What a game. As good as the matches have been recently, with solid wins at Southampton and Sunderland, this is the kind of match that wins titles. This win combined with the Chelsea loss means that the gap to 1st place has been shrunk to three points.
After Sergio Aguero went down after two minutes with an injury (early reports are suggesting knee ligaments damaged, not sure how severe), we had no fully fit strikers. Jovetic is out, and although Dzeko was on the bench he hasn't played in a while and was not up to playing 88+ minutes.
More significantly, Sergio Aguero has been an omnipresent goal-scoring force of nature this season. Any match without him was going to be a tough one. In his place, the whole team lifted their game to carry the load.
Jose Angel Pozo came on for the second time in a week, and he looked good. There were stretches where he was unable to get on the ball, but when he did he looked calm and poised. He nearly got on the score sheet, but for an exceptional save from the Secretary of Defense.
There were good stretches of the match where City absolutely dominated. Everyone seemed to be on their best, and there were a few that had claims to be the man of the match. Samir Nasri dominated possession, and dictated the tempo. Yaya Toure did a great job defensively, and helped control the midfield. Gael Clichy put on a show of locking down the left side of the field, completely neutralizing anything that Coleman and Lukaku tried on that side. Fernando looked great, and much more composed when passing the ball. James Milner was everywhere, and the same could be said for Jesus Navas and Zabaleta.
Due to the fact that there wasn't a traditional striker, there wasn't really a finishing touch to a lot of moves. Most of them just seemed to fizzle out, as people ran out of space or ideas. We missed the directness of Aguero, and the tricks of Jovetic. By the time Dzeko came on, the momentum had largely been lost.
The solitary goal came from a penalty from Yaya, after Jagielka took out James Milner in the area. I don't know what could really be argued against it being a penalty. Some commentators claimed that it was a coming together, but Milner was there first, and Jagielka barged into the back of him, taking his legs out from under him.
There were more than a few other moments of controversy, including a ninja-kick to the back from Mangala (probably should have been a red card), a kick to the face from Fernando (I thought that he had position, and didn't see Barry).
Everton didn't have many good chances, although Joe Hart made an amazing save to deny Lukaku of a brilliant goal. Everton finished the game much better than they had done for most of the game, but were unable to find a way through. City were able to see the game out and grab the opportunity to close the gap on Chelsea.