Everton are up to 15th in the Premier League after their penalty for breaching the competition’s financial rules was reduced to six points on appeal, but they face the threat of further sanction with a second case still to be heard.

An independent appeal board set aside the 10-point sanction originally imposed by a commission in November for breaching league profitability and sustainability rules (PSR), with the new reduced penalty lifting the Toffees’ points tally from 21 to 25.

Everton said they were “satisfied” the appeal had resulted in a reduction in the points penalty, but the club are not wholly out of the woods and could have a further points sanction imposed in relation to a second PSR complaint which was laid on January 15.

That one has to be completely concluded before June 1 – the date when promoted clubs receive their Premier League ‘shares’.

It is also unclear whether the club may face compensation claims related to the first PSR breach. A ruling published at the time of the original 10-point penalty said five clubs – Burnley, Leeds, Leicester, Nottingham Forest and Southampton – had 28 days from written receipt of a copy of the decision against Everton to pursue a claim.

None of those clubs confirmed whether they had pursued a claim when contacted by the PA news agency last week. One of them, Forest, have had a PSR complaint lodged against them since the original sanction was issued against Everton.

The reduced six-point penalty for Everton relates to breaching PSR in the assessment period up to the 2021-22 season. The appeal board rejected seven grounds for mitigation put forward by Everton but did find the original commission made legal errors.

The first of those was in relation to club representations to the Premier League in August 2022 over stadium debt, which the original commission said were “less than frank”.

While the appeal board found these representations were “materially wrong”, it accepted that it had never been the Premier League’s case that this was anything other than an innocent mistake by Everton.

Similarly, the appeal board said a breach of Premier League rule B.15, which requires clubs to act in utmost good faith, was never part of the original complaint against the club.

“The first time rule B.15 appeared was in the commission’s decision,” the appeal board ruling stated.

The appeal board also found it was wrong of the commission not to take into account available benchmarks for sanction, such as EFL guidelines.

The appeal board revealed it considered other possible sanctions, such as a fine or a ban on registering players, but concluded a points deduction was warranted.

“The unfair advantage achieved by a breach may include a financial advantage over other clubs, but it is most immediately a sporting advantage and consequently the sanction for breach can legitimately focus on sporting disadvantage,” the appeal board decision said.

The reduction in penalty means Luton are now four points from safety in the Premier League, but their manager Rob Edwards accepted the issue was out of the Hatters’ hands.

Forest drop to 17th, and their manager Nuno Espirito Santo said: “Regarding the hearing and the decision, we are waiting.

“There are people in the club that are taking care of that. So these questions are not appropriate for me.”

Everton released a statement following the publication of the revised sanction.

“While the club is still digesting the appeal board’s decision, we are satisfied our appeal has resulted in a reduction in the points sanction,” the statement read.

“We understand the appeal board considered the 10-point deduction originally imposed to be inappropriate when assessed against the available benchmarks of which the club made the commission aware, including the position under the relevant EFL regulations, and the nine-point deduction that is imposed under the Premier League’s own rules in the event of insolvency.

“The club is also particularly pleased with the appeal board’s decision to overturn the original commission’s finding that the club failed to act in utmost good faith.

“That decision, along with reducing the points deduction, was an incredibly important point of principle for the club on appeal. The club, therefore, feels vindicated in pursuing its appeal.”

The club said they remain fully committed to co-operating with the Premier League in respect of the second complaint, which relates to a PSR breach in the assessment period up to the end of the 2022-23 season.

If clubs breach PSRs in consecutive seasons, they can provide evidence and make submissions to the independent commission hearing their case that any crossover should be treated as a mitigating factor.

Labour MP Ian Byrne, who tabled an early day motion in the House of Commons in response to the initial 10-point deduction, wrote on X: “I was proud to be able to take the fight against Everton’s disproportionate & unfair penalty to Parliament and am pleased to see their points deduction reduced today.”

Everton have had their penalty for breaching Premier League financial rules reduced to six points following an appeal.

The Toffees were hit with a 10-point deduction last November after an independent commission found they had exceeded permitted losses under the league’s profitability and sustainability rules (PSR) by £19.5million over an assessment period ending with the 2021-22 season.

An independent appeal board has now cut that by four points, which moves the club on to 25 points in the table and up to 15th place.

