The Algerian winger was in outstanding form against the Toffees, but City didn’t take the game by the scruff of the net until his 71st-minute effort restored the lead as Everton pressed the champions hard.
On his vital set-piece, he revealed he had a last-second change of heart as he ran up to hit the ball.
“Firstly, I wanted to put it on the other side of the keeper,” he said.
“I looked and there was a big space to his left, so I tried to whip it in with a little bounce, so it was difficult for the keeper
“Happy to score and happy to win – that was most important.”
“It was a very good afternoon for us and I’m happy.”
The winger says a more clinical first-half could have made life more comfortable at Goodison Park.
“I think we deserved the win, but we could have killed game in first half,” said Mahrez.
“We had, like five clear chances, but we couldn't score.
“That’s the difference between today and the game against Watford where we scored with our first five chances
“We managed the game. It is difficult, here and it was a tough 90 minutes.
“In the second half, we did what we had to do and score two goals to win the game
“We have to go through this type of game every now and then.”
Mahrez was also fulsome in his praise for the equally outstanding Ederson, who made a number of stunning saves to keep his team in the hunt,
Said Mahrez: “He was very good. He’s up there with the best and we need everyone. Eddy is very important for us.
“We can concede chances, but when our keeper helps us the way he did, it makes a big difference.
“He’s top. Has to be focused and he’s always there, trying to help us."