Match Report Everton battled to earn a priceless point at the Etihad Stadium, frustrating Champions Manchester City after Demarai Gray’s world-class equaliser had cancelled out Erling Haaland’s 24th-minute strike. The Blues travelled along the M62 boosted by the return to the starting XI of Dominic Calvert-Lewin but it was Gray, always capable of producing a moment of magic, who curled beautifully into the top corner in the 64th minute to give Frank Lampard’s men something to hold onto. City pushed in the closing stages which included 11 minutes of stoppage time at the end of a feisty encounter but Everton’s defence held despite Rodri missing a gilt-edged chance at the death. Haaland had remained on the field despite needing treatment with just a minute on the clock following a clash with Ben Godfrey who was back in the starting XI for the first time since the opening day of the season. The big Norwegian appeared determined to exact his revenge which he did firstly with the opening goal midway through the first half after only hitting the side-netting with a shot earlier. Riyad Mahrez rounded Vitalii Mykolenko rather too easily from Everton’s perspective and centred to near the penalty spot where Haaland was on hand to sweep home yet another goal to add to his impressive tally for the season. Kevin de Bruyne and Mahrez had shots charged down before both the Belgian and Haaland were fortunate to only receive yellow cards for poor tackles while John Stones headed onto the post from a free-kick. The home side had their expected lion’s share of possession but the visitors were keeping them at bay and after Idrissa Gueye made a fine interception just inside his own half, he sent Gray away with a quick pass to run at City’s goal. The winger used Mykolenko’s overlapping run down the outside as a decoy before cutting inside his marker, recovering from a slip and then whipping the ball into the top corner as Edersen just watched on helplessly. Calvert-Lewin was replaced by Neal Maupay with 20 minutes to go and Seamus Coleman came on for Nathan Patterson who was on a yellow card while Amadou Onana and Jack Grealish had shots blocked at either end. Everton came under predictably heavy pressure as the game wore on but survived a goalmouth scramble after Jordan Pickford had dived to his left to keep out Mahrez’s goal-bound shot and the England man made another stop to deny De Bruyne after five minutes of added time. Phil Foden and Rodri then had efforts off target but the Spaniard could have broken Evertonian hearts with the final action of the match when Mahrez swung in a dangerous cross following a smart corner routine but he failed to make proper contact under pressure from Tom Davies and the ball dropped wide. The point keeps the Toffees in the 16th-place berth they occupied overnight thanks to West Ham’s defeat to Brentford and will, hopefully, provide a significant psychological boost heading into 2023 following the disappointing result on Boxing Day against Wolves. Lyndon Lloyd top Matchday Updates Everton travelled to the home of the Champions on the back of a string of defeats that were piling pressure on the manager, Frank Lampard, who was able once again to call upon Dominic Calvert-Lewin in his role as striker. But the star of this show was Demarai Gray who produced one of his all-too-rare moments of brilliance to score an excellent goal that tied a typical Haaland effort and the Blues (looking pretty in Pink!) survived a tremendous City onslaught to steal a point from the Etihad. Four changes were made from the team that lost in the final minute to Wolves. Gordon and Mina are out sick. Keane pulled up in the pre-match exercises, and was replaced on the bench by Isaac Price. Everton kicked off but lost possession until Godfrey accidentally caught Haaland's ankle. The big man stayed down in pain. Gray gave up a soft free-kick with a gentle shove on Lewis, the ball eventually overhit as the game got off to a very slow start. Gray and Iwobi combined down the right and almost got a cross in but it didn't reach Calvert-Lewin. Patterson put in a good block on Grealish. as City worked the ball around and around... until a brilliant De Bryune cross flew inches high for Haaland and was headed clear by Everton. Next was an equally slick move by De Bruyne playing in Haaland with Pickford pushing him wide. Calvert-Lewin's first touch didn't stick as he was surrounded quickly. Silva was booked for diving over Patterson's raised leg. Calvert-Lewin's second touch came when he was offside. Grealish drew a foul from Patterson, De Bryune's absolutely brilliant delivery punched away by Pickford with Stones fully committed, Godfrey landing on top of him. City switched sides and Mahrez fell over, the Citizens screamed for a penalty. Nothing in it but De Bruyne played in another teasing