The club face a second PSR complaint for breaching rules over the assessment period running to the end of last season.

The complaint was laid on January 15 and under standard directions for PSR cases agreed by top-flight clubs last summer, the commission hearing in that case must conclude no later than 12 weeks after that complaint, which would be April 8.

Sean Dyche blamed nine minutes of stoppage time for Everton’s failure to hold on for a crucial victory at Brighton.

The Toffees were leading through Jarrad Branthwaite’s spectacular strike and defending against a team reduced to 10 men after Billy Gilmour was sent off.

But Dyche looked dismayed when nine minutes of injury time was indicated by the fourth official and in the 95th minute Brighton captain Lewis Dunk headed home a Pascal Gross as the hosts rescued a point.

The Toffees boss said: “After a tough first 20 minutes when they were the better side I thought we grew into the first half, I was very pleased with the mentality as this is not an easy place to come.

“The second half was a really good away performance. We scored a really good goal and then you’re frustrated by the fact nine goes up and that changes the whole stadium.

“They keep throwing bodies forward and we didn’t deal with that.

“But on the other hand they have only lost one here this season so it’s a good point and we’ll take it.

“We’ve got no divine right to win games, you’ve got to be diligent the whole game. Before the game you want to win, but you take a point down here and it’s another point on the table.”

Everton edged up to 21 points, one clear of the relegation zone after a ninth game without a win.

“We should be on 31, don’t forget,” added Dyche in reference to the 10-point deduction and the club’s wait for the result of their appeal.

“That’s pretty healthy compared to previous seasons. I have to look at the bigger picture.”

Everton made the breakthrough in the 72nd minute through the unlikely figure of Branthwaite.

Jordan Pickford launched a free-kick into the area and Evan Ferguson’s attempted clearance fell to the young centre-half.

Branthwaite took one touch with his right foot and then lashed a powerful, angled drive with his left foot into the top corner.

Ten minutes from time Scotland midfielder Gilmour was dismissed after catching Amadou Onana with his studs.

But Brighton kept knocking at the door and Dunk prised it open with a towering header on his 400th league appearance for his boyhood club.

“At the end one point is better than zero, but if you analyse the game it’s very tough to accept this result, especially at home,” said Seagulls boss Roberto De Zerbi.

“I think we deserved to win, we created many chances to score, then we conceded the goal, a set-piece, second ball and a centre-half hits the top corner.

“Everton are a very good team, they have important players. We knew before the game it would be very tough. But we lost two points today.”

Lewis Dunk denied Everton a crucial win with a stoppage-time equaliser as 10-man Brighton rescued a 1-1 draw at the Amex Stadium.

The Seagulls captain, on his 400th league appearance for his boyhood club, nodded in a corner from Pascal Gross in the 95th minute.

His goal cancelled out a stunning strike from another centre-half, Jarrod Branthwaite, and stretched Everton’s winless run to nine matches.

Sean Dyche’s side did at least edge a point clear of the relegation zone, but this will feel like a horrible two points dropped against a Brighton side who were at that stage a man light after Billy Gilmour’s red card.

Seagulls boss Roberto De Zerbi invited some of his players to his house for dinner this week, but in the early stages he was left frustrated at how they made a meal of taking their chances.

Danny Welbeck passed up three opportunities in the opening 20 minutes, first seeing a shot deflected wide by James Tarkowski.

Welbeck then raced on to Facundo Buonanotte’s through-ball and knocked it past Jordan Pickford, who had come charging out of his area, but the striker’s touch was too heavy.

Moments later the former England forward played a neat one-two with Buonanotte, but Ben Godfrey got a foot in to send his shot wide.

Simon Adingra, an Africa Cup of Nations winner with Ivory Coast, was next to try his luck with a mazy run and a shot which flew narrowly over.

Everton created only one chance in a one-sided first half, yet it was probably the best of the lot.

A cross from Vitalii Mykolenko looked destined for the head of Dominic Calvert-Lewin in front of goal until Dunk intervened and glanced the ball behind.

After the break a fired-up De Zerbi was shown his now increasingly-regular yellow card after protesting too vociferously that Tarkowski deserved a second booking for a foul on Welbeck.

