English Premiership

Man City regain top spot

2012-02-12 20:05
Joleon Lescott (AP)
Birmingham - Manchester City moved back to the top of the Premier League as Joleon Lescott's goal clinched a hard-fought 1-0 win over Aston Villa on Sunday.

Roberto Mancini's side had surrendered pole position to Manchester United after their bitter rivals' 2-1 win against Liverpool on Saturday, but City underlined their determination to wrestle the title from Old Trafford with a gritty victory in freezing temperatures at Villa Park.

Lescott struck midway through the second half to lift City two points clear of United, while Villa are down to 15th place after their fifth defeat in their last seven home matches.

City dominated for long spells and England winger Adam Johnson went closest to breaking the deadlock in the first half when his long range effort hit a post.

Mancini's men had won just one of their last six away games, but they ended that barren sequence thanks to Lescott's predatory effort in the 63rd minute.

Former Villa midfielder Gareth Barry headed David Silva's corner back across goal from the far post towards England defender Lescott, who kept his balance to direct his hooked shot past Villa goalkeeper Shay Given.

Villa almost snatched a late equaliser but Joe Hart made a superb save to deny Darren Bent from close range.

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