Tag Archives: garcia

France 0 Spain 1: match report – Pedro scores as Paul Pogba is sent off

France 0 Spain 1: Pedro steals the glory in Paris as ex-United man Pogba sees red

PUBLISHED:

21:51 GMT, 26 March 2013

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UPDATED:

22:10 GMT, 26 March 2013

Pedro scored the only goal of the game as Spain closed the gap on Group I leaders France.

Spain's returning playmaker, Xavi, created the opening with an outstanding ball to Nacho Monreal. The Arsenal left back found the incoming Pedro, who put the ball past Hugo Lloris.

Raphael Varane had a golden opportunity to equalise when Victor Valdes flapped at a corner, but the Real Madrid wonderkid could not get the ball under control in time to slide the ball into the empty net.

Former Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba, who was outrstanding on his second performance for his country, was sent off for two yellow cards in as many minutes with just over 20 minutes to play.

More to follow…

One up: Pedro wheels away in celebration after putting Spain in the lead

One up: Pedro wheels away in celebration after putting Spain in the lead

Just about: Hugo Lloris (left) can't keep out Pedro's second-half effort

Just about: Hugo Lloris (left) can't keep out Pedro's second-half effort

Futile: Hugo Lloris watches as the ball bounces over the line

Futile: Hugo Lloris watches as the ball bounces over the line

MATCH FACTS

France: Lloris, Jallet (Giroud 90), Koscielny, Varane, Evra, Cabaye (Menez 70), Matuidi, Pogba, Valbuena, Ribery, Benzema (Sissoko 82)

Subs Not Used: Mandanda, Fanni, Sakho, Yanga-Mbiwa, Gonalons, Remy, Payet, Clichy, Landreau

Sent off: Pogba (78)

Booked: Cabaye, Matuidi, Pogba

Spain: Valdes, Arbeloa, Pique, Sergio Ramos, Monreal, Alonso, Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta (Mata 90), Villa (Jesus Navas 61), Pedro (Fabregas 76)

Subs Not Used: Reina, Albiol, Javi Garcia, Azpilicueta, Negredo, Isco, Cazorla, De Gea

Booked: Xavi, Fabregas, Arbeloa

Goal: Pedro 58

Attendance: 80,000

Referee: Viktor Kassai (Hungary)

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Marching orders: Paul Pogba picked up two yellow cards in as many minutes after Pedro opened the scoring

Marching orders: Paul Pogba picked up two yellow cards in as many minutes after Pedro opened the scoring

Marching orders: Paul Pogba picked up two yellow cards in as many minutes after Pedro opened the scoring

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You're surrounded: Karim Benzema (centre) tries to weave his way past three Spain defenders

You're surrounded: Karim Benzema (centre) tries to weave his way past three Spain defenders

Big chance: Franck Ribery (left) tries to sneak the ball underneath Victor Valdes

Big chance: Franck Ribery (left) tries to sneak the ball underneath Victor Valdes

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Booked: Xavi remonstrates with the referee as he is given a yellow card

Booked: Xavi remonstrates with the referee as he is given a yellow card

Mature: Former Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba played in the middle for France

Mature: Former Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba played in the middle for France

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Block: Patrice Evra chases down Barcelona striker David Villa

Block: Patrice Evra chases down Barcelona striker David Villa

David Beckham plays a cameo part in PSG"s 2-1 over Nancy

Beckham plays cameo role in Zlatan show as PSG recover from a goal down to beat struggling Nancy

PUBLISHED:

19:22 GMT, 9 March 2013

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UPDATED:

23:49 GMT, 9 March 2013

Zlatan Ibrahimovic was on the top of his game tonight as he scored twice to help Paris St Germain overturn a one-goal deficit and beat lowly Nancy 2-1 at the Parc des Princes.

David Beckham had to make do with a cameo substitute appearance as his Swedish club-mate stole the attention with two second-half goals in the space of three minutes, following Benjamin Moukandjo's first-half opener for the visitors.

Victory for PSG lifted them five points clear at the summit of Ligue 1, ahead of Sunday's clash between second-placed Lyon and third-placed Marseille, while a fourth league defeat in five for their opponents left them six points adrift of safety.

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Late entrance: David Beckham replaces Paris Saint-Germain's Italian midfielder Marco Verratti

Late entrance: David Beckham replaces Paris Saint-Germain's Italian midfielder Marco Verratti

Lille came from behind to beat Valenciennes 3-1 at the Stade du Hainaut and extend their Ligue 1 winning streak to five matches.

Maor Melikson had given mid-table Valenciennes a first-half lead, but Rudi Garcia's men slipped into another gear after the break, with goals from Ronny Rodelin, Tulio de Melo and Benoit Pedretti earning the three points.

The latter pair stepped off Lille's bench to make the difference, with Valenciennes unable to summon a response as the visitors – now fifth – closed in on the top three..

Start turn: But it was Zlatan Ibrahimovic who stole the show with two goals after PSG had been behind

Start turn: But it was Zlatan Ibrahimovic who stole the show with two goals after PSG had been behind

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Trademark: Despite his limited playing time, Becks manages to deliver a trademark corner

Trademark: Despite his limited playing time, Becks manages to deliver a trademark corner

Lower down the ladder, Evian responded to coach Pascal Dupraz's pre-match pleas with an emphatic 5-1 win over fellow strugglers Sochaux to move out of the relegation zone.

Dupraz had claimed that psychologically the game was 'worth a thousand points', with Evian lying three points behind their opponents who occupied the last position above the drop zone.

By the time Cedric Barbosa and Saber Khelifa had scored twice apiece, Kevin Berigaud adding another to render Cedric Bakambu's 53rd-minute equaliser irrelevant, Evian had jumped two places to 16th and it was their shell-shocked opponents who were left residing in the bottom three.

Brest remained looking over their shoulder at the relegation places after losing 1-0 at home to Toulouse.

Landry Chauvin's side headed into the game five points above the drop zone and looking to build on last weekend's 1-1 draw with title-chasing Lyon.

But Adrien Rabiot's goal on the stroke of half-time at the Stade Francis-Le Ble – coupled with Evian's win – saw Brest's margin over the bottom three shrink to just two points. Toulouse, meanwhile, climbed to 11th.