Brighton then had a huge let-off when Dwight McNeil’s cross was volleyed goalward by Abdoulaye Doucoure, with Tariq Lamptey, the shortest player on the pitch, heading it clear from underneath the crossbar.

But Everton made the breakthrough in the 72nd minute through the unlikely figure of Branthwaite.

Pickford launched a free-kick into the area and Evan Ferguson’s attempted clearance fell to the young centre-half.

Branthwaite took one touch with his right foot and then lashed a powerful, angled drive past a startled Bart Verbruggen and into the top corner.

Ten minutes from time Scotland midfielder Gilmour was dismissed after catching Amadou Onana with his studs.

But Brighton kept knocking at the door and Dunk prised it open with a towering header to snatch a point and leave Dyche frustrated.

Sean Dyche accepts pressure will continue to grow on Dominic Calvert-Lewin the longer his barren run continues.

But the Everton manager has reminded the rest of his goal-shy side it is not just the principle striker who needs to find the net.

Calvert-Lewin has not scored for the relegation-threatened Toffees in 19 appearances stretching back to October.

However, he is not the only Everton player struggling in front of goal with the team having struck just 27 times in 25 Premier League games this season. Only bottom two Burnley and Sheffield United have worse records.

“I think he knows where he’s at,” said Dyche of Calvert-Lewin. “There’s enough noise in football now.

“Do you think he’s thinking there’s no noise about him not scoring? I’m pretty sure he knows that.

“Whether fair or not, that’s strikers, isn’t it? That’s being a striker, that’s the reality of the role.

“But all strikers, I’m sure, want the adulation of being a striker and scoring goals.

“That’s part of the fuel that you’d have as a striker, that amazing feeling when you do score, especially at Goodison, because the crowd generally erupt.

“So I think they know the responsibility. That’s part of their role.

“Having said that, of course, it’s not just strikers’ responsibility to score goals.

“We want them to work, we want them to defend, we want them to do the hard yards for the team. So therefore we’ve got to pay that back with other people scoring.”

Conversely, in a difficult season, Dyche can take positives from his side’s strong defensive record.

Everton have conceded just 33 goals this term, a figure equalled or bettered only by the current top four.

Dyche said: “I’m pleased with that side of things and that’s the whole team. A lot is made about individuals in the back unit but I think we ask the players to defend from the front and I think they’re getting better at that.

“The tactical shape and understanding the side, I think has improved and then finding that balance for scoring goals – we know that’s the biggest part of the challenge – transitioning the chances we’re making into actual finishes and actual goals. That’s obviously still a work in progress.”

Everton, who clawed themselves out of the relegation zone on goal difference with a 1-1 draw against Crystal Palace on Monday, travel to seventh-placed Brighton on Saturday.

Everton claimed an impressive 5-1 win at the Amex Stadium as they battled against the drop last May.

Dyche said: “That was probably a hiccup in their season at that time. We made that happen, though, don’t get me wrong.

“It wasn’t because they weren’t playing well or they weren’t a good side, because they are a good side.

“They’ve shown again they’re a good outfit and the home record has been very good for a number of seasons.”

Everton manager Sean Dyche has admitted the club’s 10-point deduction may have had a psychological effect on his players.

The Toffees are still awaiting the outcome of their appeal against the punishment they received for breaching the Premier League’s financial regulations last November.

The sanction has effectively plunged the Merseyside club into a relegation battle and Dyche feels the uncertainty over whether or not they will get any points back could be having an impact.

Dyche told a number of national newspapers: “It affects everyone – everyone is sitting around waiting and wondering.

“They take those 10 points off immediately, so you keep looking at that table and you keep getting asked about being in the bottom three, four, five. They don’t leave you up there, so how do we know how that affects the psychology?

“It changes the perception, it changes the feel, it changes the fan base, it changes the feel of performances. That’s just a fact. We all measure it differently when the team are there, top, middle or bottom.

“Does that affect the team whilst the process is going? At first everyone says obviously not because you win four, but you could argue there is a delayed effect.”

Everton’s appeal hearing was held at the end of last month and a verdict is now thought to be imminent but no exact date has been set for when it will be delivered.

“We haven’t got a clue, or I certainly haven’t at the moment,” said Dyche at a press conference.

