Manchester City back on track as United stay on top
Manchester City put a turbulent week behind them with a 4-0 victory at Blackburn on Saturday as Premier League leaders Manchester United rode their luck in a 2-0 win over Norwich.Updated: Oct 01, 2011 21:52 IST
Manchester City put a turbulent week behind them with a 4-0 victory at Blackburn on Saturday as Premier League leaders Manchester United rode their luck in a 2-0 win over Norwich.
City, who suspended Carlos Tevez following his refusal to come off the bench in the Champions League defeat at Bayern Munich, bounced back in style with goals from Adam Johnson, Mario Balotelli, Samir Nasri and Stefan Savic.
The win left City level with United on 19 points after seven games, with the two Manchester rivals four points clear of Newcastle in third place.
However the defeat piled the pressure on Rovers boss Steve Kean, with Blackburn fans unfurling a "Kean Out" banner as the Indian-owned club crashed to their fifth defeat of the season.
At Old Trafford, leaders United needed late goals from Anderson and Danny Welbeck to secure all three points against the newly promoted Canaries.
However it was far from convincing display by Sir Alex Ferguson's side, whose defence had been exposed during a 3-3 draw with FC Basel in midweek.
Norwich were left ruing a costly miss by Anthony Pilkington in the second half, the midfielder missing a one-on-one chance with Anders Lindegaard shortly before Anderson's 68th-minute strike lifted United.
Welbeck added the second on 87 minutes to secure the win and maintain United's grip on top spot.
In Saturday's early kick-off, Liverpool downed 10-man Everton 2-0 after another stormy edition of the Merseyside derby at Goodison Park.
Second-half goals from £35 million striker Andy Carroll and Uruguayan international Luis Suarez sealed the points for Kenny Dalglish's men after Everton midfielder Jack Rodwell was controversially sent off.
Dalglish later admitted the sending off of Rodwell for a robust challenge on Suarez in the 23rd minute had swung the game in Liverpool's favour.
"I think until they lost a man it was even," Dalglish told Sky Sports. "I didn't think there was much between the teams. Obviously sometimes the numerical advantage works in your favour, sometimes it doesn't.
Everton manager David Moyes was dismayed at Rodwell's dismissal after replays showed he had won the ball cleanly.
"I'd have been disappointed if the referee had given a free-kick for that," Moyes said. "But at the end of the day it wasn't the referee that lost us the game. It was ourselves because we made a couple of defensive laspes."
In other games Saturday, Aston Villa downed Wigan 2-0 at Villa Park with the strikeforce of Gabriel Agbonlahor and Darren Bent getting the goals.
Agbonlahor broke the deadlock on 36 minutes, rifling in his fourth goal of the season after a superb pass from Scottish international Barry Bannan.
Bent effectively sealed the points for Villa in the second half, volleying in from Agbonlahor's pass on 62 minutes.
Sunderland and West Bromwich Albion battled to a 2-2 draw in a topsy-turvy game at the Stadium of Light.
A disastrous opening spell for Sunderland saw West Brom go 2-0 up after only five minutes, with Shane Long and James Morrison taking advantage of slack defending by the struggling home side.
Yet Sunderland had cancelled out West Brom's whirlwind start by the 26th minute after goals from striker Nicklas Bendtner and striker Ahmed Elmohamady hauled them back into the contest.
Newcastle maintained their strong start to the season with a 2-1 win over Wolves at Molineux which left Alan Pardew's Magpies in third place.
In-form Newcastle striker Demba Ba struck his fourth goal in two matches to put the visitors ahead on 17 minutes, timing his run to perfection to nod home a Yohan Cabaye corner at the near post.
Jonas Gutierrez made it 2-0 for the visitors on 38 minutes, skipping past Wolves tackles to shoot beyond Wayne Hennessey.
Steven Fletcher pulled a goal back for Wolves on 88 minutes as Mick McCarthy's men staged a furious late onslaught but Newcastle held on for the win to preserve their unbeaten start to the season.
Sunday's games see Chelsea travel to Bolton, while Tottenham face Arsenal in the north London derby.
Fulham face QPR in a west London derby while Swansea host in-form Stoke.
First Published: Oct 01, 2011 21:48 IST