Monday 04 February 2013
Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has refused to give up on retaining the Barclays Premier League crown after his side lost further ground in the title race as they were held to a 2-2 draw in a thrilling encounter at home to Liverpool.
City took the lead midway through the first half through Edin Dzeko but fell behind to outstanding strikes in either half by Daniel Sturridge and Steven Gerrard. Aguero salvaged a point for the hosts with an exquisite strike from a tight angle 12 minutes from time.
However, it was not enough on a weekend when rivals Manchester United won and the result leaves Roberto Mancini's side nine points adrift of the leaders.
"Absolutely not [it is not over]," said Mancini. "I think we can recover nine points. There are still 13 games until the end. Two years ago Chelsea were nine points behind and when they went to play at Old Trafford two games from the end [of the season] they were only two points behind. Two games and the championship is reopened. I don't think this is finished but probably now we have to win all the games but if not then 11 or 12 games.
"But in football this can happen sometimes. Last year we recovered eight points in six games so I don't know why it can't happen this year. We have 15 games and they [United] have to play in FA Cup and the Champions League so the season is long - three months - and we are confident. It is enough to recover three or four points in three games."
Wayne Rooney's late goal sealed a narrow victory for United over Fulham on Saturday evening. In an eventful match at Craven Cottage, the woodwork was struck four times, the floodlights went out and the action was end to end.
Bryan Ruiz hit a post for the hosts, while Rooney, Patrice Evra and a header from Brede Hangeland cannoned back off the frame of the goal at the opposite end of the field. Just as United thought that it would not be their day, Rooney stepped up on 79 minutes to stroke the ball into the bottom corner after leading a counter-attack.
Moussa Sissoko scored twice for Newcastle United as they beat Chelsea 3-2 in a pulsating game at St James' Park. Jonas Gutierrez opened the scoring for the Magpies after Tim Krul kept former team-mate Demba Ba at bay with some strong work in goal.
Ba was then forced to leave the field with blood pouring from his nose late in the first half when he was caught by Fabio Coloccini. Frank Lampard equalised for Chelsea after the break with a 25-yard swerving strike before Juan Mata added the second for Chelsea when Torres, on for Ba, touched the ball onto his left foot, allowing his Spanish team-mate to curl the ball past Krul.
Sissoko then scored his first goal for Newcastle to level things up before grabbing a late winner for Alan Pardew's side.
Goals also rained at Goodison Park where Marouane Fellaini scored a last-minute equaliser to snatch Everton a 3-3 draw with struggling Aston Villa. Villa striker Christian Benteke got the visitors off to a flying start when he beat defender Jonny Heitinga and fired the ball low past Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard in the second minute before Victor Anichebe levelled the score at 1-1 following some poor defending.
Seconds later, Paul Lambert's side were back in front though thanks to Gabriel Agbonlahor, who fired into the bottom corner to give Villa a 2-1 lead at the break. Villa extended their lead when Benteke added his second after the break, again beating Heitinga, as he headed past Howard in a bid to seal a much-needed win. Everton were not done, though, with Fellaini poking the ball home from Anichebe's lay-off before he levelled the score with a header at the near post in the 90th minute.
The draw allowed Tottenham Hotspur to move three points clear in fourth place on Sunday with a 1-0 victory over a West Bromwich Albion side reduced to 10 men early in the second half following the dismissal of defender Goran Popov. Gareth Bale struck the only goal of for Andre Villas-Boas's side, who lost Jermain Defoe to an ankle injury but now lie just a point behind Chelsea.
Reading beat Sunderland 2-1 at the Madejski Stadium to climb out of the relegation zone. Jimmy Kebe gave Reading the lead when he fired the ball past Simon Mignolet before Pavel Pogrebnyak fouled John O'Shea to give Sunderland a penalty. Craig Gardner stepped up to level the score at the break with a well-taken spot-kick before Kebe scored a late winner to give Reading a vital win and continue their strong run of form.
Wigan Athletic threw away their lead to draw 2-2 against Southampton at the DW Stadium. Rickie Lambert 's close-range header cancelled out Gary Caldwell's effort, before Morgan Schneiderlin's late score looked to have snatched the points for the Saints. However, Shaun Maloney popped up with a late equaliser for the Latics but it was not enough for Wigan to climb out of the relegation zone.
Arsenal beat Stoke City 1-0 at the Emirates when Lukas Podolski's low-free-kick was deflected by Geoff Cameron and past goalkeeper Asmir Begovic, who had single-handedly kept the Potters in the game with a series of quality saves.
Norwich City goalkeeper Mark Bunn saved a penalty as Queens Park Rangers were held to a goalless draw at Loftus Road. Adel Taarabt was denied by Bunn from the spot after the goalkeeper gave away a spot-kick when he brought down Jamie Mackie. The 0-0 draw was the fourth consecutive stalemate for Harry Redknapp's team, who remained at the foot of the Barclays Premier League table before the rest of the weekend's action began. After the match, Redknapp also revealed that their recent signing Loic Remy had strained a muscle in training yesterday.
West Ham United beat Swansea City 1-0 at Upton Park thanks to Andy Carroll's second goal of the season, a header past Gerhard Tremmel.
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