Manchester City 1-1 Everton: Gray stunner dents champions' title hopes

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Demarai Gray's stunning equaliser dented Manchester City's Premier League title bid and eased the pressure on Frank Lampard as Everton claimed a 1-1 draw at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

Lampard's struggling team looked set for more misery when Erling Haaland continued his incredible goalscoring form in the first half, sweeping home to hand City the lead.

Everton failed to register a single shot until the 64th minute, but they only needed one chance as Gray whipped a brilliant effort into the top-right corner to cap a devastating break.

Pep Guardiola's men looked startled by Gray's intervention, as their failure to find a winner handed Arsenal the initiative in the title race on New Year's Eve.

Haaland went close early on when he hit the side-netting from a tight angle after rounding Jordan Pickford, but he was not to be denied 24 minutes in.

Jack Grealish's neat work down the left allowed Riyad Mahrez to square for Haaland, who finished beyond Pickford in a crowded penalty area to put City ahead.

Former Everton defender John Stones hit the post with a diving header as half-time approached, and City appeared destined to add to their lead as they pinned the Toffees back.

However, the visitors silenced the Etihad with their first attempt of the game after the hour mark, with Gray breaking clear and recovering from a stumble to arc a terrific effort into the far corner from the left of the area.

Pickford denied Mahrez from close range as City threw players forward in desperation late on, but Everton stood firm through 11 minutes of stoppage time to claim a huge point towards their survival bid – much to the delight of Arsenal.

What does it mean? City's party crashed

City's players could have been forgiven for turning their attentions to their New Year's Eve celebrations when Haaland gave them the lead against visitors who barely managed an attack in the first hour.

However, City – who were flat for long periods in a stop-start affair – were caught out by Gray's electrifying pace as their dire New Year's Eve record continued.

City have never won a Premier League game on December 31, recording four draws and one defeat in five such matches.

Rare away cheer for Toffees

Everton have lost 12 away Premier League games in 2022 – more than any other team in the competition and their most in a calendar year since 1999 (13).

With that record in mind, few would have imagined Lampard's men clinching a draw at the home of the champions. They will hope Gray's intervention represents a turning point in their season.

Haaland signs off in style

2022 has been a big year for Haaland, who has not looked back since swapping Borussia Dortmund for City in the last transfer window.

Though he will be frustrated by his lack of service in an underwhelming City performance, his opener represented his 21st Premier League goal of the season – the highest tally recorded by any player in a single campaign before the turn of the year.

Key Opta Facts

- Manchester City have failed to win back-to-back home league games for the first time since May 2021, when they lost against Leeds and Chelsea.
- Everton have picked up their first point away against City in the league since August 2017 (1-1), while this is the first time they have ever avoided defeat having fallen behind at the Etihad.
- Only Harry Kane (26) has scored more Premier League goals in 2022 than Haaland (21), despite the Norwegian striker only joining the league in August.
- Gray's 64th minute goal came from Everton's first shot in the match – it was his first away league goal since August 2021 against Brighton.

What's next? 

City will travel to Chelsea for their first Premier League game of 2023 on Thursday, while Everton host Brighton and Hove Albion on Tuesday.