Title rivals United, City win in Premier League
By Steve Douglas ,APLONDON -- Manchester United's seven-point lead over neighbor Manchester City stayed intact after the title-chasing rivals downed two of the Premier League's fallen giants in contrasting ways on Sunday.
January 15, 2013, 12:09 am TWN
While United ended up scraping to a nervy 2-1 win at home to Liverpool, City sauntered to a 2-0 victory at Arsenal after playing against 10 men for most of the match.
Laurent Koscielny's ninth-minute red card for wrestling Edin Dzeko to the ground inside the area proved decisive, with Dzeko missing the resulting penalty but later adding to the superb opener by James Milner. The only negative for City after its first league win at Arsenal in 38 years was the red card awarded to Vincent Kompany for a two-footed tackle, which will deprive the team of its captain for three games.
Robin van Persie set United on the way to victory over its greatest rival at Old Trafford with his league-high 17th goal of the campaign. Nemanja Vidic unwittingly made it 2-0 but United had to resort to some desperate defending to preserve the lead after substitute Daniel Sturridge's goal on his league debut for Liverpool.
“It was a big game, everyone felt that during the week, and this is a great result,” said Van Persie, whose arrival from Arsenal in August is proving to be a big factor in the title battle.
Many pundits were dubbing this weekend a pivotal moment in the title race but the status quo remains with 16 matches still to play. Chelsea, a 4-0 winner at Stoke on Saturday, can keep its slim hopes of catching the Manchester clubs alive by beating Southampton on Wednesday in their game in hand to reduce the gap to United to 11 points.