“The guidelines that you (the media) suggest and we suggest have been for around about the end of the month, so we just have to wait and see.

“I don’t know all the legalities of appeals, of course, but I think it’s in everyone’s interest, firstly our own of course, and for the greater good of football – I think everyone’s wondering – it would be helpful if it’s sooner rather than later.”

After initially responding well to the points setback, Everton are now without a win in eight Premier League games.

They are above the relegation zone only on goal difference after a 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace on Monday.

Dyche, whose side travel to Brighton on Saturday, has at least been pleased with the attitude of his players throughout a troubled period.

He said: “I think the players have been working very hard, very diligently. I’m very pleased with what they’re doing on a daily basis. I don’t think it is literally in the way of every day’s business.

“I’m sure at the back of their minds they’re still wondering, ‘Come on then, when are you going to tell us where we’re at and give us more of a factual kind of view?’, but we’re in the same mindset – it is where it is and that’s it.

“We look at where it is now and then see what comes. We can’t do anything about it until it’s done.”

Everton manager Sean Dyche says the club remain in the dark as to when they will hear the outcome of their appeal against their 10-point deduction.

The Toffees received the sanction for breaching the Premier League’s financial regulations last November and their appeal against the punishment was heard at the end of January.

That verdict is now thought to be imminent but no exact date has been set for when it will be delivered.

“We haven’t got a clue, or I certainly haven’t at the moment,” said Dyche at a press conference.

“The guidelines that you (the media) suggest and we suggest have been for around about the end of the month, so we just have to wait and see.

“I don’t know all the legalities of appeals, of course, but I think it’s in everyone’s interest, firstly our own of course, and for the greater good of football – I think everyone’s wondering – it would be helpful if it’s sooner rather than later.

“But, as I said, I don’t know how the legal process, the timescales and why it takes so long. So we’ll just have to wait and see.”

The points deduction means Everton are now facing another relegation battle. After a 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace on Monday, they are above the bottom three only on goal difference.

The uncertainty does not end there with the club also facing a second charge of breaching financial regulations and a proposed takeover by 777 Partners proving a protracted affair.

Dyche said: “There hasn’t been much calm water since I’ve been at this club, that’s for sure – the odd week, and then another wave comes and hits you in the face. Let’s see how it tumbles forward.”

Dyche, whose side travel to Brighton on Saturday, has been pleased with the attitude of his players throughout a troubled period.

He said: “I think the players have been working very hard, very diligently. I’m very pleased with what they’re doing on a daily basis. I don’t think it is literally in the way of every day’s business.

“Of course, you still look at a league table that they adjusted immediately and took 10 points away – we don’t know whether that 10 points is fact.

“I’m sure at the back of their minds they’re still wondering, ‘Come on then, when are you going to tell us where we’re at and give us more of a factual kind of view?’, but we’re in the same mindset – it is where it is and that’s it.

“We look at where it is now and then see what comes. We can’t do anything about it until it’s done. “If we had a million conversations, it’s not going to change what’s happening in an appeal process. Unfortunately that process has taken some time.”

What the papers say

The Sun reports that Gareth Southgate has his eye on three uncapped midfield players – Manchester United teen Kobbie Mainoo, Everton’s James Garner and Fulham’s Harrison Reed – as concern grows over the form of Kalvin Phillips.

Coach David Moyes’ future with West Ham looks fraught as the club is understood to be sounding out Julen Lopetegui, Steve Cooper and Graham Potter to lead the Hammers, writes the Daily Mail.

Steve Bruce is keen to move abroad, with the ex-Newcastle boss looking to become the next manager for South Korea, writes the Daily Mirror.

Social media round-upPlayers to watch

Kylian Mbappe: The  Paris Saint-Germain star put pen to paper with Real Madrid weeks ago, reports the Daily Mail.

Liel Abada: According to the Daily Record, Celtic will speak to the winger’s agent this week to sort out his future.

Yann M’Vila: West Bromwich Albion has signed the former France international, but only until the end of the season, says the BBC.

Crystal Palace caretaker manager Paddy McCarthy believes new boss Oliver Glasner will have seen plenty to excite him in the Eagles’ battling 1-1 draw at Everton.

