Manchester City Beats Arsenal to Maintain Two-Point League Lead

Manchester City Beats Arsenal to Maintain Two-Point Lead
Alexandre Song (centre) of Arsenal competes with Sergio Aguero of Manchester City during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Arsenal at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, England. Photographer: Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Manchester City defeated Arsenal 1-0 to keep its two-point lead atop soccer’s Premier League as second-place Manchester United won 2-0 at Queens Park Rangers.

David Silva got the only goal yesterday to maintain his team’s record of winning every home league game this season. Wayne Rooney and Michael Carrick scored in United’s victory.

“The game was open at the end but I think we deserved to beat Arsenal,” City manager Roberto Mancini told Sky Sports. “I think we had a fantastic performance.”

In other matches, Tottenham climbed one spot to third with a 1-0 victory against Sunderland, while Liverpool beat Aston Villa 2-0.

City has 41 points, United 39, with Tottenham on 34 and Chelsea 32. Fifth-place Arsenal and Liverpool in sixth are on 29 points. Tottenham has played one less match than its rivals.

City dominated the early stages against Arsenal yesterday without finding a breakthrough and the visitors then had chances from Gervinho and Aaron Ramsey on 17 minutes that were saved by Joe Hart.

Mario Balotelli forced Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny into a stop midway through the half.

Eight minutes into the second half, Balotelli collected the ball on the left side of the field, cut inside and hit a shot which Szczesny could only parry. Sergio Aguero knocked the ball across to Silva to fire in from close range.

Hart tipped over from a long-range Theo Walcott shot soon after, then City came close as Pablo Zabaleta struck a post.

Both teams had further chances, including two for Gunners defender Thomas Vermaelen late on. Firstly, Hart dived to keep out a 20-yard shot from the Belgian, who then deep into injury time curled the ball just wide.

“Both teams played with a positive spirit and played to win,” Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger told Sky Sports.

United Wins

At Loftus Road, United maintained its unbeaten away record to keep the pressure on City.

United’s opening goal came after only 52 seconds as England striker Rooney scored for a 15th time this season, stooping to head the ball past goalkeeper Radek Cerny from an Antonio Valencia cross.

QPR defender Danny Gabbidon blocked from Danny Welbeck two minutes later, while a first half Jonny Evans header struck the bar. Cerny saved efforts from Phil Jones and Valencia.

Carrick doubled the visitor’s lead on 56 minutes with a low shot from the edge of the penalty area. Cerny then tipped wide an effort from Welbeck and Jones hit a post, while QPR substitute DJ Campbell volleyed over the bar from six yards.

QPR has now won only one of its eight home games this season.

Quiet Game

“We could have scored a lot of goals,” United manager Alex Ferguson told MUTV. “We kept them quiet for most of the game and we played some terrific football at times.”

Tottenham recovered from its first league defeat in 12 matches with a win against Sunderland at White Hart Lane. Substitute Roman Pavlyuchenko scored after 61 minutes.

Craig Bellamy and Martin Skrtel got first-half goals for Liverpool in its victory at Villa, which failed to score for a fourth time in five matches.

Two days ago, Chelsea tied 1-1 at Wigan, West Bromwich Albion beat Blackburn 2-1, Fulham defeated Bolton 2-0, and Stoke City won 2-1 at Wolverhampton Wanderers. Everton and Norwich drew 1-1, while the game between Newcastle and Swansea was scoreless.

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