Romelu Lukaku headed the winner as Everton grabbed the advantage in their Capital One Cup semi-final with a 2-1 first leg success against Manchester City at Goodison Park.
In a tepid first half, Everton had the ball in the net three times, but only one counted, as Funes Mori reacted quickest to fire the hosts into the lead just before the interval.
Roberto Martinez’s men have conceded the most goals at home in the Premier League but they looked much more solid against City, and it took a superb counter to open them up, with Jesus Navas equalising in the 76th minute.
However, with the travelling City faithful just bursting into a full-bloodied version of ‘Blue Moon’ to celebrate their side’s goal, Romelu Lukaku did what he does best, and darted in between City’s centre-halves to head the winner.
That’s 12 in 12 for Lukaku in all competitions who, worryingly for Martinez, limped off soon after scoring.
This is the first time Pellegrini has tasted defeat as manager against Everton, and with the figure of Pep Guardiola looming large, every defeat acts as another nail in his coffin. First blood Everton, but they still have it all to do to have a chance of winning their first trophy in over 20 years.