Hours after being confirmed as the successor to veteran Roy Hodgson, who stood down earlier in the day, Glasner was watching from the stand at Goodison Park as Palace claimed a point on Monday night.

McCarthy, who took charge of the side along with fellow assistant Ray Lewington after Hodgson was taken ill last week, feels the team being handed over is in fine shape.

McCarthy said: “He’s seen a team with spirit and commitment to the cause. It’s a good point in the right direction at a difficult place to come.

“I’m sure he will take a lot of positives from the game and I bet he can’t wait to come and work with the lads.”

Glasner, 49, inherits a side 15th in the Premier League and hoping to avoid being pulled into a relegation battle after a poor run of form.

The Austrian led Eintracht Frankfurt to Europa League glory in 2022 and McCarthy feels he is a strong appointment.

The Irishman said: “He is a manager with great pedigree, a European winner. He is coming into a group that I’m sure he will enjoy working with.

“It is a positive move for the football club and one I’m sure will excite the fans.”

McCarthy revealed he had not yet had the chance to meet Glasner and admitted he did not know if he himself had a future at Selhurst Park.

He said: “It was just announced as we arrived for our pre-match meal. I’ve not had chance to meet him.

“It has been a whirlwind couple of days. I’ve had no communication about myself and my future.”

In terms of the game, a dull encounter was lit up when Jordan Ayew broke the deadlock with a superb long-range strike after 66 minutes.

Everton responded well and their pressure eventually paid off when Amadou Onana headed an equaliser six minutes from time.

McCarthy said: “We created some great situations, Jordan took his goal well. We knew the questions that would be asked coming here.

“I thought we defended resolutely for the majority of the game but unfortunately we couldn’t hang on.”

Everton manager Sean Dyche bemoaned the number of chances the hosts wasted but nevertheless felt the point, which lifted the Toffees out of the bottom three, was a valuable one.

Dyche said: “First half it looked like we were off and they were a side where the new manager was sitting in the stand. They had a bit of edge about them and they played well.

“We weren’t miles off but we weren’t brave enough in possession, were too timid, played backwards too much.

“They scored a good goal, a clean strike, but I thought the mentality then was good to get on the front foot. We certainly did enough to get a point and it was a fine delivery and a fine finish.

“It’s another point on the board and we’ve just popped out of the relegation zone but there were chances – we’ve got to start taking them. There were a couple of golden chances we didn’t take.”

Crystal Palace caretaker manager Paddy McCarthy believes new boss Oliver Glasner will have seen plenty to excite him in the Eagles’ battling 1-1 draw at Everton.

Hours after being confirmed as the successor to veteran Roy Hodgson, who stood down earlier in the day, Glasner was watching from the stand at Goodison Park as Palace claimed a point on Monday night.

McCarthy, who took charge of the side along with fellow assistant Ray Lewington after Hodgson was taken ill last week, feels the team being handed over is in fine shape.

McCarthy said: “He’s seen a team with spirit and commitment to the cause. It’s a good point in the right direction at a difficult place to come.

“I’m sure he will take a lot of positives from the game and I bet he can’t wait to come and work with the lads.”

Glasner, 49, inherits a side 15th in the Premier League and hoping to avoid being pulled into a relegation battle after a poor run of form.

The Austrian led Eintracht Frankfurt to Europa League glory in 2022 and McCarthy feels he is a strong appointment.

The Irishman said: “He is a manager with great pedigree, a European winner. He is coming into a group that I’m sure he will enjoy working with.

“It is a positive move for the football club and one I’m sure will excite the fans.”

McCarthy revealed he had not yet had the chance to meet Glasner and admitted he did not know if he himself had a future at Selhurst Park.

He said: “It was just announced as we arrived for our pre-match meal. I’ve not had chance to meet him.

“It has been a whirlwind couple of days. I’ve had no communication about myself and my future.”

In terms of the game, a dull encounter was lit up when Jordan Ayew broke the deadlock with a superb long-range strike after 66 minutes.

Everton responded well and their pressure eventually paid off when Amadou Onana headed an equaliser six minutes from time.

McCarthy said: “We created some great situations, Jordan took his goal well. We knew the questions that would be asked coming here.

“I thought we defended resolutely for the majority of the game but unfortunately we couldn’t hang on.”

