Demarai Gray cancelled out Erling Haaland’s opener in terrific fashion as Everton came from behind to earn a draw at Manchester City.
Lampard’s struggling side looked set for further suffering when Erling Haaland continued his incredible first-half goal-scoring form as he slotted home to hand City the lead.
Everton had failed to register a single shot until the 64th minute but needed just one chance as Gray whipped a brilliant effort into the top right corner to cap off a devastating break.
Pep Guardiola’s men looked caught off guard by Gray’s strike as their failure to find a winner handed Arsenal the initiative in the title race on New Year’s Eve.
Haaland went close early on when he hit the side-netting from a tight angle after rounding Jordan Pickford, but he was not to be denied on 24 minutes.
Neat work from Jack Grealish down the left allowed Riyad Mahrez to tee up Haaland, who finished behind Pickford in a crowded penalty area to give City the lead.
Former Everton defender John Stones hit the post with a header as half-time approached and City looked destined to extend their lead as they pushed the Toffees back.
But the visitors silenced the Etihad with their first try of the game after the hour when Gray broke free and recovered from a stumble to fire into the far corner from the left.
Pickford denied Mahrez from close range as City threw players forward in desperation late on, but Everton held firm through 11 minutes of stoppage time to claim a huge point en route to survival – much to Arsenal’s delight.
Man City player ratings (4-2-3-1)
GK: Ederson – 4/10 – Given precious little to do other than take the ball out of his own net.
RB: Rico Lewis – 7/10 – Tucked in so centrally, Lewis scarcely pretended to be a full back.
CB: John Stones – 6/10 – Unfortunate to be denied by the upright against his former employers.
CB: Manuel Akanji – 4/10 – Far too easily dumfounded by a faint waggle of Gray’s hips as he afforded the winger far too much time to shoot.
LB: Nathan Ake – 6/10 – Sure-footed when carrying the ball forward but reluctant to charge too far up the pitch.
CM: Rodri – 5/10 – A rare turnover from the normally metronomic midfielder was emphatically punished.
CM: Bernardo Silva – 6/10 – Popping up all over the pitch, tracking back into his own box while also offering an overlapping option on the left wing.
AM: Kevin De Bruyne – 6/10 – Roaming around in constant search of the ball and space, De Bruyne struggled to pick apart Everton’s blockade.
RW: Riyad Mahrez – 7/10 – Left Vitalii Mykolenko with twisted blood he turned him so viciously before teeing up Haaland’s opener.
ST: Erling Haaland – 7/10 – Seemingly angered by an early challenge that left him writhing in agony, Haaland dusted himself off to inflict some damage of his own (via the scoresheet and brute force).
LW: Jack Grealish – 6/10 – Driving in off the left onto his stronger right foot regularly but not always effectively.
Phil Foden (87′ for Grealish) – N/A
Ilkay Gundogan (87′ for Lewis) – N/A
Julian Alvarez (87′ for Bernardo) – N/A
Pep Guardiola – 3/10 – Waited until the 87th minute to make any substitutions after watching his side ambivalently coast through the middle third of the match.
Everton player ratings (5-3-2)
GK: Jordan Pickford – 5/10 – Got a few fingers to Haaland’s opener but only succeeded in tipping the ball away from Conor Coady waiting on the goal line.
CB: Ben Godfrey – 3/10 – Following the old-school rules of “letting them know you’re there”, Godfrey inserted himself a little too far forward in Haaland’s focus as the goal-guzzling number nine took every opportunity to torment him.
CB: Conor Coady – 6/10 – Couldn’t marshal Everton into a rigid shape when City’s passing clicked into top gear but kept a tight ship for large swathes.
CB: James Tarkowski – 6/10 – Got his body, specifically his head, in the way of numerous balls into the box – but not enough to preserve a clean sheet that scarcely looked likely.
RWB: Nathan Patterson – 5/10 – Constantly faced with a one-on-one duel, Patterson was hardly embarrassed but did get beaten more than once.
CM: Alex Iwobi – 5/10 – On his 100th Premier League appearance, Iwobi was reduced to a shuttling role on the right of a midfield three.
CM: Andre Onana – 4/10 – Only intermittently looked forward when the ball was rarely at his feet.
CM: Idrissa Gana Gueye – 7/10 – A constant spoke in City’s wheel as he frequently inserted his slight frame into the opening stages of a developing attack.
LWB: Vitalii Mykolenko – 4/10 – Struggled to contain the wriggling menace of Mahrez.
ST: Dominic Calvert-Lewin – 4/10 – Guardiola may have described him as “dangerous” but Everton’s number nine didn’t have many opportunities to live up to that billing.
ST: Demarai Gray – 7/10 – Buzzed around energetically throughout the match, eventually earning his reward with a moment of real quality.
Seamus Coleman (70′ for Patterson) – 5/10
Neal Maupay (70′ for Calvert-Lewin) – 5/10
Tom Davies (78′ for Gueye) – N/A
Abdoulaye Doucoure (90+1′ for Godfrey) – N/A
Frank Lampard – 6/10 – Theoretically the plan of sitting back and counter-attacking worked but it’s not the most repeatable formula if you have to rely upon Gray delivering a wonder strike like that every time.