‘Twenty-one today’ - that’s the boast City can make after stretching their hugely impressive unbeaten run in the Barclays Premier League by another 90 minutes.
In truth this Blues side came of age a long time ago under Roberto Mancini but the key to this particular door was supplied by Carlos Tevez’ penalty that earned a point after bogey team Everton had taken the lead.
That’s now 21 games without defeat in the EPL spanning this season and the end of last and 37 matches without a home loss in the same competition – Everton being that last side to manage that feat two years ago.
Indeed, David Moyes’ side have been a perennial thorn in the side of Mancini since his arrival as a boss on these shores.
Before this Etihad encounter The Merseyside Blues had enjoyed the better of the argument on no fewer than eight occasions in the previous ten meetings.
It has been a sorry tale for City though that dismal record didn’t of course prevent the title being won last season or a vote of thanks going to Goodison for rescuing a 4-4 draw at Old Trafford!
A fifth clean sheet in six games at Wigan in midweek wasn’t a good enough reason for Mancini to say ‘same again’ and there were the usual changes.
However, an early alteration on the hoof was needed when Aleks Kolarov limped out within the opening ten minutes.
Key to City getting on top in this contest was keeping Fellaini off the ball; the hirsute Belgian has always seemingly reserved his best for when the Blues and his international skipper Vincent Kompany have been in opposition.
To that end both Gareth Barry – as usual – did some sterling work in the opening half hour but even so it was Fellaini who opened the scoring in the 33rd minute bundling the ball home after Joe Hart had saved brilliantly from the initial effort.
The fault didn’t lie so much with those in the box but the fact that the cross was allowed into the penalty area just as it was when Madrid scored at the same end.
The equaliser came ten minutes later, a penalty converted with cheeky aplomb by Tevez after Fellaini had been adjudged to have man-handled Dzeko to the floor.
The only other moments of attacking note in the first half for the champions saw Howard save with his legs from Dzeko and his hands from Tevez.
City were the better side for most of the second half but as usual Everton were obdurate and well-organised and Howard was not overly stretched to save from Maicon whilst at the other end Joe Hart did well to keep out Nikica Jelavic’s late free kick.
Kompany and Lescott, re-united at the heart of the back line, were both rock solid and strong in the second half and now eyes will be set on making it 22 unbeaten against ‘you know who’ next week.