ball that Pickford was quick to clear. City went back to their left, probing ever deeper and Mahrez somehow found Haaland who could not miss despite being surrounded. Another attack, Silva crossing for Haaland, but too high, Mykolenko giving away the corner, Tarkowski heading it behind, Gueye then blocking a shot from the corner. City's attacks were relentless now, Everton utterly incapable of clearing their lines, save the long hoof to Calvert-Lewin that turned over possession. Iwobi went on the attack and De Bruyne badly fouled Onana. Gray took the free-kick and Everton almost got their first touch in the City area before it was cleared. Calvert-Lewin gave the ball away very cheaply but Everton were trying a bit harder to move the ball forward. Another Paterson challenge on Grealish was punished with a yellow card. Everton played a series of passes that finally got them into the City area after 34 minutes but Calvert-Lewin was out of position when the cross came in. More pink possession play ensued but mostly sideways and backwards, the forward run of Patterson shamelessly ignored by Iwobi. Everton were definitely having a lot more of the ball but taking far too long to get it into the danger area, although Gueye's cross to Calvert-Lewin looked a lot better, but the Everton forward was called for a foul. Gueye won the ball but the move broke down with a poor pass to Patterson. City resumed their forward play and won a corner. Some awful defending by Everton stopped them from clearing the ball until Godfrey fouled Haaland, who he had been tussling with and sledging. De Bruyne's brilliant ball in was headed by Stones onto the face of the post with Pickford beaten and Haaland lunged in from behind on Mykolenko, with some afters resulting, with Halland and Tarkowski getting yellow cards. City finished the half in complete control of the game; Everton failed to produce a single shot. One-way traffic resumed after the break, Patterson tackling Grealish for a corner that Iwobi cleared. But it came right back, as it did when Patterson booted it out. Mykolenko got free in acres of space but Calvert-Lewin ran in behind his marker who won the ball. After a long, long delay (6 minutes) for sorting out the Linesman's radio gear, with the crowd and the players getting quite antsy in the Manchester rain, the game finally resumed until Iwobi and Grealish collided at the knee for another stoppage, soon followed by Rodri and Onana, who was booked for the clumsy challenge (his 5th yellow card of the season). Gray found some space and ran forward onto a great pass from Gueye but Calvert-Lewin had overran the defenders, and Gray slipped as he turned, but then sprung up like a spring chicken to swing in a fantastic shot over Ederson and into the top corner of the City net. What a goal! This brought the game briefly to life with some excellent play from both sides as they each pushed on, Onana's wayward shot deflecting for Everton's first corner on 68 minutes, bizarrely headed out by Tarkowski. Lampard then made two seemingly unnecessary but typical like-for-like changes, and Haaland gambolled forward down the left, Pickford getting vital fingertips to his wicked cross. Coleman did well to block Grealish, and some great Everton defending stalled the now very determined City attack. Gueye relieved the pressure but Gray lost the ball and City attacked again... Everton resolute again, but the pace of the game was telling on Onana and Godfrey. Davies replaced Gueye, who ambled off casually. Everton were now giving it a good go, Coleman rescuing a lost ball and Haaland swinging a backhand smash at Tarkowski's chin. No second yellow! An incredible City barrage, shot after shot, blocked, defended, scuffed, parried – what a sequence of play, Pickford pulling off a fantastic save from Mahrez and the Everton goal somehow surviving. But this game was building to quite the climax with who knows how long to be added on? Everton were slow to build when they got the ball, an attack finally seeing Gray cross low straight to Ederson. A triple change ensued from Pep. Godfrey went on a great run and looked to have been fouled by Ake, not given, and Foden was able to cross in, cleared. Akanji then fouled Maupay, as Godfrey went to ground again as 11 minutes were added on, while extended discussions were held on the touchline, Doucoure replacing Godfrey. The lines of attack and defence reformed for the umpteenth time, Everton looking to retain their shape. Pickford had to make a tremendous save, then Iwobi headed a wicked cross behind, and the corner was cleared, but not very far. A Rodri shot from distance rolled out and City were denied the corner, giving Everton momentary respite from the attacking onslaught. Foden seemed to get behind the Everton defence but Coady's headed clearance of his fearsome