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Thursday, 5 January 2012

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City three points clear as Liverpool downed

Ten-man Manchester City went three points clear at the top of the Premier League on Tuesday after goals from Sergio Aguero, Yaya Toure and James Milner set up a 3-0 victory over Liverpool.

Liverpool - missing striker Luis Suarez after the club confirmed they would not appeal his eight-match ban for racially abusing Patrice Evra - were always struggling after City struck twice in the first half at Eastlands. City, who had suffered a shock 1-0 defeat at Sunderland on Sunday, opened the scoring on 10 minutes when Argentine star Aguero unleashed a speculative dipping effort towards the Liverpool goal.

Liverpool keeper Pepe Reina appeared to have the shot covered but somehow allowed the ball to skid under him to give City a 1-0 lead.

City doubled their tally on 33 minutes, when Toure met a David Silva corner with a powerful glancing header which flew past Reina.

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish attempted to revive his side's fortunes in the second half after introducing Steven Gerrard and Craig Bellamy from the bench, but it was to no avail as City maintained their grip on the contest.

City had Gareth Barry sent off for a second bookable offence on 73 minutes but the setback was only temporary as City made it 3-0 with Milner's well-taken penalty after Martin Skrtel brought down Toure. The victory saw Roberto Mancini's City go three points of clear of second placed Manchester United, who play Newcastle at St James Park on Wednesday.

City captain Vincent Kompany paid tribute to the way his side had bounced back from their Sunderland defeat 48 hours earlier.

"It was massive for us, we didn't deserve to lose against Sunderland but we were incredibly efficient today," Kompany said.

"For us it was very challenging, playing two games in 48 hours, and it was a great three points."

Reds boss Dalglish bemoaned his side's failure to make the most of the few chances that came their way.

"If you want to be a successful team - and they are - then you've got to be clinical. We've got to get that into our make-up and tonight we never had it," Dalglish said. (AFP)

 

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