Manchester City Beats Norwich 5-1 to Keep Five-Point Premier League Lead

Manchester City defeated Norwich 5-1 to preserve its perfect home record and its five-point lead at the top of English soccer’s Premier League. Manchester United, Tottenham, Chelsea and Arsenal also won.

Sergio Aguero’s 13th goal of the season opened the scoring for City in the 32nd minute followed by second-half goals for Samir Nasri, Yaya Toure, Mario Balotelli and Adam Johnson. Steve Morison’s header gave the visitors a consolation goal.

City has 38 points, while Manchester United, which won 1-0 at Aston Villa, is five points back. Spurs, which beat Bolton 3- 0 at home, has 31, with Chelsea in fourth on 28 points after a 3-0 win at Newcastle. Arsenal leapfrogged Newcastle into fifth with a 4-0 win at Wigan.

“It was not easy, because it was only 1-0 in the first half,” City manager Roberto Mancini told the British Broadcast Corp. “Norwich defended with all their players behind the ball.”

While Morison had several Norwich chances in the first half, Aguero could have scored several for City, which has won all seven of its home games this season. Nasri’s free kick eluded Canary’s goalkeeper John Ruddy. Toure scored with a low shot before Balotelli knocked the ball in with his shoulder. Johnson closed out City’s scoring from 15 yards out.

Blackburn beat Swansea 4-2 at home to move off the bottom of the table, and Queens Park Rangers drew 1-1 with West Brom in the day’s other matches.

Injuries

United’s Phil Jones scored his first goal for the club since joining earlier this year. The 20th-minute strike held up against Villa in a match that saw injuries to United striker Javier Hernandez as well as the home side’s goalkeeper Shay Given and winger Jermaine Jenas.

Hernandez has torn ankle ligaments and will mess three to four weeks, United manager Alex Ferguson told the BBC.

In north London, Spurs took the lead in the seventh minute on a Gareth Bale goal. Shortly after, Bolton was reduced to 10 men when Gary Cahill was sent off for taking down Scott Parker. Aaron Lennon and Jermain Defoe scored in the second half.

“We played some great football although I think the sending off was harsh,” Spurs manager Harry Redknapp said. “I couldn’t believe it when the red card came out.”

Chelsea got goals from Didier Drogba, Salomon Kalou and Daniel Sturridge to defeat Newcastle. Newcastle’s Tim Krul saved a Frank Lampard penalty before Drogba’s header put the visitors ahead. Kalou scored in the 88th minute and Sturridge netted in injury time. Newcastle complained that David Luiz should have been sent off by referee Mike Dean in the fourth minute for a foul on Demba Ba, but the official gave the Chelsea defender a yellow card.

Four Goals

Arsenal won by its largest margin this season as Mikel Arteta scored his third goal since he transferred from Everton. Wigan keeper Ali Al-Habsi was unable to keep his long shot out in the 28th minute, and then Thomas Vermaelen’s goal a minute later broke the game open. Gervinho and Robin van Persie scored in the second half.

“We controlled the game and could have scored more,” Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger told the BBC. “There is a difference between the team at the start of the season and now and we can still improve. Robin van Persie was exceptional.”

Blackburn got its second league win of the season as Ayegbeni Yakubu accounted for all four goals. He scored in the 20th, 45th, and 57th minutes and then got an 82nd minute penalty. The victory pushes Blackburn up to 18th, a point behind Wolverhampton and Sunderland.

In west London, QPR took the first half lead on Heidar Helguson’s header, but missed a chance for its second league home win of the season when Shane Long evened the score in the 81st minute.

To contact the reporter for this story: Christopher Elser at celser@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at celser@bloomberg.net

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