cross was excellent. Huge City frustration met every decision that went against the Citizens as Everton's confidence in winning a vital point seemed to grow with each minute of added time. Maupay was booked for his tackle on Ake. Foden burst through but it was driven behind. Mykolenko then had to foul Foden, giving away a very dangerous free-kick that Pickford punched away. De Bruyne swung in another excellent ball and Coady had to head it behind. Mahrez saw another shot blocked, then from a corner, a fantastic chance for a glancing header at the far post flew inches beyond the post and Everton had survived a tremendous battle to go home with a very valuable point. Manchester City: Ederson, Lewis (87' Gundogan), Stones, , Ake, Rodri, Silva [Y:17'] (87' Alvarez), De Bruyne [Y:30'], Mahrez, Haaland [Y:44'], Grealish (87' Foden). Subs not Used: Ortega, Walker, Phillips, Cancelo, Gomez, Palmer. Everton: Pickford, Godfrey (90+1' Doucoure), Coady, Tarkowski [Y:44'], Patterson [Y:32'] (69' Coleman), Mykolenko, Gana (78' Davies), Onana [Y:63'], Iwobi, Gray, Calvert-Lewin (69' Maupay). Subs not Used: Begovic, Holgate, Keane Price, McNeil, Vinagre. Michael Kenrick top Match Preview Everton face a massive challenge if they are to avoid closing out 2022 with what would be a fifth successive defeat in all competitions as they travel to the home of the Champions on New Year's Eve. The Blues resumed their Premier League campaign on Boxing Day with a hugely disappointing defeat to Wolves that has turned up the heat on manager Frank Lampard and increased the pressure on the team to start picking up points as a matter of urgency lest they drop into the bottom three at the turn of 2023. In all honesty they will need a minor miracle against Pep Guardiola's free-scoring outfit and on a ground where an Everton side hasn't won for a decade. City were in action only yesterday when they won at Leeds but the sheer depth to their squad means that even a heavily rotated starting XI would pose a huge test for Lampard's men. Nevertheless, the Toffees' boss has been boosted by the availability of Dominic Calvert-Lewin who will be in the matchday squad after the decision was taken not to risk him against Wolves following his triple injury concern heading into the break for the World Cup and a general lack of match fitness. There are those among the fanbase who feel as though the striker should be withheld from the line-up until next Tuesday's clash with Brighton, a more winnable fixture, and it's possible that Lampard will start him on the bench at the Etihad Stadium. "[Dominic] is in the squad," Lampard said in his pre-match press conference this morning. "Having Dominic back in the fold is a great thing for us because players who can make a difference at the top end of the pitch like that mean points. It's as simple as that at times." Meanwhile, in defence, Yerry Mina is expected to travel with the squad after it leaving the fray at Goodison early on Boxing Day with suspected cramp but Conor Coady is expected to start regardless, perhaps in a back three, after having to sit out against his parent club. There are, however, some question marks over some un-named members of the squad who have come down with illness in the past few days which could complicate Lampard's selection. "Defensively, we played well against Wolves but you'll always miss Conor because of his input in terms of personality and quality on the pitch so it's great to have him back," the boss explained. "We will find out about Yerry today. He is training today. He had some cramp in the game against Wolves and a bit more of a sensation around his hamstring - very low level - so he'll train today and then we'll make a call. "We've got a few people who are slightly unwell so we've got a few checks on that." It's almost five years since Everton beat Manchester City and the Citizens have done the double over the Toffees in each of the past four seasons and the form book coming into the this game only points to another victory for Guardiola. The perennial mantra for this fixture is, however, that when it's 11 vs 11, anything can happen as the likes of Crystal Palace have shown already this term. If they can remain in the contest and execute an effective counter-attacking game-plan with the kind of clinical finishing that was almost wholly absent against Wolves, they stand a slim chance of coming away with something. Anything would be a huge result. Kick-off: 3pm, Saturday 31 December, 2022Referee: Andy MadleyVAR: Lee MasonLast Time: Manchester City 3 - 0 Everton Predicted Line-up: Pickford, Patterson, Coady, Mina, Tarkowski, Mykolenko, Gueye, Onana, Iwobi, Gordon, Maupay Lyndon Lloyd top * Unfortunately, we cannot control other sites' content policies and therefore cannot guarantee that links to external reports will remain active.