Everton manager Sean Dyche bemoaned the number of chances the hosts wasted but nevertheless felt the point, which lifted the Toffees out of the bottom three, was a valuable one.

Dyche said: “First half it looked like we were off and they were a side where the new manager was sitting in the stand. They had a bit of edge about them and they played well.

“We weren’t miles off but we weren’t brave enough in possession, were too timid, played backwards too much.

“They scored a good goal, a clean strike, but I thought the mentality then was good to get on the front foot. We certainly did enough to get a point and it was a fine delivery and a fine finish.

“It’s another point on the board and we’ve just popped out of the relegation zone but there were chances – we’ve got to start taking them. There were a couple of golden chances we didn’t take.”

New Crystal Palace manager Oliver Glasner watched from the stand as substitute Amadou Onana grabbed Everton a crucial late equaliser in a 1-1 draw at Goodison Park.

Jordan Ayew’s 66th-minute goal was greeted with a beaming smile from the former Eintracht Frankfurt coach, who was sandwiched between Eagles chairman Steve Parish and ex-striker Mark Bright in the directors’ box.

The 2022 Europa League winner had no input into the game, having only been announced as Roy Hodgson’s successor less than three hours’ before kick-off, but the change looked to have had the desired effect.

However, Onana came off the bench to nod home from an 84th-minute corner to snatch the point which lifted the Toffees out of the bottom three.

Defeat would have been calamitous for Sean Dyche’s side but the draw at least ensured Palace, with just two league wins in their last 14 matches, were denied a victory which would have pulled them eight points clear of the relegation zone.

Glasner said he was looking forward to working with a talented squad and this display, without the stardust provided by the injured duo of Eberechi Eze and Michael Olise, will have given him some encouragement.

Assistant managers Paddy McCarthy and Ray Lewington took charge for the game after Hodgson, who was hospitalised after falling ill at training on Thursday, confirmed his decision to step down earlier in the day.

Their futures have yet to be decided as no announcement has been made on Glasner’s backroom staff but if this was their last involvement they at least did their former boss proud with an organised performance after days of uncertainty.

Everton will feel this was a missed opportunity but they were far from their best and the returning Abdoulaye Doucoure, making only his second appearance in 12 matches after injury, looked rusty – none more so than when he somehow failed to convert from six yards.

But in terms of missed opportunities, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, in particular, was culpable with headers in either half which he would have buried at the height of his powers but a lack of confidence saw his goalless run stretch to 19 games.

A nondescript first half ended with the home side being booed off after failing to register a shot on target, with Doucoure’s volley wide and Calvert-Lewin’s header from Dwight McNeil’s cross off target.

The visitors’ Odsonne Edouard had shot straight at Jordan Pickford and Jean-Philippe Mateta’s header was cleared off the line by Ashley Young.

Things improved slightly after the break and it required Pickford to charge down a Tyrick Mitchell effort with his chest and opposite number Sam Johnstone to parry James Tarkowski’s goalbound header.

The mess Doucoure made of trying to divert Idrissa Gana Gueye’s miscued drive from the loose ball suggested it was not to be Everton’s night.

And that seemed to be the case when Mateta held off Jarrad Branthwaite to tee up Ayew to strike an angled drive past Pickford for only his third goal of the season.

Another Calvert-Lewin header went wide and James Garner’s shot was parried before Onana rose above Johnstone to head home McNeil’s corner, but Everton’s winless run was extended to eight league matches and they remain in trouble pending the imminent outcome of their appeal against a 10-point deduction for breaching profit and sustainability rules.

New Crystal Palace manager Oliver Glasner watched from the stand as substitute Amadou Onana grabbed Everton a crucial late equaliser in a 1-1 draw at Goodison Park.

Jordan Ayew’s 66th-minute goal was greeted with a beaming smile from the former Eintracht Frankfurt coach, who was sandwiched between Eagles chairman Steve Parish and ex-striker Mark Bright in the directors’ box.

The 2022 Europa League winner had no input into the game, having only been announced as Roy Hodgson’s successor less than three hours’ before kick-off, but the change looked to have had the desired effect.

However, Onana came off the bench to nod home from an 84th-minute corner to snatch the point which lifted the Toffees out of the bottom three.