It was a dramatic night in the lower reaches and a woeful display from Reims goalkeeper Kossi Agassa helped Troyes lift themselves off the foot of the table and drag the away side ever closer to the drop zone after a 4-2 win.

Goals from Corentin Jean and Julien Faussurier put the home two in front with an hour gone before a late scoring spree, including Jean's second and a late effort from Mohamed Yattare added to the excitement.

Nicolas de Preville and Odair Fortes were on target for the visitors, making it 2-1 and then 3-2.
Finally, Ajaccio moved clear of the danger zone as Ronald Zubar's second-half goal earned them a 1-0 victory over Lorient. The former Wolves defender lashed home a powerful shot in the 75th minute.

Challenge: Beckham wins the ball from from Nancy midfielder Salif Sane

Challenge: Beckham wins the ball from from Nancy midfielder Salif Sane

Making an exit: Beckham claps the Parc des Princes faithful

Making an exit: Beckham claps the Parc des Princes faithful

VIDEO: Watch highlights here

Manchester City prepare to sell Edin Dzeko, Maicon and Joleon Lescott

Dzeko, Lescott and Maicon head for City exit as Mancini prepare fire sale to fund move for Fellaini

By
Sami Mokbel

PUBLISHED:

23:21 GMT, 21 February 2013

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UPDATED:

02:06 GMT, 22 February 2013

Manchester City want to significantly slash their wage bill this summer with a ruthless clear-out.

The current Barclays Premier League holders have already begun the process of making their salary expenditure more cost-effective from next season by instructing a number of third-parties to find buyers for a host of players this summer.

Newly-appointed director of football Txiki Begiristain and chief executive Ferran Soriano have made it a top priority to streamline the club’s wage bill.

On his way: 27m striker Edin Dzeko could be heading for the City exit

Under threat: Joleon Lescott has also fallen out of favour this season

Edin for the exit: Dzeko and Joleon Lescott are among those set to leave City this summer

Players City are committed to offloading this summer are Maicon, Joleon Lescott, Edin Dzeko and Scott Sinclair.

The futures of Gareth Barry, Javi Garcia, Aleksandar Kolarov and Samir Nasri are also under review ahead of the summer shake-up.

Furthermore, City will make an instant 15million annual saving once Roque Santa Cruz, Wayne Bridge and Kolo Toure’s contracts expire at the end of the season.

Samir Nasri

Gareth Barry

Disappointing: Samir Nasri has never justified his City salary, while Gareth Barry is rapidly declining

The Etihad Stadium club will also look to use their unwanted stars as makeweights in their attempts to sign fresh blood.

The imminent clear-out is, in part, to ensure the club fall into UEFA’s financial fair play guidelines, but also designed to give the club more leeway in terms of wages in the transfer market this summer.

City will look to make at least two significant purchases, with Napoli forward Edinson Cavani, who has a 52million release clause, already identified.

Targeted: Roberto Mancini hopes to recruit Marouane Fellaini

Targeted: Roberto Mancini hopes to recruit Marouane Fellaini

Manager Roberto Mancini will also look to add a box-to-box central midfielder to his ranks, with Everton’s Marouane Fellaini viewed as a leading candidate.

It is understood the Toffees are aware of City’s growing interest in the Belgium international, but are unwilling to make a decision on his future until the end of the season.

City would be willing to stretch to 23million to land Fellaini, who is also a long-term target for Chelsea, in the summer and have already earmarked young striker John Guidetti as a sweetener in the deal. Celtic midfielder Victor Wanyama is also a target for City.

Roberto Mancini challenges Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero to score goals to win the Premier League

Now win us the title, Sergio! City boss Mancini challenges Aguero to score goals to catch rivals United

By
John Edwards

PUBLISHED:

18:20 GMT, 17 February 2013

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UPDATED:

10:16 GMT, 18 February 2013

Roberto Mancini challenged Sergio Aguero to score the goals to wrestle the Barclays Premier League title from favourites Manchester United.

After seeing Aguero score twice in a 4-0 FA Cup win over Leeds, Mancini backed his striker to spearhead a late charge for the championship.

In the Cup spirit: Roberto Mancini is not giving up on winning the title just yet

In the Cup spirit: Roberto Mancini is not giving up on winning the title just yet

‘I hope Sergio will be like this from now to the end of the season, because if he is and our other strikers continue to score then the championship is not finished,’ he said.

With Malaga’s former Real Madrid coach Manuel Pellegrini the latest to be linked with his job at the Etihad Stadium, an unlikely second successive title should be enough to save Mancini from the growing threat of being sacked.

‘It is possible we could be 15 points behind by the time we face Chelsea next Sunday, but I think we should always be confident in ourselves,’ Mancini added.

‘There was a stage where we lost seven points in three games and that can happen to other teams as well.

At the double: Sergio Aguero scored twice as Manchester City cruised past Leeds

At the double: Sergio Aguero scored twice as Manchester City cruised past Leeds

‘So, even when we’re 12 points behind at this moment, we should believe it can be done. At this moment, United deserve to stay there because they have been better than us and scored more goals, but this win against Leeds can influence what we do for the rest of the season and spark us into life.

‘We have been unlucky with injuries this season, but Gareth Barry should be ready for Chelsea, and we hope we have Vinny Kompany for that one as well. We will see tomorrow or Tuesday about Javi Garcia, but I don’t think it’s big problem with him, either.’

Three and easy: Carlos Tevez celebrates with Aguero and David Silva after scoring City's third goal

Three and easy: Carlos Tevez celebrates with Aguero and David Silva after scoring City's third goal

Neil Warnock completes a year in charge of Leeds on Wednesday, but had to contend with some travelling fans calling for his head.

‘I’m going to have to get used to that, but no-one wants it and I don’t think I deserve it after the year I’ve had here,’ he said.

‘The fans are so desperate to get back in the big time and when they see the opportunity gradually fading, the manager has got to be the scapegoat.

Spot on: Aguero scores a 15th-minute penalty against the Championship side

Spot on: Aguero scores a 15th-minute penalty against the Championship side

‘If we don’t go up, I think everyone knows I’m not going to be here. My contract is up at the end of the season, and there’s no way I want to stay in the Championship next year.

‘The further from promotion we get, the more the club will be looking out to see what they are going to do. Could I go before then I have spoken to them (the owners) at great length. If they think it will help them then I’m not against it — I think whatever is best for Leeds United really.’

