Toure double takes Man City to brink of title
LONDON, May 6 — Manchester City took a huge step towards becoming champions for the first time since 1968 when they won 2-0 at Newcastle United today to move three points clear of Manchester United at the top of the Premier League table, with United in action later.
Yaya Toure scored both of City’s goals after 70 and 89 minutes to move them on to 86 points with just next week’s game at home to Queens Park Rangers to come.
United have 83 points and have two games to play — their match at Old Trafford against Swansea City later and next week’s match at Sunderland — but City also have a better goal difference than United.
Tottenham Hotspur missed the chance to leapfrog Arsenal and move into third place when they were held to a 1-1 draw at Aston Villa, where they had Danny Rose sent off in the second half.
Today’s results meant that Arsenal stayed third on 67 followed by Spurs on 66, Newcastle 65 and Chelsea on 61, with Chelsea playing their match in hand at Liverpool in a re-run of yesterday’s FA Cup final, on Tuesday.
At the other end of the table, QPR improved their chances of avoiding an immediate return to the Championship (second division) when they beat Stoke City 1-0 with a late goal from Djibril Cisse but Bolton Wanderers remain deep in trouble in 18th place after being held to a 2-2 draw at home by West Bromwich Albion.
The draw with Spurs lifted Villa to 38 points and they are now safe, one point ahead of QPR and Wigan and three clear of Bolton. Blackburn, who are one off the bottom, play Wigan tomorrow.
Manchester City last won the title 44 years ago, clinching it with a win at Newcastle, and history appears to be repeating itself after today’s result there.
Toure struck the opener when he curled a low shot past Tim Krul from 20 metres out, and added the second from close range a minute from time.
The defeat left Newcastle, still chasing a top-four finish, in fifth place with one match to play.
The game turned when City manager Roberto Mancini brought on Nigel de Jong for Samir Nasri after an hour and pushed Toure forward and he made all the difference with his two late goals.
Mancini told Sky Sports that the race was not yet over because there was still a game to go.
“We have one more match to go and it will be a difficult game like today,” he said.
“I think we deserved to win the game because we had a lot of chances but because we did not score in the first half it became difficult.” — Reuters