Copy of 2022-12-31T164847Z_939068187_UP1EICV1AP9KH_RTRMADP_3_SOCCER-ENGLAND-MCI-EVE-REPORT-1672508838492
Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne (right) shoots at goal as Everton's Conor Coady tries to block during their Premier League clash at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester, England. Image Credit: REUTERS

Dubai: Battling Everton took a share of the spoils against Manchester City in a feisty Premier League affair at Etihad Stadium. City made the perfect start thanks to Erling Haaland who grabbed his 21st league goal of the season and they almost doubled their advantage when John Stones’ header struck a post but that was as good as it got for Pep Guardiola’s side as the Toffees came out fighting in the second half.

They levelled thanks to a stunning 20 yard effort from Demarai Gray during a tumultuous second period where both teams had chances to win it. Gray’s stunner came after Rodri had given the ball away and the winger made ground down the right and curled in a superb shot.

Vital point

City threw what they could at the visitors during 11 minutes of stoppage time, but Everton – brilliantly marshalled at the back by Conor Coady – stifled their attempts. City are now without a win in two home games, having recorded 11 straight victories at the Etihad before conceding in the 98th minute and losing to Brentford last time out.

It was a vital point for Frank Lampard’s team and the coach will be delighted with the performance of his players as they bid to climb away from the relegation zone. They are now 16th in the table, two points above the bottom three.

Crystal Palace finished 2022 on a high at Bournemouth after suffering two defeats on the spin. The Eagles won 2-0 thanks to goals from Jordan Ayew Eberechi Eze. Bournemouth struggled to create many clear-cut opportunities and Dominic Solanke will have been disappointed to have only stung the palms of visiting goalkeeper Vicente Guaita when played in.

Fulham scored a late winner against visitors Southampton to seal a 2-1 win. The Saints who have now recorded their fifth consecutive defeat remain rooted to the bottom of the table. James Ward-Prowse’s second-half free-kick had cancelled out his earlier own-goal but Joao Palhinha denied them a point with an 88th-minute winner. Fulham, who climbed to seventh in the table, could have added a third in injury time but Aleksandar Mitrovic missed a penalty.

Goalless draw

Meanwhile, surprise package Newcastle were held to a goalless draw by Leeds at St James’ Park meaning they finish 2022 third in the table. The Magpies, who are unbeaten in 12 games, have been transformed this year, and were unfortunate not to claim all three points.

A year ago, three months after their Saudi Arabia-backed takeover, they were 19th in the table. Now, they are refusing to rule out a title challenge.

They offered almost all the attacking threat across the 90 minutes but were unable to find a winner. Leeds keeper Illan Meslier saved excellently from both Chris Wood and Fabian Schar in the second half which was almost exclusively played in the visitors’ territory.

In-form Marcus Rashford stepped off the bench to earn Manchester United a 1-0 victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers, a win that moved Erik ten Hag’s side into the top four