Manchester City trimmed Manchester United's Premier League lead to 12
points after Carlos Tevez pounced to earn the champions a 1-0 victory at
struggling Aston Villa on Monday.
Argentine produced a cool finish to punish a defensive mistake just
before half-time and though not playing at full throttle City were rarely
troubled as they claimed a victory that left Villa in the bottom three.
who face Real Madrid in the Champions League last 16 second leg on
Tuesday, still look unstoppable in pursuit of a 20th English title with
71 points. With 10 games left to play City have 59 points and Tottenham
Hotspur are third on 54.
have to keep on winning and see. This is football nothing is
impossible," City boss Roberto Mancini, whose side claimed the title
with virtually the last kick of last season after clawing back eigh
points on United, told Sky Sports.
know it will be difficult but we will keep on trying. For us it was
important to stay 12 points behind United and for us the championship is
Villa, needing a
point to climb out of the relegation zone above Wigan Athletic,
dominated the opening 20 minutes and nearly went ahead when Christian
Benteke's goalbound header was booted off the line by Tevez on the post.
gradually settled into their rhythm and Pablo Zabaleta was unlucky not
to give them the lead after 36 minutes when his shot was finger-tipped
against the inside of the post by Villa keeper Brad Guzan.
looked like reaching half-time unscathed but a moment of madness from
defender Ciaran Clark undermined a hard-working first-half display by
Attempting a fancy
turn rather than a simple thump forward, he was dispossessed by Edin
Dzeko and the Bosnian squared for Tevez who danced past Guzan before
slotting into the net despite Clark's attempts to get back on the line.
suggested Dzeko may have fouled Clark while robbing him of the ball,
although Villa manager Paul Lambert laid the blame squarely on his young
"I did not think it was a foul," said Lambert, whose side have won only one of their last 10 league games.
"When you are a defender and you are near enough last man, you do not take any chances.
nearly increased City's lead shortly after the break when he weaved
across the area but his shot was beaten out by Guzan who was by the far
the busier of the two goalkeepers.
much was coming back from Villa with City keeper Joe Hart being a
virtual spectator before frantic late pressure from the home side
brought no reward.
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