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Thursday, Feb. 11, 2010

City beats Bolton to get top-four bid back on track

LONDON (AP) Manchester City beat Bolton 2-0 and moved up to fifth place in the English Premier League on Tuesday.

Carlos Tevez put City ahead in the 31st minute with a penalty won by winger Adam Johnson and Emmanuel Adebayor smashed in a powerful 71st-minute shot from a pass by Patrick Vieira.

Victory took City to 44 points, the same as fourth-place Liverpool. The Reds, who moved into the Champions League qualifying places only at the weekend, were at third-place Arsenal in one of Wednesday's six matches.

Leader Chelsea was at Everton on Wednesday, while defending champion Manchester United was at Aston Villa.

Johnson, making his home debut after joining from Middlesbrough last week, earned his new team the chance to take the lead by twisting into the right-hand side of the area and drawing a careless challenge from defender Paul Robinson.

Goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen stood to one side of the goal to tempt Tevez into shooting down the middle. Tevez did so and Jaaskelainen managed to get to the shot but it deflected off his knee and into the goal.

Adebayor got his ninth after beating offside, controlling Vieira's long pass and hitting the ball past Jaaskelainen almost in one movement.

Johnson was substituted late on to a standing ovation and City continued to look the strongest challenger to the established top-four sides.

In Tuesday's other games, Fulham beat Bolton 3-0 to continue its recovery from a poor run of form, Sunderland drew 1-1 at troubled Portsmouth, and Stoke drew 1-1 at Wigan.

After more than a month without a win, Fulham has two wins and a draw from three games and was in ninth place. Danny Murphy, David Elm and Bobby Zamora scored at Craven Cottage against relegation-threatened Bolton.

Darren Bent got his 16th goal of the season for Sunderland but last-place Portsmouth salvaged just its 16th point of the season when Aruna Dindane headed in at the back post with almost the last touch of the match.

Tuncay Sanli scored 16 minutes from the end to rescue a point for Stoke, which had trailed to Paul Scharner's early opener.

Newcastle lost 3-0 at Derby to lose the lead of the second-tier League Championship to West Bromwich Albion on goal difference.

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