The Telegraph
Sunday , December 12 , 2010
Since 1st March, 1999
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City hammer West Ham
- Newcastle United beat Liverpool at St James’ Park

London: Manchester City won 3-1 at West Ham on Saturday to strengthen their hold on a place in the top four and keep the Hammers bottom of the Premier League. Yaya Toure put City ahead in the 30th minute before an own-goal by goalkeeper Robert Green and an 80th-minute effort by Adam Johnson. West Ham scored with a minute left.

Aston Villa beat West Bromwich Albion 2-1 and Blackpool won 1-0 at Stoke. But two weeks after a record-equaling 41 goals over a Premier League weekend, there were just eight in Saturday’s first five games. Everton drew 0-0 with Wigan and Fulham drew 0-0 with Sunderland. Tottenham host Chelsea on Sunday, when Wolverhampton Wanderers host Birmingham and Blackburn are at Bolton.

In a late match, Newcastle United defeated Liverpool 3-1, at St James’ Park. After Kevin Nolan put the Magpies ahead in the 15 th minute, Dirk Kuyt equalised for the Reds five minutes after half time. Joey Barton made it 2-1 in the 80 th minute and Andy Caroll got his 10th goal of the EPL in the injury time.

City’s win took it level on 32 points with Arsenal, although the leaders are at Manchester United in Monday’s only game. United are a point back in third but have played two fewer games than City, who are at least guaranteed to finish the round in the Champions League qualifying places.

Toure had already hit a weak shot straight at Green when he put City ahead, beating Hammers midfielder Jonathan Spector to Gareth Barry’s inside pass and smashing a first-time shot high into the net from 15 metres.

West Ham were jeered from the field at halftime but improved enough to force City manager Roberto Mancini to substitute striker Mario Balotelli, who walked straight down the tunnel rather than take his place on the bench.

Toure’s 73rd-minute shot bounced off a post and into the net following a deflection off Green, then Johnson, Balotelli’s replacement, wrapped up the win by latching onto Silva’s throughball, rounding Green and slotting into an empty net.

James Tomkins got a goal back for the Hammers, who are level on 12 points with second-to-bottom Wolverhampton Wanderers but trail on goal difference.Villa moved four points clear of the relegation zone after Stewart Downing, rounding off a sweeping counterattack, and Emile Heskey scored at Villa Park.

Paul Scharner got an 89th-minute consolation for West Brom, which has not beaten its local rival for 25 years. (Agencies)

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