Saturday 22 December 2012
A thumping header from Vincent Kompany gave Manchester City a slender advantage at the top of the Barclays Premier League going in to the final month of the season.
The City captain scored the only goal as they edged title rivals Manchester United 1-0 to move back to the top of the league on goal difference. Sir Alex Ferguson’s reigning champions looked to be on course to retain their title after Arsenal’s 1-0 victory over Roberto Mancini’s side at the start of the month gave United an eight-point lead with six games remaining. The pendulum swung again through United losing 1-0 to in-form Wigan Athletic and a dramatic 4-4 draw with Everton, where United led 4-2 with seven minutes remaining, allowed City to get within touching distance of the leaders ahead of the Manchester derby.
Wigan moved out of the relegation zone for the first time in 2012 with impressive victories over United, Arsenal and Newcastle United which won manager Roberto Martinez the Manager of the Month award.
This resurgence contrasted with Terry Connor’s Wolverhampton Wanderers, who were relegated after suffering a 2-0 loss at the hands of Manchester City.
QPR managed to climb out of the relegation zone with wins over Tottenham Hotspur and Swansea City during the month, but just goal difference separated them and Bolton Wanderers in 18th, as the season was set for a gripping finale.
Two of the month’s most exceptional individual performers were January signings Nikica Jelavic and Papis Demba Cisse. The Everton striker sealed the Player of the Month award with seven goals while Cisse took his tally to 11 strikes in 12 matches since his arrival from Freiburg, including a superb double against Swansea.
“We’ve got another two big games, two big cup finals. You’re never safe with your aim, you need to get as many points as you can. Two games to go – we’ll need to recover well and get ready for the next one." - Wigan manager Roberto Martinez after his side beat Newcastle United 4-0 to move three points clear of the relegation zone.
"It’s a great victory but we have two difficult games left and United have two easy games. We now have a chance for the title in our hands. United are still favourites. Swansea and Sunderland [United’s opponents] have nothing to play for. I am very happy that we are top but it doesn’t change anything. Football is crazy." - Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini after the 1-0 victory over Manchester United.
Player of the Month: Nikica Jelavic (Everton)
Manager of the Month: Roberto Martinez (Wigan)
Table on 1 Apr 2012 In full here Table on 30 Apr 2012 In full here
|1||Man City||30||47||73||Man City||36||61||83|
|2||Man Utd||31||50||71||Man Utd||36||53||83|