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.
— Everton (@Everton) December 31, 2022
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.