Feeling the heat: Manager Neil Warnock is under pressure from Leeds fans

Feeling the heat: Manager Neil Warnock is under pressure from Leeds fans

Sunderland 1 Manchester City 0 – match report

Sunderland 1 Manchester City 0: Old boy Johnson comes back to haunt Mancini as Black Cats take all three points

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UPDATED:

18:13 GMT, 26 December 2012

Adam Johnson came back to haunt Manchester City as the champions slipped to a third successive Barclays Premier League defeat at Sunderland.

The England winger, who was considered surplus to requirements at the Etihad Stadium during the summer and was allowed to join the Black Cats in a 10million move, embarrassed former team-mate Joe Hart with a dipping 53rd-minute strike which beat him at the near post and clinched three precious points for his new employers.

However, the winner was not without controversy with the visitors adamant they should have been awarded a free-kick for a foul on Pablo Zabaleta during the build-up.

Making the difference: Adam Johnson celebrates scoring against City

Making the difference: Adam Johnson celebrates scoring against City

Match facts

Sunderland: Mignolet, Larsson (Campbell 78), Cuellar, Kilgallon, Rose (Bardsley 88), Gardner, McClean, Colback, Johnson, Sessegnon, Fletcher.

Subs not used: Westwood, Wickham, McFadden, Vaughan, Bramble.

Booked: Colback.

Goals: Johnson 53.

Man City: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Toure (Barry 86), Nastasic, Milner, Javi Garcia (Lescott 89), Toure , Silva,Aguero, Tevez (Dzeko 72).

Subs not used: Pantilimon, Sinclair, Rekik, Razak.

Booked: Kompany, Toure, Nastasic.

Attendance: 42,190

Referee: Kevin Friend

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Sunderland turned in one of their best displays of the season on a day when City played only fitfully, and Hart had to turn away Steven Fletcher's skidding effort and keep out Stephane Sessegnon 10 minutes from time.

However, if Johnson was the hero in front of a delighted Boxing Day crowd of 42,190, keeper Simon Mignolet deserved equal praise.

The Belgian denied Yaya Toure and David Silva before the break and Sergio Aguero after it to claim a precious clean sheet and make a huge contribution towards the win.

City arrived determined not to complete an unwanted hat-trick of 1-0 league defeats on Wearside and, after a lacklustre start, eased themselves into the game.

They might have been ahead with just eight minutes gone, but Vincent Kompany's header came back off the crossbar and Yaya Toure's goalbound follow-up was hacked away by Mignolet, who reacted instantly to deny the visitors an early lead.

Silva curled a 10th-minute free-kick
wastefully over the bat and Toure saw a curling effort plucked from
underneath the crossbar by Mignolet three minutes later.

Christmas cheer: Craig Gardner (centre) celebrates with team mates following his sides win over City

Christmas cheer: Craig Gardner (centre) celebrates with team mates following his sides win over City

Dejected: Carlos Tevez looks frustrated as City could not find a goal

Dejected: Carlos Tevez looks frustrated as City could not find a goal

City were pinning Sunderland deep inside their own half and it seemed only a matter of time before they made the pressure tell.

Mignolet had to be at his best once
again with 24 minutes gone after Carlos Tevez and Aguero combined to put
Silva in on goal, only for Mignolet to block his effort at close range.

But
seconds later Hart had to dive to his right to turn away Fletcher's
rasping left-foot drive and the Black Cats, buoyed after weathering the
early storm, started to force their way into the game.

Beaten man: Adam Johnson (not pictured) gets the ball past Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart

Beaten man: Adam Johnson (not pictured) gets the ball past Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart

Mixed emotions: The Sunderland players and fans celebrate as Hart and Kompany look on

Mixed emotions: The Sunderland players and fans celebrate as Hart and Kompany look on

Johnson was enjoying the better of his individual battle with Zabaleta, who played much of the half with a heavily bandaged head after suffering a cut, and as James McClean took up the theme, Martin O'Neill's men upped their tempo.

Kompany and Matija Nastasic had to repel dangerous crosses from Sebastian Larsson and McClean respectively, and Sessegnon flashed a header well wide from Craig Gardner's driven 42nd-minute cross.

In the wars: Pablo Zabaleta gets a cut after Steven Fletcher catches him with his boot

In the wars: Pablo Zabaleta gets a cut after Steven Fletcher catches him with his boot

Body on the line: Zabaleta has blood pouring from his head after the incident

Body on the line: Zabaleta has blood pouring from his head after the incident

Back in business: Zabaleta returns with his head bandaged

Back in business: Zabaleta returns with his head bandaged

Larsson drilled a late free-kick straight into the defensive wall, but he and his team-mates left the pitch at the break with their clean sheet intact and everything still to play for.

Sunderland picked up where they had left off after the restart as McClean and Johnson, with the help of Sessegnon and Fletcher, stretched City uncomfortably at times. It was they who took the lead with eight minutes of the half played.

City boss Roberto Mancini and Zabaleta were left appealing in vain for a free-kick for Gardner's challenge on the full-back, but Johnson picked up possession and cut inside before blasting in a dipping shot which caught Hart flat-footed at his near post and squirmed into the bottom corner.

Sessegnon might have doubled his side's advantage within two minutes, but pulled his effort across the face of goal with City in disarray.

Old boy: Former City winger Adam Johnson scored against his former side

Old boy: Former City winger Adam Johnson scored against his former side

Getting stuck in: Jack Colback and Matt Kilgallon challenge Manchester City's Carlos Tevez

Getting stuck in: Jack Colback and Matt Kilgallon challenge Manchester City's Carlos Tevez

Stopped in his tracks: Sergio Aguero is halted by Colback

Stopped in his tracks: Sergio Aguero is halted by Colback

The visitors were almost breached once again on the hour when McClean picked out Sessegnon in front of goal, but the Benin international could not take the ball in his stride.

Kompany, who had already been booked, was fortunate to escape a second yellow card for a block on McClean as City struggled to contain a Black Cats side growing in confidence by the minute.

But the visitors gradually regained their composure and started to move the ball confidently once again and Mignolet had to claim a 68th-minute Zabaleta cross at his near post after being played in by James Milner.

