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Monday, May 3, 2010

Spurs, City both keep pace in race for fourth

LONDON (AP) Tottenham edged Bolton 1-0 and Manchester City beat Aston Villa 3-1 on Saturday to stay neck and neck in the race for a Champions League spot, while Villa slipped out of contention and has to settle for a Europa League berth.

News photo
Fantastic four: Manchester City 'keeper Marton Fulop handles the ball during a 3-1 victory over Aston Villa on Sunday in Manchester, England. AP PHOTO

Tom Huddlestone fired Tottenham's winner, while City came from behind with goals from Carlos Tevez, Emmanuel Adebayor and Craig Bellamy to beat Villa at Eastlands.

The results mean fourth-place Spurs have 67 points and City has 66 with two rounds left. The two face each other on Wednesday.

Villa slipped to sixth with 64. Liverpool still has an outside chance of finishing fourth but has to play leader Chelsea on Sunday.

Huddlestone's 38th-minute goal at White Hart Lane was a quality strike from 22 meters. Spurs dominated the game and should have won by a bigger margin as they chase their highest place since finishing third in 1990.

"We had good opportunities in the second half to get a second goal but we didn't manage to take one," said Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp. "But it's 1-0, three points, that's the most important thing. (Bolton) were always in it and we were missing chances."

Signed on a loan deal after a shoulder injury to Shay Given, Manchester City goalkeeper Marton Fulop was beaten by John Carew in the 16th minute in his first appearance for the club.

Tevez equalized with a 41st-minute penalty after Stephen Warnock had tripped Adam Johnson inside the area. Carew then hit the City bar, but Adebayor turned home Johnson's cross in the 43rd and Bellamy added the third goal in the 89th after a break down the left by Shaun Wright-Phillips.

"I'm really disappointed for the players," said Villa manager Martin O'Neill, who also took his team to the League Cup final and the F.A. Cup semifinal. "The league is very tough. We finished sixth in the last two years. Man City and Tottenham have become very strong. All the teams are getting strong."

The leading two teams are in action on Sunday when Chelsea goes to Liverpool and Manchester United, one point behind, visits Sunderland. Third-place Arsenal visits Blackburn on Monday.

In Saturday's other games, Birmingham beat relegated Burnley 2-1, last-place Portsmouth won 3-1 over Wolves and Stoke and Everton drew 0-0.

Fulham hosts West Ham on Sunday. On Monday, Hull goes to Wigan with little chance of overtaking the Hammers to be safe in 17th place.

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