Man City drops two more points in pursuit of United
Published : 2013-02-04 18:34
Updated : 2013-02-04 18:34
LONDON (AP) ― Liverpool did Manchester United a big favor in the Premier League on Sunday, holding Manchester City to a 2-2 draw to leave the defending champions nine points behind their neighbors in the title race.
Sergio Aguero’s 79th-minute goal gave City one point that will be of little comfort to manager Roberto Mancini, whose team has dropped four points in six days and is struggling to keep pace with United.
“Seven or nine points doesn’t change (anything),” Mancini said. “I think we can recover it.”
Tottenham beat West Bromwich Albion 1-0 in the other game thanks to another superb goal from star winger Gareth Bale, and is now just a point behind third-place Chelsea.
Lionel Messi extended his record streak by scoring in his 12th consecutive Spanish league game to give leader Barcelona a 1-1 draw at Valencia on Sunday, while Atletico Madrid remained perfect at home through 20 games in all competitions.
Midfielder Ever Banega struck first for Valencia in the 33rd, only for Messi to level for the visitors from the penalty spot six minutes later.
Former Valencia star David Villa had Barcelona’s best chance late but failed to finish on the break before goalkeeper Victor Valdes made an excellent save to deny Roberto Soldado two minutes from time and ensure a point for each side.
“We never take the league title for granted, there is still a long way to go,” said defender Jordi Alba in his first trip back to Valencia since joining Barcelona last offseason. “Today we played against a great team.”
Mario Balotelli marked his return to Serie A by scoring both goals ― including the winner in added time ― in AC Milan’s 2-1 win over Udinese on Sunday.
Balotelli gave Milan the lead in the 25th minute at the San Siro by redirecting a cross from Stephen El Shaarawy at the edge of the box with one touch. Then after Giampiero Pinzi had brought Udinese level in the 55th, Balotelli put Milan back in front with a penalty four minutes into injury time.