minutes of stoppage time but Everton stifled their attempts to cap the year with a win.
Second-placed City are four points behind leaders Arsenal, who play their game against Brighton at 5.30pm BST on Saturday.
Everton are 16th in the table, two points above the relegation zone.
Haaland fired up but stoppages limit City’s flow
After scoring twice against Leeds on Wednesday to become the fastest player to 20 Premier League goals in one season, Haaland appeared to direct any further frustration over his four-week absence from football thanks to the World Cup towards Godfrey.
The defender, who started his first game since breaking his leg in Everton’s first game of the season, nudged Haaland early in a bid to assert his authority but didn’t seemed to anger him – and the two fought a battle throughout the first 45 minutes.
Haaland gesticulated and waved at the crowd in an attempt to spur them on, celebrated his opener wildly in Godfrey’s direction and was eventually forced to calm down after being booked for a reckless challenge just before half-time.
In a first half with no clear chances, Haaland hit the side netting and John Stones’ header hit a post as referee Andy Madley showed off five yellow cards.
Long delays prevented City from really taking control of the game in the second half.
A six-minute delay due to the assistant referee’s radio failing, followed by another break as City striker Jack Grealish received treatment, sank the energy that had been so high in First period.
Gray’s equalizer rekindled the fire at City, but the game veered away from them as Everton defended resolutely.
A seek pass from Mahrez could not find its way to Haaland and a frantic scrum in the box resulted in a superb save from Pickford.
City are winless in two home games, having recorded 11 straight wins at the Etihad before conceding in the 98th minute and lose to Brentford the last time.
Gray stunner relieves pressure on Lampard
Everton had scored seven goals in their last three league games and won just one of their last eight matches.
An air of inevitability around the way Everton’s season was shaping up had seemed to take hold of the fans, pressure was mounting on manager Frank Lampard and the lack of progress on the pitch appeared to continue in Manchester.
But, with Pep Guardiola’s City side looking somewhat deflated by second-half stoppage time, Everton looked all too happy for play to fragment and limit City’s typically expansive football.
Gray’s magnificent goal almost came out of nowhere, and every attempt by City for a winner was blocked by a pink shirt from Everton.
Crucially, Seamus Coleman hindered Phil Foden’s late opportunity and Rodri completely missed a header from a corner in the dying seconds.
A point, at the home of the defending champions, is precious for Everton.
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