English Premiership

Man City march on to victory

2011-11-19 19:18
Mario Balotelli (AFP)

London - Manchester City ended Newcastle's unbeaten start to the season on Saturday with a 3-1 victory to open up an eight-point lead at the top of the Premier League standings.

Goals from Mario Balotelli, Micah Richards and Sergio Aguero secured all three points for Roberto Mancini's side, who have now won 11 of their 12 games this season.

Balotelli opened the scoring from the penalty spot on 41 minutes before Richards struck just before half-time to leave third-placed Newcastle in trouble.

Argentinian striker Aguero made it 3-0 on 72 minutes with another City penalty before Dan Gosling netted a consolation strike for Newcastle on 89 minutes.

Second-placed Manchester United can cut City's lead to five points later Saturday if they win at newly promoted Swansea.

In other matches on Saturday, Robin van Persie scored twice as Arsenal came from behind to defeat Norwich 2-1 at Carrow Road to move up one spot to sixth place.

Van Persie took his goal tally for 2011 to a remarkable 31 in 29 games as Arsenal recorded their fifth consecutive league victory.

Norwich took the lead when Steve Morison pounced on a blunder by Per Mertesacker on 16 minutes before Dutch striker van Persie equalised in the 26th minute, netting the winner on 59 minutes.

"It was a very positive win, and the team is growing from game to game," Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said before praising van Persie's contribution.

"He is exceptional, but we all know within the club that he's an exceptional player," Wenger said. "Sometimes, what was in the way was the fact he was injured. Since he plays, Robin shows just how good he is."

A pulsating game at the Britannia Stadium saw QPR down Stoke 3-2.

Jon Walters put Stoke 1-0 up after eight minutes, latching on to Peter Crouch's through ball before rifling past Paddy Kenny in the QPR goal.

But QPR levelled through Heidar Helguson on 22 minutes before goals from Luke Young and Helguson's second gave the visitors a 3-1 lead.

Stoke pulled a goal back through Ryan Shawcross midway through the second half but Rangers held on.

A stormy match at Goodison Park saw Everton come from behind to down Wolves 2-1. Wolves took the lead in controversial circumstances when Marouane Fellaini was adjudged to have brought down Wolves midfielder David Edwards inside the area to concede a penalty.

Everton protested to no avail before Stephen Hunt stepped up to blast his spot-kick down the middle for 1-0.

The Toffees levelled on 44 minutes, however, when defender Phil Jagielka headed in England team-mate Leighton Baines' cross.

Baines then struck the winner from the penalty spot seven minutes from time.

In the battle of the bottom two, Blackburn's Ayegbeni Yakubu struck a dramatic injury time penalty -- won by Rovers goalkeeper Paul Robinson -- to give his side a 3-3 draw at Wigan.

Spanish substitute Albert Crusat looked to have given Wigan victory when he put the Latics 3-2 up after 88 minutes.

It followed a frenetic start which saw Yakubu strike after 68 seconds before Jordi Gomez equalised for Wigan five minutes later.

Gary Caldwell put Wigan 2-1 ahead but Blackburn fought back to equalise through David Hoilett despite the earlier dismissal of David Dunn.

At the Hawthorns, Irish international Shane Long made a match-winning return from injury as West Brom downed struggling Bolton 2-1.

The Baggies went ahead on 16 minutes when Jerome Thomas sprang Bolton's offside trap to score. But Thomas was the villain five minutes later when he conceded a penalty duly converted by Ivan Klasnic.

Long eventually wrapped up the win for Roy Hodgson's side, striking his fourth goal of the season on 59 minutes.

In Saturday's other game, Sunderland and Fulham battled to a goalless draw at the Stadium of Light.

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