On the final matchday of the 2017/18 season, Everton and just five other clubs played their 1,000th Premier League game, being the only ever-presents since its inception in 1992. Over the summer, evertonfc.com will be looking back at some classic Toffees clashes from the past 26 years. Today, we recall an unforgettable deadline-day victory over Manchester City when both three points and new faces were being celebrated at Goodison Park…
Everton 1-0 Manchester City
Tuesday, 31 January 2012
Title-chasing Manchester City were again undone by Everton as the Blues welcomed a new goalscoring hope - and celebrated a returning hero - on an unforgettable night at Goodison Park.
Everton were chasing an eighth win in 10 meetings with the Citizens and third straight victory over their opponents on home soil.
And they got it as Darron Gibson, signed just weeks before from City’s rivals Manchester United, grabbed the only goal on the hour-mark to hand Roberto Mancini’s league leaders a surprise defeat.
It was a game where the Blues’ fighting spirit came to the fore. Loanee Denis Stracqualursi - fresh from netting his first Everton goal in an FA Cup success against Fulham five nights earlier - never stopped running in attack. Tony Hibbert, a right-back, slotted in at centre-half as if he’d played there all his life, while John Heitinga, Everton’s would-be player of the season, stopped everything in his path.
Prior to Gibson’s winner, at half-time, a rapturous home support greeted scarf-waving striker Nikica Jelavic on to the pitch, a deal having been struck to sign the Croatia international from Glasgow Rangers earlier in the evening. Injury would prevent Jelavic from netting his first Blues goal until mid-March but he would end the campaign in double figures, his final-day effort in a 3-1 win over Newcastle United taking him to an impressive tally of 11.
After the final whistle, it was confirmed Steven Pienaar would be returning to the Club for a third time, the South African agreeing a last-minute loan deal that would become permanent in the summer.
As important, however, were three vital three points for the Toffees – their first since New Year’s Day – and a victory that carried David Moyes’ men from 14th to ninth.
Watch highlights from this game above now or, if you are using the Official Everton App, navigate to the 'Video' section.