Toure strengthens City’s title grip, Villa keep Spurs outside top three
Posted Sunday, May 6 2012 at 19:55
- Mancini’s men scent crown after Ivorian’s double strike as Tottenham held
Manchester City moved to within touching distance of a first English league title in 44 years after Yaya Toure scored twice in a 2-0 win at Newcastle on Sunday.
Victory left leaders City three points ahead of Manchester United and put the pressure on the reigning champions ahead of their home match against Swansea later in the day, with just one round of fixtures left after Sunday’s matches.
It also meant, importantly, City had a goal difference advantage of plus 10 over their cross-town rivals.
Ivory Coast midfielder Toure opened the scoring in the 70th minute when he struck a curling shot from the edge of the box that had too much on it for Newcastle keeper Tim Krul. City, last crowned champions of England in 1968, wasted several chances before Toure finished off a counter-attack a minute from full-time.
Roberto Mancini’s side are at home to Queens Park Rangers a week on Sunday when United travel to Sunderland.
However, Toure warned there was still work to be done. “It’s not finished,” he told Sky Sports. “We have one game left and we have to be careful as QPR are fighting to stay in the Premier League.
“This is brilliant for us, though.”
And Mancini added: “I hope (this is enough) but I think that it is not.
“We have another game — a difficult one like today.” However, Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, asked before kick-off against Swansea if City had “one hand on the title,” replied: “Probably two.”
Defeat left Newcastle in fifth place — just outside the top four spot they need to have a chance of Champions League qualification.
Elsewhere, 10-man Tottenham Hotspur came from behind to claim a 1-1 draw at faltering Aston Villa, who edged nearer top-flight survival.
Victory would have seen fourth-placed Tottenham leapfrog north London rivals Arsenal into third place and a guaranteed place in the first round of next season’s Champions League.
But they fell behind when Villa midfielder Ciaran Clark’s deflected 35th minute shot left Tottenham keeper Brad Friedel stranded.
Early in the second half Tottenham were a man down when Danny Rose was sent off for a two-footed horror challenge on former Spurs defender Alan Hutton.
However, Spurs were level in the 62nd minute when Emannuel Adebayor scored from the penalty spot after Richard Dunne fouled Sandro. At the bottom of the table, QPR moved two points clear of the relegation zone after Djibril Cisse’s 89th minute winner secured a 1-0 victory at home to Stoke.
Bolton, who had looked as if they were climbing out of the bottom three, remained in the drop zone after a 2-2 draw against West Bromwich Albion. (AFP)