May 07, 2012
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Toure double puts City on the verge

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 today.

Victory left leaders City in front of reigning Premier League champions Manchester United, who beat Swansea 2-0 later today, on goal difference with just one round of fixtures remaining.

If City, who have a goal difference advantage of plus eight over United, beat Queens Park Rangers at Eastlands a week on Sunday that should be enough to take the title as Sir Alex Ferguson's side would need to thrash Sunderland at the Stadium of Light to have a chance of retaining their crown.

At St James' Park, Ivory Coast midfielder Toure opened the scoring for City in the 70th minute when he struck a curling shot from the edge of the box that beat 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.

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."

City manager Roberto Mancini, whose side were eight points behind United just a few weeks ago, added: "I hope (this is enough) but I think that it is not."

Defeat left Newcastle in fifth place -- just outside the top four spot they need to have a chance of Champions League qualification.

"We knew the first goal was going to change everything," said Newcastle manager Alan Pardew.

Before kick-off at Old Trafford, United manager Ferguson said City had "probably two" hands on the Premier League trophy.

But Paul Scholes -- brought out of retirement earlier this season -- still gave United a 28th minute lead after turning in a shot from fellow midfielder Michael Carrick.

And four minutes before the break United had a second when Ashley Young's low strike beat Swansea goalkeeper Michel Vorm.

Elsewhere, 10-man Tottenham Hotspur came from behind to claim a 1-1 draw at Aston Villa, who edged nearer top-flight survival.

Victory would have seen fourth-placed Tottenham leapfrog north London rivals Arsenal into third spot and a guaranteed place in the first round of next season's Champions League.

But they fell behind in the 35th minute to Villa midfielder Ciaran Clark's deflected shot.

Early in the second half Tottenham's Danny Rose was sent off for a two-footed 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.

"It's all to play for next week there are so many permutations," said Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp, overlooked for the England job in favour of West Bromwich Albion's Roy Hodgson.

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 win at home to Stoke.

"If you want anybody in the box for the ball to drop to it's Djibril Cisse because he's an outstanding finisher," said QPR manager and former United striker Mark Hughes.

Bolton remained in the bottom three after a 2-2 draw with West Brom.

Martin Petrov's penalty and a Billy Jones own-goal left Bolton 2-0 up but late goals from Chris Brunt and James Morrison saw the Baggies draw level.

"We feel we've dropped two points," said Bolton manager Owen Coyle. "We need to go to Stoke and win the game."

Fulham beat mid-table rivals Sunderland 2-1 at Craven Cottage.

United States striker Clint Dempsey gave the Cottagers a 12th minute lead and no sooner had Phillip Bardsley equalised then Fulham's Moussa Dembele scored their second.

Already relegated Wolves were held to a goalless draw at home to Everton.

Second bottom Blackburn play Wigan, not yet out of danger, on Monday, while Tuesday sees a repeat of the FA Cup final when Chelsea, 2-1 winners at Wembley on Saturday, are away to Liverpool.

AFP

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