Defeat would have been calamitous for Sean Dyche’s side but the draw at least ensured Palace, with just two league wins in their last 14 matches, were denied a victory which would have pulled them eight points clear of the relegation zone.

Glasner said he was looking forward to working with a talented squad and this display, without the stardust provided by the injured duo of Eberechi Eze and Michael Olise, will have given him some encouragement.

Assistant managers Paddy McCarthy and Ray Lewington took charge for the game after Hodgson, who was hospitalised after falling ill at training on Thursday, confirmed his decision to step down earlier in the day.

Their futures have yet to be decided as no announcement has been made on Glasner’s backroom staff but if this was their last involvement they at least did their former boss proud with an organised performance after days of uncertainty.

Everton will feel this was a missed opportunity but they were far from their best and the returning Abdoulaye Doucoure, making only his second appearance in 12 matches after injury, looked rusty – none more so than when he somehow failed to convert from six yards.

But in terms of missed opportunities, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, in particular, was culpable with headers in either half which he would have buried at the height of his powers but a lack of confidence saw his goalless run stretch to 19 games.

A nondescript first half ended with the home side being booed off after failing to register a shot on target, with Doucoure’s volley wide and Calvert-Lewin’s header from Dwight McNeil’s cross off target.

The visitors’ Odsonne Edouard had shot straight at Jordan Pickford and Jean-Philippe Mateta’s header was cleared off the line by Ashley Young.

Things improved slightly after the break and it required Pickford to charge down a Tyrick Mitchell effort with his chest and opposite number Sam Johnstone to parry James Tarkowski’s goalbound header.

The mess Doucoure made of trying to divert Idrissa Gana Gueye’s miscued drive from the loose ball suggested it was not to be Everton’s night.

And that seemed to be the case when Mateta held off Jarrad Branthwaite to tee up Ayew to strike an angled drive past Pickford for only his third goal of the season.

Another Calvert-Lewin header went wide and James Garner’s shot was parried before Onana rose above Johnstone to head home McNeil’s corner, but Everton’s winless run was extended to eight league matches and they remain in trouble pending the imminent outcome of their appeal against a 10-point deduction for breaching profit and sustainability rules.

Nathan Ake recognises Manchester City are now in a powerful position thanks to the return to form and fitness of Erling Haaland and Kevin De Bruyne.

City have won their last 10 matches in all competitions and are gathering a momentum that could be ominous for their rivals as they bid to repeat their glorious treble of last year.

Their current run started without the influence of the talismanic pairing of De Bruyne and Haaland as both nursed injuries.

Yet both are now back in business, as seen in Saturday’s hard-fought 2-0 win over Everton in which Haaland scored both and De Bruyne created one, and City are looking tough to stop.

Defender Ake said: “We know how good both of them are and when Kevin came on, straight away he looked for Erling. They looked for each other.

“It’s massive that they’re both fit, both ready to go and it’s good to see that we’re doing well.

“It’s just a lift to see everyone back – we haven’t had that for a while – especially the players who can make differences in tight games like this. It’s massive for us.”

De Bruyne missed most of the first half of the season following hamstring surgery but has been eased back into action over the past month.

Ake is surprised how well the Belgian playmaker has hit the ground running.

The Dutchman said: “If you’re out for five or six months normally it takes you a little bit of time but straight away he’s been ready to go, from the first moment.

“I think everyone expected to have to give him a bit of time but he’s been training really well in the gym, he’s worked really hard. You could see on the pitch straight away he was ready.”

Haaland broke the deadlock in a tight game against Everton with a ruthless finish when a rebound fell his way in the 70th minute. He then wrapped up the win after being played in by De Bruyne five minutes from time.

They were his first goals since November having spent two months on the sidelines with a foot problem.

Ake said: “He’s so quick, he’s fast, he’s strong. Out of nothing he can score and in those spaces one versus one it’s very difficult to stop him.”

Manager Pep Guardiola feels De Bruyne and Haaland add an extra layer to a side that was already impressing him.

He said: “These guys have special qualities. They have ability in final third to create something that is not in the statistics, not in the books, in genius managers. To have them for 90 minutes or even 30 or 45 minutes, it is better.

“That is not going to undermine what all their mates have done. We have a team with huge personalities in difficult moments. Otherwise we would not be here again and again.”

