Darron Gibson admitted his dramatic first goal for Everton last night had relieved a lot of stress following his move from Manchester United.

The Republic of Ireland midfielder did his old club a huge favour in the title race by firing the Toffees to a 1-0 win over Barclays Premier League leaders Manchester City at Goodison Park.

Gibson moved to Merseyside three weeks ago after falling down the pecking order at Old Trafford, where he had not been a popular player with fans.

The 24-year-old, who hit 10 goals in 60 appearances for United, told Everton TV: "It is a great time (to score), especially against them.

"It came across from the left and Landon (Donovan) controlled it.

"I think he was going to have a shot but luckily he put it in my path and I struck through it and it went in.

"It was a great feeling, a lot of stress relieved.

"All the lads have welcomed me brilliantly. They have just made me feel at home and I have settled in brilliantly and I am really enjoying it."

Everton have breathed fresh life into their campaign in the past five days with last night's morale-boosting victory coming after an FA Cup fourth-round defeat of Fulham.

Manager David Moyes also enjoyed a fine transfer deadline day by landing striker Nikica Jelavic from Rangers and re-signing former midfielder Steven Pienaar on loan from Tottenham.

Gibson's winning strike, in his fourth game for the club, came in the 60th minute via a deflection off Gareth Barry.

Striker Denis Stracqualursi had earlier had a header cleared off the line by former Everton defender Joleon Lescott.

Samir Nasri hit the bar with City's best chance although the visitors also felt they could have had a penalty when an Aleksandar Kolarov ball struck Phil Neville's arm.

Gibson said: "I am just delighted we got the three points.

"It was unbelievable, the lads went out and put a great shift in and thankfully we got the result in the end.

"We knew we had to go out and work really hard and try to stop them playing to get any sort of result and I think we did it really well.

"We knew we would get a few chances in the game and we took one."

Moyes hailed the result as one of the best in his near 10 years in charge at Goodison.

The Scot had fielded a makeshift defence of veteran full-back Tony Hibbert and utility man John Heitinga in the continued absence of Phil Jagielka and Sylvain Distin.

Hibbert said: "It was great to play in and it was a special night for us.

"It was one of those days at Goodison, the crowd were behind us. The way we played and kept them out was phenomenal really.

"It was not just the back four or the midfield, but the whole team played really well."