1-0 (Weir 7)
- Match reports
- 04 February 2006 00:00
- Posted by Leon Collins
City slipped to a disheartening defeat against an Everton side who, apart from Weir's early close-range goal, did not threaten David James that often. Georgios Samaras had the best chance on his senior start, heading over in the second half.
Team news: Georgios Samaras made his first start for City, replacing Andy Cole. City were otherwise unchanged from Wednesday night.
Disaster nearly struck in the first minute, when Osman rampaged down the middle and shot from the edge of the box, clipping the top of the bar.
And it did not take long for The Toffees to make amends, when David Weir bundled the ball in after seven minutes. An Arteta corner was nodded goalwards by Cahill, and Dunne's attempted clearance near the line struck the oncoming Everton skipper to give City the worst possible start.
City's first real effort came after 20 minutes, but Barton's free kick was hammered low into the wall and the ball rebounded away.
City were trying to get a foothold in the match, but the hosts were able to repel all the attcks that City had managed to mount.
Cahill conceded a corner with 33 minutes gone, and after Barton felt he was pulled down in the area Musampa's shot was dragged a long way to the right of the goal.
With just under 10 minutes left, Barton crossed to find Sincair, but he got completely underneath the ball and skied the shot miles over Wright's bar.
Vassell got a header in with a couple of minutes to go before the break, but it did not threaten and City went into half time a goal down.
City were under the cosh early on, with a Dunne header from a corner looping goalwards, but James tipped it over and as a result had to dangle from the bar.
Stubbs conceded a corner on 52 minutes from a decent Jordan cross, but referee Marriner adjudged City to have fouled Wright as the ball came over from Riera's corner.
Stephen Jordan picked up a booking after a clash with Arteta
Stuart Pearce could be seen chatting to his opposite number across the line dividing the miniscule technical area.
Samaras was only inches away from scoring on his first start after 58 minutes, when after leaping to a Barton corner the Greek striker headed over by the closest of margins. Seconds later, Riera was replaced by Andy Cole as Pearce looked to throw everything at Everton in the last half hour.
Kiki Musampa got a shot in on target a minute later, trying for placement from the edge of the box rather than power, but his effort went straight into Wright's breadbasket.
The dangerous Cahill went close on 65, volleying a cross first time with his left foot just over the City crossbar.
Joey Barton earned the game's first booking after 67 minutes for a foul on Cahill.
City caused mayhem in the Everton area with 15 to go, when both Vassell and Samaras had shots charged down. Pearce threw on Wright-Phillips & Sibierski for both these two seconds later.
The three City subs combined well with nine minutes to go, but Wright-Phillips volley on the turn was blocked, and Everton moved back down the field.
Barton swung a free kick in with six minutes left, Cole's bicycle kick being headed away by Cahill as the linesman flag went up for offside against Sibierski.
With time running ou for City, Jordan was dismissed for his second bookable offence having fouled Hibbert, capping a miserable day. Dunne was also booked as things became fractious in the dying seconds