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Joe Hart 'gutted' as Manchester City waste chance to top the Premier League at Christmas

Joe Hart has revealed his disappointment at missing out on the opportunity to go top of the Premier League table after defeat to Everton on Monday. 

Manchester City would have gone one point clear of rivals Manchester United at the top of the table with a win, but instead Roberto Mancini’s side succumbed to a 2-1 defeat against the Toffees on a freezing cold Monday evening.

Hart has lamented a Man City performance which lacked the quality which is required to mount a successful title challenge, and admitted to the club's official website that the players were devastated at letting the chance to be top of the league at Christmas escape them.

"It is a big opportunity missed because we could have been sat at the top of the table now," Hart said.

"But we need to dust ourselves down and pick ourselves up because we are all obviously gutted to have lost this game."

The Blues now travel to St James’ Park on Boxing day to face Newcastle United in the start of a fixture congested festive period and Hart recognises the significance of maintaining good performances through a busy yet crucial stage of the season.

"The games are going to come thick and fast in the next 10 days, so we can't dwell on this result for too long," said Hart.

"We need to go to Newcastle and get three points and then look to beat Aston Villa and Blackpool. If we do that, we won't be far off the top and we can go into the new year with our tails up."

Man City have now played two more games than rivals Manchester United — who remain at the top of the Premier League — and have played one more than their other title rivals.

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