Manchester City climbed to within one point of third-placed neighbours United with a comfortable 2-0 Premier League victory over West Ham United to end a difficult week on a high.

Premier League top-scorers
20 Sergio Aguero (Man City)       
19 Diego Costa (Chelsea)                 
     Harry Kane (Tottenham)        
17 Charlie Austin (QPR)  
14 Olivier Giroud (Arsenal)              
     Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal)       

James Collins's freak own-goal and Sergio Aguero's 20th league strike of the season secured a routine win and the only surprise was that City failed to add to their lead after the Argentine's 36th-minute effort.

The victory came after a bad week in which City were beaten 4-2 by United in the Manchester derby, prompting speculation about the future of manager Manuel Pellegrini and a number of leading players.

City playmaker David Silva was carried off on a stretcher in the second half with a head injury after he was caught by the elbow of Cheikhou Kouyate.

Holders City have 64 points, one less than United who lost 1-0 at Chelsea on Saturday, and two adrift of second-placed Arsenal who have a game in hand.

West Ham, who climbed as high as fourth in the table in December, remained 10th.

Liverpool out of FA Cup

Aston Villa fought back from 1-0 down with goals from Christian Benteke and Fabian Delph to beat Liverpool 2-1 in a pulsating FA Cup semi-final.

Defeat ended Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard's dream of bringing his 17-year career at Anfield to a close with a cup winner's medal on his 35th birthday and Villa will play Arsenal in the final on May 30.

Liverpool made the breakthrough in the 30th minute when Philippe Coutinho scored after sloppy Villa defending.

But Villa were only behind for six minutes before they deservedly equalised when Delph, guilty for his part in the build-up to the Liverpool goal, did everything right.

Source: Al Jazeera and agencies