LONDON: Manchester City moved to within touching distance of afirst English league title in 44 years after Yaya Toure scoredtwice in a 2-0 win at Newcastle on Sunday. Victory left leaders City in front of reigning Premier Leaguechampions Manchester United, who beat Swansea 2-0 later Sunday, ongoal difference with just one round of fixtures remaining. If City, who have a goal difference advantage of plus eight overUnited, beat Queens Park Rangers at Eastlands a week on Sunday thatshould be enough to take the title as Sir Alex Ferguson's sidewould need to thrash Sunderland at the Stadium of Light to have achance of retaining their crown. At St James' Park, Ivory Coast midfielder Toure opened the scoringfor City in the 70th minute when he struck a curling shot from theedge of the box that beat Newcastle keeper Tim Krul. |
City, last crowned champions of England in 1968, wasted severalchances before Toure finished off a counter-attack a minute fromfull-time. However, Toure warned there was still work to be done. "It's not finished," he told Sky Sports. "We have one game left andwe have to be careful as QPR are fighting to stay in the PremierLeague. "This is brilliant for us, though." City manager Roberto Mancini, whose side were eight points behindUnited just a few weeks ago, added: "I hope (this is enough) but Ithink that it is not." Defeat left Newcastle in fifth place -- just outside the top fourspot they need to have a chance of Champions League qualification.
"We knew the first goal was going to change everything," saidNewcastle manager Alan Pardew. Before kick-off at Old Trafford, United manager Ferguson said Cityhad "probably two" hands on the Premier League trophy. But Paul Scholes -- brought out of retirement earlier this season-- still gave United a 28th minute lead after turning in a shotfrom fellow midfielder Michael Carrick. And four minutes before the break United had a second when AshleyYoung's low strike beat Swansea goalkeeper Michel Vorm. "City won so we had to win and give ourselves a chance which iswhat we have done," said Carrick.
"We have to concentrate on ourselves. We have to keep believing." Elsewhere, 10-man Tottenham Hotspur came from behind to claim a 1-1draw at Aston Villa, who edged nearer top-flight survival. Victory would have seen fourth-placed Tottenham leapfrog northLondon rivals Arsenal into third spot and a guaranteed place in thefirst round of next season's Champions League. But they fell behind in the 35th minute to Villa midfielder CiaranClark's deflected shot.
Early in the second half Tottenham's Danny Rose was sent off for atwo-footed challenge on former Spurs defender Alan Hutton. However, Spurs were level in the 62nd minute when Emannuel Adebayorscored from the penalty spot after Richard Dunne fouled Sandro. "It's all to play for next week there are so many permutations,"said Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp, overlooked for the Englandjob in favour of West Bromwich Albion's Roy Hodgson. At the bottom of the table, QPR moved two points clear of therelegation zone after Djibril Cisse's 89th minute winner secured a1-0 win at home to Stoke. Bolton remained in the bottom three after a 2-2 draw with WestBrom.
Martin Petrov's penalty and a Billy Jones own-goal left Bolton 2-0up but late goals from Chris Brunt and James Morrison saw theBaggies draw level. "We feel we've dropped two points," said Bolton manager Owen Coyle."We need to go to Stoke and win the game." Fulham beat mid-table rivals Sunderland 2-1 at Craven Cottage. United States striker Clint Dempsey gave the Cottagers a 12thminute lead and no sooner had Phillip Bardsley equalised thenFulham's Moussa Dembele scored their second. Already relegated Wolves were held to a goalless draw at home toEverton.
Second bottom Blackburn play Wigan, not yet out of danger, onMonday, while Tuesday sees a repeat of the FA Cup final whenChelsea, 2-1 winners at Wembley on Saturday, are away to Liverpool. - AFP/fa.
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