Erling Haaland was pleased to get back on the scoresheet as Manchester City’s momentum continued to gather with a hard-fought 2-0 win over Everton.

The prolific Norwegian scored his first goals since returning to action from a foot injury as his late double finally saw off the resilient Toffees at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

It was the champions’ 10th victory in succession in all competitions and briefly took them back to the top of the table prior to rivals Liverpool’s defeat of Burnley later in the day.

With Haaland back in tandem with Kevin De Bruyne, who has also returned from his own lengthy lay-off, last season’s treble winners are in a strong position as they approach the decisive phase of the campaign.

“It’s a fantastic feeling,” said Haaland, whose first 19 goals of the season came before he was sidelined in early December.

“It’s fantastic to be back and it’s also good to keep on winning. That’s important and we have to keep going.

“We have already been on quite a good run. It is a good thing to start to click now. That’s never bad. It’s in the next few months when you win things, so we keep going.”

City found it tough to break down the stubborn Merseysiders, who are caught up in another relegation battle after their 10-point deduction earlier in the season.

The breakthrough came soon after manager Pep Guardiola introduced the lively De Bruyne and Kyle Walker off the bench, and it was Haaland who delivered the blow as Everton struggled to clear a 70th-minute corner.

De Bruyne then played in Haaland to secure the result five minutes from time.

“Back to normal finally,” said Haaland. “It’s good to be back to normal.

“We knew how the game was going to be and they were going to make it difficult for us.

“But we knew if we trusted ourselves it was going to be really difficult for (Everton). That’s what we did and in the end it was fantastic to win.”

Everton remain in the bottom three despite having won enough points to have been in a comfortable mid-table position.

Defender James Tarkowski insists the players are not downbeat about the situation.

“There’s no drop-off here,” he said. “We’re ready to go again. Don’t worry about us. We’re ready to go no matter what.

“It’s been a good season for us. I’m not disappointed. We’re going well. We’ve got a few lads coming back soon, so the squad’s looking strong and ready to play.

“I felt we played really well and then just a couple of minor details cost us.”

Pep Guardiola felt his side had come through a tough game after grinding out a 2-0 victory over Everton on Saturday.

Erling Haaland struck twice in the latter stages to secure a hard-fought Premier League success for the champions at the Etihad Stadium.

It was City’s 10th successive triumph in all competitions and Guardiola said the manner of the win would stand them in good stead as they chase a repeat treble.

The City manager said: “I love to win this type of game. The difficulty is there. We knew it, we talked about it.

“Always Everton here at home is really complicated. We’ve lost a lot of points over many years.

“What pleased me the most is something the people cannot see – the body shape, the positivity, the body language.

“In the first half we were complaining. I know a 12.30 (kick-off) is more difficult but our body language was not good. The chemistry between the players, when they lose a ball or something is not going well, has to be better.

“But in the second half it was much better. In general it was well deserved.

“I like to win this type of game – suffering and knowing how difficult everything is – because we learn the lessons for what’s coming.”

With Haaland and Kevin De Bruyne, who have both had lengthy lay-offs this season, now back in tandem and the rest of the squad fully fit, City’s momentum could be ominous for their rivals.

After last season’s achievements, doubts were cast over City’s durability as they stuttered in the autumn but Guardiola never had any concerns.

He said: “With Erling and Kevin we are stronger, that’s obvious, but when a team loses the consistency, we have to be worried with the way they train, behave and run.

“But it (good attitude) was always there. When that happens the team is alive. I was never concerned. Since day one I didn’t have the feeling.

“There are ups and downs, it’s normal, but I still liked what I saw.”

The defeat left Everton in the bottom three and without a league win in almost two months.

Manager Sean Dyche accepted his side had been beaten by a master finisher in Haaland, who broke the deadlock on 71 minutes and then wrapped up victory five minutes from time.

Dyche said: “That’s why he is who he is. He doesn’t have many touches in some games but he scores and that is the key.

“His finish for the first one – I have been speaking to the players recently about this – footballers scoring ‘trendy’ goals – whippers, dippers, clippers.

“He doesn’t think about that. Just score a goal. That’s the trendiest thing you’ll ever do. And he showed that, a good technique. Just smash it and don’t worry about anything else.”

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