Soccer: Arsenal, City scrape narrow wins

Manchester City and Arsenal bounced back from damaging Champions League defeats to return to winning ways in the English Premier League yesterday.

City put their 3-1 loss at Ajax behind them with a 1-0 success at home to Swansea City in the Premier League's longest-ever game, while Arsenal celebrated Jack Wilshere's return from a 17-month lay-off by edging bottom club Queens Park Rangers by the same scoreline.

Defending champions City moved up to second place within a point of leaders Chelsea, who host third-place Manchester United overnight, while Arsenal climbed to fourth.

"It was important to get three points today after defeat in midweek. We did not play well in the first half because we were so tired and we were better in the second half," said City coach Roberto Mancini.

City struck after 61 minutes when Carlos Tevez ended a personal run of eight games without a goal.

Swansea goalkeeper Michel Vorm had to be stretchered off after appearing to hurt his groin as he tried to reach Tevez's shot, while City defender Micah Richards also had to leave the fray with a leg injury.

More than 12 minutes of injury time was played - breaking the Premier League record.

At the Emirates Stadium, Arsenal were made to wait until the 84th minute before Mikel Arteta's goal took them past QPR and enabled them to snap a two-game losing streak.

"A draw would have been a big disappointment, but if we had lost today it would have been a crisis," said Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger.

Fulham climbed to sixth after sharing six goals with Reading in a 3-3 draw at the Madejski Stadium.

A superb volley by Ivan Ramis set Wigan Athletic on their way to a 2-1 win at home to West Ham United, while Stoke City and Sunderland drew 0-0 at the Britannia Stadium.

Norwich frustrated former coach Paul Lambert by holding Aston Villa to a 1-1 draw at Villa Park.


Top results

Manchester City 1 Swansea 0

Reading 3 Fulham 3

Arsenal 1 QPR 0

Wigan Athletic 2 West Ham 1

Stoke City 0 Sunderland 0

Aston Villa 1 Norwich City 1


- AFP

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