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UK: City stay two points clear of United


The Muslim News:

Two goals from Sergio Aguero helped Manchester City to a comfortable win over Stoke and ensured they will be top of the Premier League at Christmas.

The Argentine scored at the back post, after Vincent Kompany's shot was saved and converted Samir Nasri's cross either side of Adam Johnson's 25-yard effort. Stoke offered little, with Marc Wilson going closest but his effort went wide. Manchester City remain two points and will be Christmas leaders for the first time since 1929.

Manchester United shrugged off injuries to Phil Jones and Ashley Young to thrash a lifeless Fulham side. Danny Welbeck's close-range finish was added to by a header from Nani and a deflected Ryan Giggs effort in a first half United completely dominated. Wayne Rooney smashed in from 30 yards, before Dimitar Berbatov's audacious backheeled finish late on.The win sees United stay in second place in the Premier League, two points behind leaders Manchester City.

Yossi Benayoun came off the bench to head a late winner as below-par Arsenal beat Aston Villa. Villa had chances to open the scoring, before Robin van Persie scored his 34th goal of 2011 from the penalty spot after a foul on Theo Walcott. Marc Albrighton capitalised on a defensive error to slot in the 20,000th goal in Premier League history. However, Benayoun won it from Van Persie's corner, while Villa's Alan Hutton was sent off for two yellow cards. That compounded a bitterly disappointing finish for Villa, who have now won only two of their last 10 matches - losing four of the past six.

Paul Scharner's late strike handed West Brom victory as Newcastle failed to win for the sixth successive league match. Peter Odemwingie gave West Brom the lead when he fired in from 16 yards. Demba Ba equalised with a superb 20-yard free-kick before the Baggies again went ahead when Gareth McAuley nodded in from close range. Ba made it 2-2 with a firm shot, but Scharner's volley ensured that West Brom won at Newcastle in the league for the first time since 1977.

Wolves twice came from behind to salvage a draw against Norwich and edge two points clear of the relegation zone. Attack-minded Norwich led when Andrew Surman headed in Wes Hoolahan's cross. Wolves levelled when Stephen Hunt's shot was charged down, allowing Sylvan Ebanks-Blake to steer in from 10 yards. Steve Morison crossed for substitute Simeon Jackson to tap in Norwich's second, but Ronald Zubar headed an equaliser from Nenad Milijas's corner. The result leaves Norwich sitting healthily in 9th position, while Wolves remain just two points clear of the bottom three.

Leon Osman's second goal in as many games gave Everton victory over Swansea City and only their third home win of the season. Osman guided Roysten Drenthe's right-wing corner past Vorm to seal their first victory in four games. Danny Graham's close-range header was Swansea's only chance in a poor game, but Everton boss David Moyes will not mind how his side secured victory as the Toffees beat a newly promoted side and kept a home clean sheet for the first time this season.

Sunderland threw away a two-goal lead, before Wes Brown's dramatic late strike gave them victory over QPR.The Black Cats went ahead through Nicklas Bendtner's header and doubled it shortly after half-time through Stephane Sessegnon's breakaway goal. Rangers responded through Heidar Helguson's close-range finish and Jamie Mackie's header within the space of four minutes, but Brown's header snatched the win with two minutes remaining.

Ali Al-Habsi saved a Charlie Adam penalty and made a string of other fine saves to help Wigan hold Liverpool to a point at the DW Stadium. Luis Suarez won the second-half penalty when his overhead kick was handled by Gary Caldwell. Dirk Kuyt also went close but he fired over from just six yards out. Wigan played their part in a pulsating encounter and Hugo Rodallega could have snatched all three points with a header in the closing stages.

Blackburn Rovers manager Steve Kean felt the full fury of Ewood Park again as Bolton Wanderers came out on top in the battle of the Premier League bottom two..Bolton moved off the bottom and left Blackburn propping up the table with only their fourth win of the season on a night of naked hostility and passion. Mark Davies and Nigel Reo-Coker gave Bolton a two-goal lead at the interval and, despite Yakubu throwing Blackburn and Kean a lifeline after the break, the hosts slumped to a third successive defeat to prompt more protests and calls for his dismissal from the Rovers fans.

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