For Manchester City the wait goes on as they went down 2-1 at Eastlands to ten-man Everton and blew the chance of heading the Premiership at Christmas. Two goals from Everton in the opening twenty minutes proved decisive as City failed to rise to the occasion and only when the visitor's were reduced to ten men in the second half did City begin to threaten.
For Everton this was a fifth consecutive league win at the City of Manchester Stadium and ruined what should have been an historic moment for the homes fans who had hoped to see their team top the league for the first time in 71 years over the festive period.
And the game had started with the news for City that Carlos Tevez had withdrawn his transfer request, but that was as good as it got.
Within four minutes Everton took the lead as slack marking at the back allowed Tim Cahill an easy header.
The Australian international then turned provider in the 19th minute allowing Leighton Baines to double the Merseysiders advantage to stun the home crowd.
The home side then laid siege to the Everton goal but Tim Howard in goal and the rest of his defence stood firm.
Carlos Tevez and Yaya Toure came close at the death but Everton held on to deny City an historic victory.
Roberto Mancini's miserable night was then complete when Kolo Toure was sent off for a second yellow in the final minute.
Referee: Peter Walton
Venue: City of Manchester Stadium Attendance: 45,028
Man City scorers: Jagielka og 72 Everton scorers: Cahill 4, Baines 19
MAN CITY 25 Hart 04 Kompany (yellow card) 05 Zabaleta 13 Kolarov 28 Kolo Toure (yellow card, red card) 07 Milner (A Johnson 46) 18 Barry (yellow card) 21 Silva 42 Yaya Toure 32 Tevez 45 Balotelli (Jo 83)
Substitutes 01 Given, 02 Richards, 17 Boateng, 08 Wright-Phillips, 11 A Johnson, 24 Vieira, 27 Jo
EVERTON 24 Howard 03 Baines 06 Jagielka (Hibbert 79) 15 Distin 18 Neville 23 Coleman (Saha 76) 17 Cahill 21 Osman (Bilyaletdinov 75) 25 Fellaini (yellow card) 26 Rodwell 28 Anichebe (yellow card, red card)
Substitutes 01 Mucha, 02 Hibbert, 07 Bilyaletdinov, 08 Saha, 16 Beckford, 19 Magaye Gueye, 22 Yakubu