Eyes on the ball: Steven Fletcher and Vincent Kompany fight for the ball

Eyes on the ball: Steven Fletcher and Vincent Kompany fight for the ball

The Belgium international excelled himself once again two minutes later to deny Aguero one on one, but it was Hart in the firing line with 10 minutes remaining when Sessegnon was played in by substitute Fraizer Campbell with the keeper coming out on top.

City battered away at their hosts as time ran down, but with Sunderland defending deep and with tenacity, they simply could not find a way through and McClean almost served up the perfect finish with an 88th-minute shot which flew just wide.

Bad day: Roberto Mancini saw his side lose ground on Manchester United as they failed to win

Bad day: Roberto Mancini saw his side lose ground on Manchester United as they failed to win

Manchester City 1 Reading 0 – match report

Manchester City 1 Reading 0: Barry leaves it late to rescue champions

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UPDATED:

17:15 GMT, 22 December 2012

Gareth Barry headed a last-gasp winner as champions Manchester City denied Reading an unexpected and morale-boosting point at the Etihad Stadium.

City created numerous chances in a mostly one-sided affair completed in heavy rain but the visitors looked set to hold firm and lift themselves off the bottom of the Barclays Premier League.

But City fought to the end and Barry got on the end of a cross from David Silva to head home in injury time.

Last gasp: Gareth Barry celebrates scoring City's winner with David Silva

Last gasp: Gareth Barry celebrates scoring City's winner with David Silva

Living on the edge: A frustrated Carlos Tevez bemoans a wasted chance as it seemed City would drop points

Living on the edge: A frustrated Carlos Tevez bemoans a wasted chance as it seemed City would drop points

Match facts

Man City: Hart, Zabaleta, Toure, Nastasic, Rekik (Milner 84), Barry, Javi Garcia (Dzeko 58), Y Toure, Silva, Aguero, Tevez.

Subs not used: Wright, Kompany, Lescott, Razak.

Booked: Y Toure, Aguero.

Goal: Barry 90.

Reading: Federici, Gunter, Pearce, Mariappa, Harte (Shorey 86), McAnuff, Leigertwood, Karacan (Guthrie 70), Tabb, Kebe, Pogrebnyak.

Subs not used: Taylor, Le Fondre, Hunt, Gorkss, Robson-Kanu.

Booked: Gunter, Mariappa, Leighterwood.

Ref: Mike Dean (Wirral)

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A seventh successive defeat was harsh on Reading, who after slumping 5-2 to Arsenal on Monday were much more resilient.

Under-pressure manager Brian McDermott
always knew the game was a tough assignment but was moments away from
claiming a more than creditable draw.

McDermott had made four changes with
Jem Karacan returning from injury to make his first appearance since
October while Chris Gunter, Ian Harte and Alex Pearce also came in.

It took less than two minutes for
Adrian Mariappa to collect the game's first booking as he clattered into
Carlos Tevez in an early attempt to impose himself.

Thereafter the visitors spent most of
the rest of the first half on the back foot, with Mariappa and Pearce
particularly working hard to repel attack after attack.

City could only curse their luck as they carved out several opportunities but failed to take them.

Getting to grips: Reading mostly coped well with their more illustrious opponents

Getting to grips: Reading mostly coped well with their more illustrious opponents

Blocked off: Sergio Aguero's threat was snuffled out as Reading defended manfully until the end

Blocked off: Sergio Aguero's threat was snuffled out as Reading defended manfully until the end

The hosts were so dominant that
18-year-old Karim Rekik, making his Premier League debut at left-back in
the absence of Gael Clichy and Aleksandar Kolarov, was able to get
through mostly untested.

The centre-back pairing of Kolo Toure
and Matija Nastasic, while senior duo Vincent Kompany and Joleon Lescott
looked on from the bench, also had a largely comfortable afternoon.

Tevez played in strike partner Sergio Aguero for City's first serious opportunity but Adam Federici rushed out to claim.

Aguero made another good run to reach
the byline but his cross evaded everybody before Javi Garcia planted a
firm header straight at Federici.

Silva played a neat one-two with Tevez
but shot wide and Aguero then teed up Tevez but Federici saved. The
ball rebounded to Tevez but his follow-up was deflected over.

A rare attack from Reading saw Karacan shoot well wide but City responded with Tevez crossing for Barry to head at Federici.

Sergio Aguero jumps over Adam Federici

Lack of goals: City's strikers are not on top form

Waiting for the breakthrough: Sergio Aguero skips over Federici as another chance goes begging

Pressure: David Silva tried to help City breech Reading's defence

Pressure: David Silva tried to help City breech Reading's defence

Silva jinked his way through the area
to create another opportunity but Reading scrambled clear as Yaya Toure
and Tevez jostled to reach his cross. Toure claimed he was impeded but
referee Mike Dean saw nothing untoward.

Pablo Zabaleta had an effort deflected over and Nastasic also missed the target as City maintained the pressure.

Aguero burst through just before the
break but Reading closed down shooting angles and Tevez could not get on
the end of his cross.

Tevez threatened after the restart but could only shoot at Federici.

Tevez tried his luck again from a
free-kick outside the area but his curling effort was pushed away from
the top corner by the Reading keeper.

Can't complain: Reading boss Brian McDermott will be pleased with the showing from his men

Can't complain: Reading boss Brian McDermott will be pleased with the showing from his men

All action: Barry fights for the ball as City refused to give up

All action: Barry fights for the ball as City refused to give up

Reading could have snatched a shock
lead when Pearce got forward to win a clear header from a Harte corner
but his effort was well wide.

City boss Roberto Mancini decided it was time for change and sent on Edin Dzeko for the mostly ineffective Garcia.

The Bosnian was quickly into the action and was millimetres away from connecting with a header after good work by Zabaleta.

Dzeko did win a clean header at a corner on 66 minutes but his attempt flew narrowly over the bar.

No you don't: Adrian Mariappa slides in to try and block Silva's effort on goal

No you don't: Adrian Mariappa slides in to try and block Silva's effort on goal

There were clear signs that the home
fans were growing frustrated with their side's ineffectiveness in front
of goal as the game wore on.

Mancini made another change as Scott
Sinclair came on for Tevez but it was Reading who next threatened as
Pavel Pogrebnyak broke and crossed for Jay Tabb.

