Kevin de Bruyne and Sergio Aguero both missed penalties as Manchester City were held to a 1-1 draw by Everton at the Etihad Stadium.
After a perfect start to the season Pep Guardiola's men have picked up just one point in their last two league matches, and they were lucky to escape even with a draw against Everton.
Romelu Lukaku put the visitors ahead just after the hour mark with his sixth goal in five Premier League games after De Bruyne had hit a weak spot kick in the first period.
Everton's Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku (C) wheels away after scoring past Manchester City's Chilean goalkeeper Claudio Bravo during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Everton at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north w
Image credit: AFP
Aguero, who had been benched at the start, had a chance to level - but he too hit a terrible penalty that was easily saved by Everton's excellent keeper Maarten Stekelenburg.
Nolito, on as a second-half substitute, headed an equaliser with his first touch soon after, and Stekelenburg made another fine save from De Bruyne, but Everton held on pretty comfortably for a point.
City will stay top only on goal difference ahead of Arsenal, the Gunners having earned a narrow 3-2 win over Swansea, while Spurs are just a point behind.
Pep Guardiola’s strange decisions cost City. Yes, the Citizens played attractive football but, in truth, failed to carve open a clear-cut opportunity until the manager made changes in the second-half.
The decision to start with an experimental 3-5-1-1 formation with Kelechi Iheanacho leading the attack, leaving leading goal-scorer Sergio Aguero on the bench, is simply baffling.
Kevin De Bruyne, who operated behind the young Nigerian striker, is only returning from injury and looked knackered by half-time. Somehow though, he was forced to play the match in its entirety.
As good as Everton were defensively, this is two points dropped for City. One can only imagine the outcome would have been different had Guardiola restrained from tinkering with key personnel and used a simpler system.
Image credit: PA Sport
MAN OF THE MATCH
Maarten Stekelenburg (Everton): It takes a special goalkeeper to save two penalties in one match. Phil Jagielka, who conceded both fouls, owes his team mate a drink or two.
Man City: Bravo 6, Otamendi 6, Stones 7, Clichy 6, Gundogan 6, Fernandinho 7, De Bruyne 7, Silva 8, Sane 7, Iheanacho 5, Sterling 6. Subs: Kompany N/A, Nolito 7, Aguero 6.
Everton: Stekelenburg 9; Coleman 7, Jagielka 7, Williams 6, Oviedo 6; Barry 6, Gana 5, Cleverley 6, Deulofeu 6, Bolasie 7; Lukaku 8. Subs: Mirallas 6, McCarthy 6, Funes Mori N/A.
10’ - PENALTY APPEAL! Sane, who has been a real livewire in the opening stages of the match, tricks his way into the penalty area before falling under a challenge from Oviedo. He wants a spot-kick but Michael Oliver isn't interested.
29’ - CHANCE! City's shot count continues to rise without a goal to show for it. De Bruyne is the latest to have a go but his effort from inside the penalty area is dragged wide of goal. The Belgian has been quite wasteful thus far.
41’ - PENALTY TO MAN CITY! Jagielka brings down Silva with a trailing leg inside the area and Michael Oliver immediately points to the spot!
42’ - PENALTY SAVED! De Bruyne steps up to take the spot-kick... and it's saved by Stekelenburg! It was struck high and relatively central - a poor effort.
49’ - SAVE! First real meaningful attack from Everton this afternoon as Bolasie cuts in from the flank before curling the ball at goal but Bravo is equal to the shot, doing well to turn it over his bar. The visitors have a corner.
64‘ - GOAL! Man City 0-1 Everton - The Etihad is stunned as Lukaku makes the breakthrough, Everton scoring against the run of play. The Belgian forward latches onto a pass from Bolasie before bursting into the penalty area and finding the bottom right-hand corner.
68’ - PENALTY TO MAN CITY! Jagielka gets too close to Aguero and brings him down in the area. Now then, can City finally get on the score-sheet?
69’ - UNBELIEVABLE! Stekelenburg denies Man City from the penalty-spot for the second time today! Aguero's effort, similar to De Bruyne's in the first-half, is at a nice height for the Everton goalkeeper.
Manchester City's Nolito scores their first goal as Everton's Maarten Stekelenburg attempts to save
Image credit: Reuters
72’ - GOAL! Man City 1-1 Everton - Nolito equalises with his first touch! The substitute is left unmarked in the penalty area to meet a fantastic cross from Silva. Finally Man City have a goal!
81’- OFF THE POST!! An amazing effort from De Bruyne who smashes a shot from 30 yards towards the top corner but Stekelenburg does brilliantly to tip it onto the post and out of play!
David Silva has provided more Premier League assists than any other player in the competition since his debut.
Maarten Stekelenburg has saved two penalties against Man City; the eighth occasion a goalkeeper has done so in a single Premier League game.
Phil Jagielka is the first Premier League player to concede two penalties in one game since Fernando Amorebieta (Fulham v Man City, Mar 2014).
Romelu Lukaku has scored six goals in his last five Premier League appearances, after a run of 11 consecutive games in the competition without one.
Man City have failed to score four of their eight penalties in all competitions this season.