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Monday, Nov. 7, 2011

News photo
Eyes on the prize: QPR's Alejandro Faurlin (center) vies for the ball with Manchester City's Yaya Toure on Saturday at Loftus Road. A Toure goal with 16 minutes left lifted City to a 3-2 win. AP PHOTO

Toure goal keeps City five points clear of United


LONDON — Yaya Toure scored with 16 minutes left Saturday to give Manchester City a 3-2 win at Queens Park Rangers that kept his team five points clear at the top of the English Premier League.

Manchester United looked set to close the gap on its city rival after goals by Edin Dzeko and David Silva had been canceled out by Jay Bothroyd and Heidar Helguson, but Toure headed in Alexsandr Kolarov's leftwing cross to secure a 10th win from 11 league games for City.

United beat Sunderland 1-0 to mark Alex Ferguson's 25th anniversary as manager, while Chelsea kept in touch with the leading sides with a 1-0 win at Blackburn.

Former United defender Wes Brown headed a first-half own-goal, but Ferguson's 1,409th game was more notable for his club's announcement that it had renamed Old Trafford's north stand after him than for anything the players managed on the field.

Frank Lampard's 50th-minute header and a first clean sheet since the opening day of the season kept Chelsea within four points of second-place United. Newcastle remained unbeaten in third place after a 2-1 win over Everton, while Arsenal's resurgence continued with a 3-0 win over West Bromwich Albion.

QPR, which beat Chelsea 1-0 in its last home match, surprised City by taking the lead at Loftus Road. Bothroyd followed last weekend's goal at Tottenham with another header, knocking in Joey Barton's 28th-minute free kick for his first home goal of the season.

But the lead lasted only 15 minutes as Dzeko collected a pass by James Milner and evaded Anton Ferdinand before shooting low into the bottom corner for his 10th league goal of the season, just one fewer than Arsenal striker Robin van Persie's leading tally.

Silva put City ahead for the first time seven minutes into the second half, taking a pass from Dzeko and deceiving the QPR defense by shaping to shoot, taking a touch and then firing in a low shot past goalkeeper Paddy Kenny.

Helguson equalized from close range, inadvertently touching in Bothroyd's goal-bound header, but Toure clinched a win that took unbeaten City to 31 points.

An unremarkable game at Old Trafford was settled in the final minute of the first half when Brown headed into his own net on his first return to his former club since leaving in July.

"It was a long day," Ferguson said. "I was worried we wouldn't play well. I thought we were anxious. Sometimes these emotional occasions — which for me it was — get through to them."

United announced its tribute to Ferguson moments ahead of its longest serving manager's 1,409th game with the northwest England club.

Ferguson saw the new sign on the stand for the first time after walking onto the pitch through a guard of honor formed by the two teams.

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