Tabb went down after colliding with
Rekik but Dean did not feel there was a foul and nor did he see a
possible handball against Nastasic as the ball came in.

Reading grew in confidence and and
Pearce headed another good chance wide after Jimmy Kebe had won a corner
with a good break down the right.

As the game moved into four minutes of injury time, City launched a final push.

Aguero fired into the side-netting but
Barry came good as he jumped above the defence to reach Silva's ball
and head firmly past Federici.

Premier League Christmas fixtures – the crucial games

Christmas crackers: Sportsmail's guide to the crucial games over the festive season which will make or break the country's elite

PUBLISHED:

00:20 GMT, 19 December 2012

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UPDATED:

00:20 GMT, 19 December 2012

The Christmas schedules are busy as ever and Sportsmail has taken a look at what each top flight side can expect as they move into 2013. Which teams will make precious ground on their rivals and who will fall behind as the winter kicks in

Arsenal, Villa

Prime target: Schalke's Klaas-Jan Huntelaar is on Arsene Wenger's wishlist

Prime target: Schalke's Klaas-Jan Huntelaar is on Arsene Wenger's wishlist

Chelsea, Everton

Hitman: Chelsea will need a new striker and Atletico Madrid's Radamel Falcao has been strongly linked

Hitman: Chelsea will need a new striker and Atletico Madrid's Radamel Falcao has been strongly linked

Fulham, Liverpool

Anfield bound: Thomas Ince and Daniel Sturrdge are on their way to join Brendan Rodgers' Liverpool

Anfield bound: Thomas Ince and Daniel Sturrdge are on their way to join Brendan Rodgers' Liverpool

City, United

Step up: Javi Garcia needs to improve for Man City and quickly

Step up: Javi Garcia needs to improve for Man City and quickly

Newcastle, Norwich

Big miss: Hatem Ben Arfa will not be in the Newcastle team over Christmas thanks to injury

Big miss: Hatem Ben Arfa will not be in the Newcastle team over Christmas thanks to injury

QPR, Reading

Loan strike: Robbie Keane is a Queens Park Rangers target as Harry Redknapp looks to boost his firepower

Loan strike: Robbie Keane is a Queens Park Rangers target as Harry Redknapp looks to boost his firepower

Saints, Stoke

Reinforcements: Southampton are in need of several players and are not afraid to splash the cash

Reinforcements: Southampton are in need of several players and are not afraid to splash the cash

Sunderland, Swansea

Back me up: Michu is Swansea's main source of goals and that needs to be rectified

Back me up: Michu is Swansea's main source of goals and that needs to be rectified

Spurs, West Ham

Back again: Joao Moutinho was an AVB target in the summer and he continues to pursue the Porto man

Back again: Joao Moutinho was an AVB target in the summer and he continues to pursue the Porto man

West Brom, Wigan

Hold on tight: West Brom need to keep hold of midfielder Youssouf Mulumbu

Hold on tight: West Brom need to keep hold of midfielder Youssouf Mulumbu

Amir Khan v Carlos Molina LIVE

LIVE: Amir Khan v Carlos Molina – round-by-round coverage of the big fight

Amir Khan goes head-to-head with Carlos Molina in what is a make or break fight for the Bolton boxer. After successive defeats to Lamont Peterson and Danny Garcia, Khan sacked trainer Freddie Roach and teamed up with Virgil Hunter. He will be expected to kick off the new era with victory in Los Angeles.

Email your thoughts to [email protected] or via Twitter @martin_domin

Back on track: Amir Khan celebrates

Back on track: Amir Khan celebrates

6.15am: That's all from me. Stay with us for all the fall-out from LA and in the New Year when we will continue to bring you the best boxing coverage at home and abroad.

6am: I wouldn't want anyone to get carried away with this result, just as people shouldn't have gotten carried away with the Garcia defeat. Molina was a hand-picked opponent who only stood standing because he is pretty tough. Khan's hands were fast, as they always are, he looked sharp and he put his punches together well. But he was helped by the cut around Molina's eye and the gulf in class.

Read the full report here.

5.50am: That was a sensible stoppage from the corner there and it could have come a couple of rounds earlier.

In his post-fight interview, Khan says he wants a rematch with Danny Garcia who was ringside tonight.

ALL OVER ! AMIR KHAN BEATS CARLOS MOLINA

Round 10: Molina does come out with more fight in the 10th as he tries to land shots of his own but Khan can almost move in slow motion and still avoid them. The referee is over to the corner again at the bell and this time Molina is pulled out.

Round 9: Blood is pouring from Molina's eye and surely he won't be allowed back out after this session He can't get close to Khan despite charging forward and Khan picks him off with ease. The referee talks to the corner and makes it clear the home favourite must show something else he will call it off 10-9

Round 8: Molina may not be stopped but the gulf in class is apparent in every round. Khan dances around the ring, landing at will with his sharp one-two-three punch combinations. The Mexican-American's eye is examined at the break but he's OK to continue 10-9

Round 7: I didn't think we'd get to the second half to be honest, but here we are. There is very little coming back from Molina now. He tries to land with the odd left but all the good work is coming from Khan. He connects with strong right hand in the final minute of the round but otherwise, he is content to keep Molina at bay with the jab 10-9

Round 6: Another quieter round as Khan fights in bursts. Coming in off the jab, he lets his hands go and then gets out. Nice work once again. The ridiculous thing is that whenever he is hit, the crowd seem to think he's going down. A huge over-reaction after Garcia 10-9

Easy pickings: Khan landed with increasing regularity against an outclassed Molina

Easy pickings: Khan landed with increasing regularity against an outclassed Molina

Round 5: Credit to Molina, he keeps coming forward, taking his punishment and then marching on again. He does manage to land a left flush on Khan but the response is another flurry of fast punches which will be catching the eye much more than the home favourite's solitary jabs. The pace slowed in that round but another one to the Brit 10-9

Round 4: Big session for Khan as he switches from head to body before peppering Molina with a barrage of shots. His speed is incredible at times. Molina stands up well though and is nothing if not tough. He fights back a little towards the end of the round but the stoppage is surely coming 10-9

Round 3: A quiet start to the round but Molina catches Khan again with a swinging right only for the Brit to land several flurries of his own. He then gets the better of an exchange on the ropes, finding the target with the uppercut. Molina's eye is getting worse and won't help him see Khan's fast hands coming at him. 10-9

Round 2: Molina comes out swinging with the left, and misses. He has a reach disadvantage and is repeatedly out of range as Khan lands his combinations with relative ease. The Brit also moves downstairs with the right hand though but is caught flush on the face by Molina. Just as well he's not a bigger puncher or that might have been serious 10-9

Round 1: Khan doesn't waste time in getting to work, rushing at Molina from the first bell. Khan takes a right but there is already bad markings around his opponent's left eye. Khan controls the centre of the ring and uses his speed well, doubling up on the jab as Molina struggles to throw anything back. His eye is already a mess. My score (Khan first): 10-9.

