(CNN) -- Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez has dramatically withdrawn his transfer request after holding "clear the air talks" with the club.
But the news, delivered by the club just hours before City was due to take on Everton in the English Premier League, didn't have the desired positive effect.
Instead they slumped to a 2-1 defeat in freezing temperatures and missed the chance of going top of the table.
All eyes were on the City team sheet to see whether Tevez would feature.
Instead the club released a statement confirming that Tevez had withdrawn his transfer request.
Italian coach Roberto Mancini not only picked Tevez to start but also kept him as captain.
"During the meeting Carlos expressed his absolute commitment to the club and formally withdrew his transfer request," read Manchester City's statement.
"Carlos' contract remains unchanged and both Carlos and the football club are keen to focus on the opportunities that lie ahead."
But the pre-match detente wasn't evident at the City of Manchester Stadium, where temperatures sunk to nine degrees below Celsius (18 degrees Fahrenheit).
And there was little to warm the home crowd after Everton raced in to a two goal lead thanks to Tim Cahill and Leighton Baines.
A deflected Yaya Toure goal gave City hope late on, but two red cards, one for Everton's Victor Anichebe, the other for City's Kolo Toure, snuffed the match out.
City had hoped that victory would see them go top of the table at Christmas for the first time since 1929.
Yet the club's good start to the season had been overshadowed by tensions between Tevez, who has scored 10 league goals this season, and Mancini.
That tension boiled over when Tevez was substituted late on in this month's 1-0 victory over Bolton before appearing to remonstrate with Mancini on the touchline.
One week later Tevez handed in a written transfer request, claiming that his relationship with certain City executives had broken down.
It also later emerged that, with Tevez's family back in Argentina, homesickness was a major factor too, but the transfer request was turned down by the club.
Yet despite all the problems Mancini had insisted that Tevez should stay City.
"Carlos is a world class player whose contribution since he joined the club has been invaluable," Mancini said Monday.
"I am pleased that we are now able to focus on pure football matters and to be able to look forward to Carlos continuing to play a significant role in the club's progress."
But Tevez couldn't stop City slumping to a home defeat when top spot was in within reach.