For all their spending, City already rely heavily on Adam Johnson and when he didn't fire either, the options ran out. This was nothing new. The statistic which said Mancini was on his longest unbeaten run at City – six games – did not explain the good fortune at Sunderland and edginess at Fulham. Mancini talked away his spat with Moyes last night but the first sense of lost control from him compounds the feeling that he has much work to do.
James Ducker, The Times
In many respects, they [Everton] are a lowbudget version of the Chelsea team that José Mourinho built. Organised, disciplined and dogged but not without flair, City never seemed like breaking their resistance, despite playing much of the second half in a 4-2-4 formation. For all that money can buy, the kind of unity and team spirit Moyes has forged at Everton only comes with time.
Andy Hunter, The Guardian
Of greater concern for Mancini was his side's inability to turn several sustained bouts of pressure into clear openings. Jagielka was fortunate the officials missed his handball when he slipped under pressure from Tevez, but for all their possession City lacked the ingenuity to open a solid Everton defence. Indeed it was the visitors, though encamped inside their own half almost throughout the second period, who came closer to adding a season, with Leon Osman almost capitalising on a poor clearance by Vincent Kompany and Cahill chipping Given from 20 yards only to see the effort sail narrowly wide.Ian Ladyman, Daily Mail
Mark Ogden, Daily Telegraph
From then on, it was uphill work for City. They are not a team that bounces back well from setbacks. Certainly referee Walton didn't enjoy his best night and City got the rough end of a few decisions.
But Mancini's team seem mentally weak at times and though they pushed hard for parity in the second half, they never really forced Howard in to doing anything remarkable.
City, unbeaten at Eastlands since last April, now faced a true test of their Champions League credentials with Everton determined to resolutely defend their lead.
But while they subjected Everton to intense pressure, City repeatedly crashed against the Merseysiders’ impenetrable rearguard.