Flush: Khan was on top from the first bell as Molina found himself overwhelmed

Flush: Khan was on top from the first bell as Molina found himself overwhelmed

5.05am: Khan is in the ring. This is his first non-world title fight for well over three years when he fought Marco Antonio Barrera .

5am: Here we go, it's ring walk time…

4.45am: It's all over! Wilder keeps up his remarkable record as a huge overhand right sends Price to the canvas and he does not recover. Now it's time for Khan.

4.40am: So far, so uninspiring from these two. Neither seem too willing to open up just yet. Boos from the crowd already.

4.35am: Both boxers in this next fight are unbeaten. Wilder has won all 25 of his bouts inside four rounds which is some record. Price meanwhile has won six of his 13 inside the scheduled distance.

This contest should tell certainly tell us more about Wilder. Is he really the next big heavyweight hope for the US

4.25am: Angulo has won the decision over Silva but Khan won't be next. Heavyweights Deontay Wilder and Kelvin Price are due in the ring first.

Hard fought: Alfredo Angulo (left) on his way to victory over Jorge Silva

Hard fought: Alfredo Angulo (left) on his way to victory over Jorge Silva

4.20am: Ward has had the following to say about Khan: 'I've seen an improvement. He's listening and willing to learn and that has been his first step. I think he's going to pull through in a big way. He only knows one way to fight, he's very eager and very zealous but [under Hunter] a little more patient and you're going to see a better Amir Khan.'

4,15am: We should have Khan in the ring within the next 20 minutes. Alfredo Angulo's bout with Jorge Silva are in the eighth of 10 rounds and the Brit is next.

4.10am: Meanwhile, in Texas, Nonito Donaire has beaten Jorge Arce inside three rounds to retain his WBO super-bantamweight title. The 'Filipino Flash' would be a daunting prospect for either of Britain's rising stars in the division, Carl Frampton or Scott Quigg.

4.05am: As I also said, assuming Khan wins this, and wins it well, I don't think we can read too much into it, unless there is a marked difference in the way he fights.

Yes, Andre Ward is among the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world but how much of that is down to Virgil Hunter and if the answer is a lot, how much of that coaching is transferable to Khan

Khan's problem has been ignoring instructions, choosing to go for the spectacular win and impress the crowd.

Well, there isn't much of a crowd to impress in LA… but regardless, he needs to start using his brain.

4am: Two things I'd like to point out. One, I think Khan lost to Peterson although the failed drugs test changes that a lot. And two, I don't believe he has a particularly suspect chin. The first punch from Garcia would have scrambled anybody's brain and lets not forget that Khan stood up to the best Marcos Maidana had to offer.

We don't seem to be calling Manny Pacquiao's chin weak just because he was KO'd last weekend.

Bludgeoning: Nonito Donaire (left) stopped Jorge Arce in the third round

Bludgeoning: Nonito Donaire (left) stopped Jorge Arce in the third round

3.50am: I am aware, of course, that Molina is unbeaten but he hasn't fought anyone with the calibre of Khan or his opponents. Khan doesn't need to have improved markedly to win this fight and I expect him to do so inside six rounds.

3.45am: Back to Khan, who we expect to make his ring walk at around 4.25am, and there is no doubt Molina has been put in front of him to get his confidence back and go into 2013 on a high.

A light puncher who is moving up a division… if Khan doesn't look good winning this then there is something wrong.

P.S. Andre Ward has just told Sky Sports that he wants a rematch with Carl Froch next year.

3.35am: In other news Stateside, Adrien Broner, considered by many as the heir to Floyd Mayweather Jnr's throne, has said he wants to face Scotland's Ricky Burns in a unification fight.

Broner is expected to be back in action on February 16 and Burns could be in the opposite corner in Atlantic City.

'I'm ready for Ricky Burns,' Broner said. 'He's a world-class fighter and I respect him for what he's done.

'I wanted to fight him for the WBO title, but he moved up. I hope he doesn't try and avoid me again.'

Down and out: Khan was sent crashing to the canvas by Danny Garcia earlier this year

Down and out: Khan was sent crashing to the canvas by Danny Garcia earlier this year

3.25am: Before I focus solely on Khan, there were some cracking fights in London last night as George Groves defended his Commonwealth super-middleweight title against teak tough Glen Johnson. Also in action was Billy Joe Saunders who beat Nick Blackwell for the British and Commonwealth middleweight titles.

You can read my reports from the Excel Arena here.

3.15am: As a result of suffering the defeat to Garcia, Khan split with trainer Freddie Roach and hooked up with Virgil Hunter who has guided the career of super middleweight world champion Andre Ward. We will see if the relationship has had time to develop over the last couple of months.

3.05am: It's fair to say it hasn't been the best of years for Bolton's Khan. After losing to Lamont Peterson last December, the American failed a drugs test in the build-up to the rematch. When that fight was shelved, Khan faced Danny Garcia but a huge left hand left the Brit in all sorts of trouble from which he couldn't recover.

3am: Good morning and welcome to Sportsmail's coverage of Amir Khan's make-or-break fight with Carlos Molina in Los Angeles.

Face off: Amir Khan (left) takes on Carlos Molina as he bids to get his career back on track

Face off: Amir Khan (left) takes on Carlos Molina as he bids to get his career back on track

Amir Khan aims for world title after beating Carlos Molina – Jeff Powell

JEFF POWELL: King Khan is back on track and showing the world his exciting natural talent… but he will have to wait for title shot

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UPDATED:

15:16 GMT, 16 December 2012

Next stop the world. So says Amir Khan after laying waste to a neighbourhood of east Los Angeles on Saturday night.

