Man City go second, Liverpool back to winning ways

2014-10-04 19:58

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Yaya Toure and Sergio Aguero scored late goals as Manchester City climbed to second place in the Premier League with a hard-earned 2-0 victory at Aston Villa today.

Villa offered dogged resistance, but Toure broke the deadlock with a characteristically languid strike in the 82nd minute and Aguero lashed home a second six minutes later.

Victory takes Manuel Pellegrini's side to within two points of leaders Chelsea, who host Arsenal on Sunday.

Earlier, Adam Lallana opened his Liverpool account in style as Brendan Rodgers’s side claimed a first win in four Premier League games by edging West Bromwich Albion 2-1 today.

Lallana scored his first Liverpool goal since signing from Southampton on the stroke of half-time at Anfield after a darting run and a neat exchange with Jordan Henderson.

Saido Berahino equalised from the penalty spot in the 56th minute, but Raheem Sterling teed up Henderson for what proved to be the decisive goal five minutes later.

“It was very satisfying. We had to show big character today. West Brom were arriving here on the back of a number of good results,” said Liverpool manager Rodgers.

“I thought the resilience of the players was fantastic and we were helped by the crowd, because they realised the team needed a lift. It was a big win for us.”

Henderson’s strike enabled Liverpool to bounce back from their mid-week defeat by Basel in the Champions League and saw them provisionally climb to sixth place in the table.

Rodgers brought Rickie Lambert into his starting XI in place of Mario Balotelli and saw his side make an enterprising start, with West Brom goalkeeper Ben Foster obliged to save from Lallana and Lambert.

Inspired by Berahino, who saw a rasping shot parried by Simon Mignolet before heading over, West Brom came back into the game, only for Lallana to put Liverpool ahead in the 45th minute.

After wriggling away from three defenders, the England midfielder poked the ball to Henderson, whose clever back-heel freed Lallana to arrow a left-foot drive into the bottom-right corner.

Berahino sent Mignolet the wrong way from the penalty spot 11 minutes into the second half after Dejan Lovren was penalised for a foul on the West Brom striker that appeared to take place just outside the area.

But minutes later, Sterling shuffled into the visitors’ box and steered the ball back for Henderson, who swept a low, first-time shot past England colleague Foster.

Meanwhile, Senegalese striker Papiss Cisse prevented Newcastle United from slipping to a third consecutive away defeat by scoring a brace as his side twice hit back to draw 2-2 at Swansea City.

Swansea midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson set up goals for Wilfried Bony and Wayne Routledge early in each half, but Cisse replied on each occasion to buy beleaguered Newcastle manager Alan Pardew some breathing space.

“It showed great spirit and character,” said Pardew, whose side remain without a league win.

“There’s always pressure when you’re behind in a game, but it’s my job to try and lift the players and make sure there’s fight in their belly. The confidence will get better and this will give us belief.”

Recalled striker Steven Fletcher scored his first goals of 2014 as Sunderland belatedly registered their first win of the campaign with a 3-1 victory at home to Stoke City.

Connor Wickham’s fourth-minute header for Sunderland was cancelled out by Charlie Adam’s low strike in the 15th minute, but Fletcher struck either side of half-time to send Gus Poyet’s side up to 11th place.

Substitute Ross Wallace scored a dramatic 96th-minute free-kick to earn Burnley a 2-2 draw at fellow promoted side Leicester City.

Algerian winger Riyad Mahrez teed up Jeffrey Schlupp to put Leicester ahead and then restored the hosts’ lead after Michael Kightly had equalised in the 39th minute, but Wallace curled home an equaliser deep into stoppage time.

Second-half goals by Mohamed Diame and Nikica Jelavic gave Hull City a 2-0 success at home to Crystal Palace.

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