City hang on to go top

Goals from Toure brothers and two strikes from Carlos Tevez put City above United after 4-3 win over Wolves.

Debutant Dzeko celebrates with Yaya Toure after setting up the Ivorian’s second goal [AFP]

Carlos Tevez scored twice as Manchester City survived a late fightback to beat Wolves 4-3 and move to the top of the English Premier League standings as Bosnian international Edin Dzeko made his debit for Roberto Mancini’s side.

Argentinian international Tevez struck his 14th and 15th goals of the season while Ivorian brothers Kolo and Yaya Toure both netted as City took a slender one-point lead over Manchester United.

United, who also have three games in hand over City, will return to the top if they avoid defeat to fifth-placed Tottenham in Sunday’s match at White Hart Lane.

Third-placed Arsenal kept up the pressure with a 3-0 victory at West Ham United in a what, according to local media reports, could be Avram Grant’s last game in charge of the bottom club.

At Eastlands, Serbian midfielder Nenad Milijas had fired Wolves into a shock lead on 12 minutes, rifling home a rebound after a Matthew Jarvis cross.

City’s blushes were spared five minutes before half-time however when Kolo Toure controlled on the edge of the six-yard box and prodded a deflected shot past Wolves keeper Wayne Hennessey.

Four minutes after the restart, City were in front, captain Tevez weaving his way through the Wolves defence before finishing calmly.

Yaya Toure made it 3-1 five minutes later, lifting his shot over Hennessey to join his brother on the scoresheet after good work by $43 million signing Dzeko, who signed from Wolfsburg this week.


Tevez made it four on 66 minutes, stooping to steer home as City looked to be cruising to victory.

Results & fixtures

Saturday January 15

 Chelsea 2-0 Blackburn
 Man City 4-3 Wolves
 Stoke City 2-0 Bolton 
 West Brom 3-2 Blackpool
 West Ham 0-3 Arsenal
 Wigan 1-1 Fulham

Sunday January 16

Birmingham v Aston Villa
 Sunderland v Newcastle
 Liverpool v Everton
 Tottenham v Man Utd

But Kevin Doyle slotted a late penalty for Wolves to make it 4-2 and an 86th-minute goal from French defender Ronald Zubar set up a nerve-jangling finale.

City manager Mancini was happy with the way his side performed after a poor start to the game.

“I think we were bad in the first 20 minutes,” he said. “We didn’t play. But after that we played well. We scored four goals and had two or three good chances.”

Elsewhere on Saturday, Chelsea maintained their title hopes with a laboured 2-0 win over Blackburn thanks to second-half goals from Branislav Ivanovic and Nicolas Anelka.

Ivanovic opened the scoring on 57 minutes, firing a low shot through a forest of legs to the relief of under pressure manager Carlo Ancelotti, before a flicked effort from Anelka on 76 minutes made the game safe.

The result put Chelsea back into the top four ahead of Spurs’ match against Manchester United on Sunday.

Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti voiced hope that the result meant Chelsea had finally turned the corner after a protracted form slump.

“I think that the difficult moment is gone,” Ancelotti told Sky Sports.

“We are coming back to get good results. It’s not easy to come back and close the gap for the first position but we have to try.”

Asked if Chelsea could catch United – who could potentially be 12 points clear of the champions if they win their games in hand – Ancelotti replied: “I don’t know. But we will fight every game with our strength.”

At the Hawthorns, two goals from Peter Odemwingie – including an 87th-minute winner – handed West Bromwich Albion a 3-2 victory over Blackpool as the Baggies ended their six-match losing streak.


Blackpool looked to have secured a share of the points when Gary Taylor-Fletcher equalised on 80 minutes before Odemwingie’s late effort denied Ian Holloway’s men a draw.

Blackpool had taken the lead courtesy of David Vaughan after only 11 minutes, the midfielder curling a superb shot into the top corner just beyond the grasp of Baggies keeper Boaz Myhill.

But West Brom deservedly got back on level terms on 37 minutes, Odemwingie slotting in a cross from Graham Dorrans before James Morrison made it 2-1 early in the second half.

Stoke meanwhile moved up to eighth place with a 2-0 win over Bolton.

Stoke defender Danny Higginbotham opened the scoring, bundling home from close range on 37 minutes. A Matthew Etherington penalty doubled the Potters’ lead on 64 minutes to secure the points.

At the DW Stadium, substitute Andrew Johnson scored an 86th minute  equaliser just 10 minutes after coming on as Fulham secured a 1-1 draw against Wigan, who had taken the lead through Colombian striker Hugo Rodallega.

In Saturday’s late kick-off, Arsenal took control from the start and went ahead after 13 minutes when Robin van Persie lashed in a shot from the edge of the box.

Four minutes before halftime the Dutchman crossed for Theo Walcott to bang in the second.

After Wayne Bridge completed a hapless debut by fouling Walcott, Van Persie completed the cruise with a penalty.

As well as the big game at White Hart Lane on Sunday there are three big derbies as Liverpool play Everton, Birmingham City face Aston Villa and Sunderland, looking to avenge their 5-1 St James’ Park thrashing in October, take on Newcastle United.

Source: News Agencies


English champions’ woeful slump goes on with 1-0 defeat at Wolverhampton as Liverpool lose and Arsenal draw with City.

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