Maybe so, now that he has pulled back from the edge of the fiscal cliff which was threatening his future as much as the financial recession is jeopardising the American economy.

One false step here and he would have plunged into chaos.

Now he says: ‘I will be the champ again soon.’.

Scroll down for video

Flush: Amir Khan was on top from the first bell as Carlos Molina found himself overwhelmed

Flush: Amir Khan was on top from the first bell as Carlos Molina found himself overwhelmed

Amir Khan connects with Carlos Molina
KHAN IN 2013

Amir Khan’s three-fight calendar for 2013 is now shaping up like this:

March/April v Josesito Lopez to fine tune trainer Virgil Hunter’s game plan.

June/July v Danny Garcia in a world light-welterweight title re-match.

November/December v Lamont Peterson in re-match to become undisputed 10 stone champion, given Olympic standard drugs testing.

Maybe so since Danny Garcia, who knocked Khan off his perch with a left hook from hell earlier this year, appears willing to risk the lengthy odds against him landing that sucker punch again in a re-match.

Garcia and his mind-games father, Angel, were still in bullish mood after watching Khan beat Carlos Molina to pulp in the LA Sports Arena.

The Garcias had just seen the Bolton express land enough bolts of lightning to generate a year’s electricity for Molina’s impoverished home district not far from the LA Sports Arena but remained obdurately unimpressed.

‘We’ll fight Khan again and knock him out again,’ they said .’Even though we know that if he had beaten us he would never have given us a re-match.’

Price of success: Khan was reported to have fractured both hands during his victory over Molina

Price of success: Khan was reported to have fractured both hands during his victory over Molina

Through the gate: Molina did manage to land on Khan but the Bolton boxer withstood the punches

Through the gate: Molina did manage to land on Khan but the Bolton boxer withstood the punches

Carlos Molina sits in his corner after the ninth round

Amir Khan

Sore one: A cut opened around Molina's left eye early in the fight which caused him problems throughout

Maybe not. Khan has battened down his defences and acquired self-restraint in his first camp with new trainer Virgil Hunter.

But he has done so without
sacrificing the blistering hand speed or dynamic intensity which
hallmark one of the most exciting talents in the prize-ring today.

And yes, we are talking here about
Khan, at just turned 26, despite the flaws he is grafting to eradicate
from his game and the detractors who are so quick to pounce on his
inconsistencies.

There is no more exciting natural
talent in boxing right now, even though Khan will be required to prove
as much against opponents more formidable than prize-fighting’s version
of the Hobbit who came shuffling out of the opposite corner this
weekend.

Relentless: Khan used his jab effectively to keep Molina at bay and launch his combinations

Relentless: Khan used his jab effectively to keep Molina at bay and launch his combinations

Sore one: A cut opened beneath Molina's left eye early in the fight

Sore one: A cut opened beneath Molina's left eye early in the fight

They say punch-bags don’t hit back
but the diminutive Molina proved to be the exception, albeit not often
enough to prevent him losing all ten of the scheduled twelve rounds
before his corner men called a humane halt to the one-side proceedings.

This peon praise for Khan’s
renaissance after two successive but peculiar losses has to be qualified
by Molina’s limitations of size, ability, experience and hitting
power.

Yet they also say that you can do no
more than obliterate whoever is put in front of you. Khan did that in
overwhelming style and Britain should not lose the faith with its most
prominent and courageous ambassador for Anglo-Islam relations.

Molina had been hand-picked as a
stepping-stone towards Khan’s rehabilitation but he still had to be
beaten and the pot-shots he fired in retaliation had to be weathered as
evidence that the chin in a question is not fatally Achillean after all.

Over and out: The fight was stopped when Molina's corner felt he had suffered enough

Over and out: The fight was stopped when Molina's corner felt he had suffered enough

Referee Jack Reiss stops the fight between Amir Khan and Carlos Molina

The new Khan we had been promised
boxed with enough self-control and adherence to a less hazardous game
plan to suggest that our former world light-welterweight champion can
reclaim his place among the elite, and he had two fractured hands to show for his night's work.

Although the world championship he wants back may not come quite as soon as he is predicting.
Khan said; ‘I will fight Garcia again whenever and wherever he wants.’
The feeling is mutual, even if the money is doing much of the talking
when Danny boy says: 'I’m open to a second fight.’

But Garcia is scheduled to defend his
unified title against Zab Judah in February so the re-match with Khan
will have to wait at least until June or July. Khan will plug the gap
with another confidence building bout in March or April, before marrying
his fiance in May.

Suddenly the mists of doubt have cleared and the sun is shining on Khan again.

New era: Khan will hope to fight for a world title next year after his win in Los Angeles

New era: Khan will hope to fight for a world title next year after his win in Los Angeles

New era: Khan will hope to fight for a world title next year after his win

That warmth should help heal the
damage to the right hand, which he feared he had broken in hitting
Molina so often. The pain came as a reminder of his ex-trainer Freddie
Roach’s assertion that Khan has a recurrent problem there.

Not that Molina would have noticed.
So sharp and rapid were the multi-punch combinations with which Khan hit
him repeatedly that as early as the second round Molina’s face looked
as if a saucepan of boiling water had been thrown over it.

/12/16/article-0-16897E64000005DC-805_634x337.jpg” width=”634″ height=”337″ alt=”Looking to the future: Amir Khan and his trainer Virgil Hunter are looking at a world title shot in 2013″ class=”blkBorder” />

Looking to the future: Amir Khan and his trainer Virgil Hunter are looking at a world title shot in 2013

Khan had boxed with smarter attention
to trainer’s orders but for we who delight in watching him it was
reassuring to see that his warrior instincts will never be tamed
altogether.

He said: ‘I expect to become an even more complete boxer after more fights under Virgil.’

Hunter said: ‘He is on his way again to becoming a truly great boxer.’

Golden Boy promoter Richard Schaefer,
whose belief and investment in Khan had been redeemed, went further: ‘I
have always been convinced that Amir will be the best pound-for-pound
boxer in the world.’

First things first.

Our boy is back. Well, back on track if not all the way back to the top quite yet.

King Khan, as he is called, is
looking like a Prince of the ring again, which is no small achievement
for one who was sliding towards that precipice prior to this Saturday
night in the City of the Angels.

