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City go top after beating United

United Kingdom,Sports, Tue, 01 May 2012 IANS

London, May 1 (IANS) Manchester City went top of the English Premier League table with a crucial 1-0 victory over Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium.


City are now tied on points with United but top the table on goal difference.


The Monday result means that if City win their next two league matches against Newcastle and Queens Park Rangers, they would be crowned champions for the first time since 1968.


United manager Alex Ferguson gave start to veterans Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes to add some experience to his team.


With a lot at stake, it wasn't surprising that both the teams started the match nervously, though it was the defending champions who held sway in the first-half.


City captain Vincent Kompany's header on the stroke of half-time loosened United's stranglehold on the game.


In the second-half, Ferguson brought on young English striker Danny Welbeck for South Korean Park Ji-sung.


Buoyed by the first-half goal, City were clearly the more dangerous of the two sides and should have doubled the lead but French playmaker Samir Nasri ended up curling his shot wide of the far post.


United looked clueless upfront as Wayne Rooney had a forgettable day. Even when the Red Devils did build some attacking momentum, their final pass was either off-target or over-hit, giving City custodian Joe Hart was no trouble at all.


Former Barcelona midfielder, Yaya Toure came agonisingly close to grabbing a second for City and De Gea made an excellent save to deny Gael Clichy.


Despite five minutes' stoppage time, the hosts cruised home and recorded a memorable double over their more illustrious neighbours.


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