Everton threw the race for the Champions League wide open with a stunning comeback to beat Manchester City 2-1 at Goodison Park.City, who have now lost seven of their last eight games against the Toffees, dominated the first half but only had a Yaya Toure goal to show for it.
And Everton stormed back with goals from ex-City defender Sylvain Distin and a delightful header from Leon Osman.
City went close in the 10th minute when David Silva pulled Vincent Kompany’s booming long ball out of the sky and flashed a left foot strike just wide of Tim Howard’s far post.
Two minutes later, they missed a golden chance when Silva laid the ball back for Patrick Vieira but the veteran blasted over from six yards.
The breakthrough came in the 34th minute with Silva again running the Everton defence ragged before teeing up Toure to beat Howard from a tight angle.
The home side had to wait until three minutes before the break for their first meaningful sight of goal, Jack Rodwell heading Phil Neville’s cross just off-target.
Everton brought on Jermaine Beckford at half-time and started brightly, but were almost done on the counter-attack when Toure broke quickly but stumbled as he shot weakly straight at Howard.
Edin Dzeko then went close twice for the visitors with a header that was inches from a top corner and a 25-yard strike that whistle past Howard’s left post.
But Everton pulled level in the 65th minute when Mikel Arteta’s deep free-kick was headed in at the far post by Distin.
And they were ahead seven minutes header when Osman’s header looped over Hart.
And it was almost three moments later when Beckford’s near post flick from Victor Anichebe’s cross was beaten away by Hart.
City piled on the pressure late on but the impressive Everton defence stayed resolute, meaning the gap between Mancini’s side and Tottenham could be as little as four points if Spurs win later on Saturday.