A late goal from Phil Foden secured victory for Manchester City at Goodison Park, though Everton were left aggrieved by an apparent handball in the box from Rodri not awarded.
Michael Keane failed to clear a deflected cross from Bernardo Silva allowing Foden to nip around him and nudge home from close range with seven minutes remaining.
This was not the end of the late drama though as two minutes later Rodri appeared to use his arm to control the ball in his own area. There was no penalty awarded initially and after checking the incident, VAR decided not to change the decision.
After Everton had the better of the first half, City dominated the second but Jordan Pickford’s string of saves seemed to have saved a point for Everton before Foden’s late intervention.
City go six points clear of Liverpool at the top of the Premier League having played a game more than the Reds, while Everton are just a point above the drop zone.
Did the lack of a clear camera angle save City? The television angles seem to suggest that Rodri did handle the ball. However, it is understandable why they did not feel it conclusive evidence to overturn Paul Tierney’s non-call.
Goodison Park is one of the last remaining great, traditional Cathedrals of English football, but perhaps if this had happened in their new stadium in the Docklands there would have been more angles to find this incontrovertible evidence. It certainly is an episode which may be looked back on if City sneak towards a title or the Toffees just succumb to play in the second tier for the first time since 1954.
At least the non-decision and City win will lessen focus about their lack of a star striker, which seemed all the more pertinent today given Harry Kane’s earlier masterclass for Tottenham.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Jordan Pickford (Everton) – Were it not for his centre back’s late error the performance of the England number one would be celebrated. There was not a deluge on his goal but on two occasions in the second half he produced saves in quick succession which seemed set to earn his side a morale-boosting point. His form was questioned last season but this year he seems back to his best.
Everton: Pickford 8*; Coleman 6, Holgate 7, Keane 5, Kenny 7; Allan 7, Doucoure 7, Van de Beek 7; Iwobi 6, Gordon 7; Richarlison 7.
Subs: Alli 5, Gray 6, El Ghazi 6.
Manchester City: Ederson 7; Stones 6, Dias 6, Laporte 6, Cancelo 6; Rodri 6; De Bruyne 7, Gundogan 7; Silva 7, Foden 7, Sterling 5.
Subs: Mahrez 6, Jesus 6,
34′ Richarlison shoots firmly at goalbut straight at Ederson. Intiially he burrowed his way through to the City defence and almsot squeezed a ball to Iwobi, before the ball came back to him and he blasted low at goal but not towards the corner.
56′ Two fine saves from Pickford. Cancelo shot at goal from a narrow angle and the England stopper saved above his head.
69′ Two great stops from Pickford. De Bruyne cut in from the left and drove low to Pickford’s left which he parries and then gets up to keep out Silva’s fierce half-volley on the rebound.
81′ GOAL FOR CITY! Awful error from Keane. An innocuous deflected low cross from the left flank saw Keane with his feet in cement and only able to stab at the ball, allowing Foden to nudge the ball home from close range.
86′ VAR checking for a penalty! It looks on the replay like Rodri handled the ball. The referee did not give it initially. They decided it was not a penalty.