VIDEO: Amir Khan: 'trainer changed me…'

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Newcastle 1 Manchester City 3: match report

Newcastle 1 Manchester City 3: Mancini's men bounce back from derby defeat with comfortable win on Tyneside

|

UPDATED:

15:12 GMT, 15 December 2012

Yaya Toure helped Manchester City stay in touch with Barclays Premier League leaders Manchester United by sealing a hard-fought win at Newcastle.

The reigning champions looked to be coasting to victory at St James' Park after Sergio Aguero and Garcia gave them a 2-0 lead before the break.

However, the Magpies launched a concerted fightback after Demba Ba dragged them back into the game with a 51st-minute header, his 11th goal of the season.

Another one: Yaya Toure scored City's third to seal the victory

Another one: Yaya Toure scored City's third to seal the victory

Bouncing back: City players showed their resilience with an impressive performance on Tyneside

Bouncing back: City players showed their resilience with an impressive performance on Tyneside

Pulling it back: Demba Ba brought Newcastle into the game again

Pulling it back: Demba Ba brought Newcastle into the game again

Pulling it back: Demba Ba brought Newcastle into the game again

MATCH FACTS

Newcastle: Krul, Simpson (Ferguson 83), Williamson, Coloccini, Santon, Perch, Tiote (Marveaux 75), Anita, Gutierrez, Cisse (Shola Ameobi 79), Ba.

Subs not used: Elliot, Bigirimana, Sammy Ameobi, Tavernier.

Booked: Simpson, Williamson, Perch

Goal: Ba 51

Man City: Hart, Zabaleta, Nastasic, K Toure, Clichy, Silva, Javi Garcia, Y Toure, Nasri (Kolarov 37 (Dzeko 72)), Aguero, Tevez (Lescott 79).

Subs not used: Pantilimon, Sinclair, Rekik, Razak.

Booked: K Toure, Aguero

Goals: Aguero 10, Garcia 39

Referee: Andre Marriner.

Attendance: 49,579

The latest Premier League table, fixtures and results

Papiss Cisse came agonisingly close
to rescuing a point in front of a raucous crowd of 49,579, but the
visitors – who did not have striker Mario Balotelli among their ranks
after manager Roberto Mancini left him out of the 18 – eased over the
line when Toure restored their two-goal advantage 12 minutes from time.

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew was left
to reflect upon a sixth defeat in seven league matches, but buoyed by a
performance of real character against a team which at times threatened
to rip them apart.

Deprived of the threat of mercurial
Frenchman Hatem Ben Arfa, Pardew beefed up his midfield by introducing
the more defensively-minded James Perch.

The Magpies enjoyed the better of the
possession in the first 10 minutes and might have been ahead had Joe
Hart not got down smartly to turn away Cisse's early half-volley from
Cheick Tiote's cross.

However, roused from their slumbers,
City responded to assume the appearance of a team assembled on a budget
of hundreds of millions of pounds playing against another assembled on a
budget.

Opening up: Sergio Aguero scored the first goal of the match early on

Opening up: Sergio Aguero scored the first goal of the match early on

The pace and movement of Samir Nasri,
David Silva, Carlos Tevez and Aguero, coupled with the vision of the
imperious Toure, was simply too much for Newcastle to handle at times
and had it not been for the efforts of goalkeeper Tim Krul and some less
than effective finishing, the game could have been out of their reach
long before the half-time whistle sounded.

City took the lead in breathtakingly
simple, but magnificently constructed style with 10 minutes gone when a
Toure pass split the home defence and Nasri unselfishly squared for
Aguero to slide the ball into the empty net.

In an instant, the flow of the game had changed and Pardew's men found themselves chasing shadows.

Tevez was denied a second three
minutes later by Krul's point-blank save and Nasri fired against the
foot of the post after 20 minutes before Mike Williamson blocked
Aguero's follow-up on the line.

Doubled: Javi Garcia headed home for the second of the game

Doubled: Javi Garcia headed home for the second of the game

Sea of blue: City fans lit a flare

Sea of blue: City fans lit a flare

Newcastle rallied with Williamson
forcing another good save from Hart with a left-foot volley after
central defensive partner Fabricio Coloccini had headed upfield, before
Cisse fired over from long range 13 minutes before the break.

City doubled their lead with six
minutes of the half remaining. This time, City adopted a far more
prosaic approach as Javi Garcia met Silva's left-wing corner with a
header which full-back Davide Santon perhaps should have cleared at the
far post, but could only hack into his own net.

To their credit, Newcastle returned
determined not to capitulate, and went close twice within four minutes
of the restart with Ba heading over at the far post and Santon drilling a
low drive into the side-netting.

They got their reward with 51 minutes
gone when, after Vurnon Anita's corner had been half-cleared, Coloccini
hooked the ball back into the penalty area where Ba beat the offside
trap to head firmly past Hart.

Audacious: Carlos Tevez tried an ambitious overhead kick in the second half

Audacious: Carlos Tevez tried an ambitious overhead kick in the second half

Too easy: Sergio Aguero knocked home a sumptuous ball from Samir Nasri

Too easy: Sergio Aguero knocked home a sumptuous ball from Samir Nasri

The Magpies came within inches of
levelling two minutes later when Cisse span on Anita's pass and fired
inches over, but it took another crucial save by Krul to keep their
hopes alive after Tevez had been played in over the top with 57 minutes
gone.

Ba stabbed the ball into the
side-netting from the last of a series of right-wing Anita corners with
City's composure eluding them for once, and then prompted Hart to make a
solid save with a rasping drive from distance.

However, City made sure 12 minutes from time when Pablo Zabaleta got in down the left and crossed for Toure to make it 3-1.

Aguero might have extended City's
lead considerably as time ran down, curling a shot just wide and then
chipping harmlessly across goal after racing from halfway, but the
damage had already been done.

Sent tumbling: Aleksandar Kolarov is bundled over by Danny Simpson

Sent tumbling: Aleksandar Kolarov is bundled over by Danny Simpson

Supportive: X Factor Tulisa Contostavlos was in the stands to cheer on boyfriend Danny Simpson

Supportive: X Factor Tulisa Contostavlos was in the stands to cheer on boyfriend Danny Simpson

Supportive: X Factor Tulisa Contostavlos was in the stands to cheer on boyfriend Danny Simpson