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Friday, March 23, 2012

Tevez helps Man City to victory over Chelsea in return


MANCHESTER, England — Carlos Tevez returned from a six-month exile on Wednesday and immediately revived Manchester City's Premier League title hopes by setting up the winning goal for Samir Nasri in a 2-1 comeback win over Chelsea.

News photo
In from the cold: Manchester City's Carlos Tevez moves the ball against Chelsea in Premier League action on Wednesday night at Etihad Stadium. Man City won 2-1. AP

Tevez had not played for City since refusing to warm up during a Champions League match against Bayern Munich last September but he came on as a 66th-minute substitute to a mixture of cheers and boos from the crowd.

The Argentine striker laid on the winner for Nasri with a brilliant reverse pass in the 85th as City kept up the pressure on Manchester United at the top of the Premier League standings.

"When he plays he knows where to put the ball," City manager Roberto Mancini said. "Carlos did an important pass for Samir, all the fans are happy for this."

Despite the instant impact, Mancini warned the supporters that Tevez needed more time to regain full fitness as the Premier League enters its defining stages.

"Carlos is an important player, but he probably needs two or three weeks to be in good form for the future," the City manager said. "It's not easy for him, but it's important that now he's here."

Tevez came on with City losing 1-0 after Chelsea defender Gary Cahill had scored with a deflected effort in the 60th minute.

Sergio Aguero leveled from the spot in the 78th after Michael Essien handled Pablo Zabaleta's shot before Tevez and Nasri combined for a crucial winner.

"He (Tevez) has showed great spirit and today showed he can be really important until the end of the season," Nasri said. "It's good that it was him that gave the assist."

The result gave City a Premier League record 20th straight home win and cut Manchester United's lead to one point with nine matches left to play.

"We are disappointed because we think we did well (enough) to get something out of this game," said Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo as his team suffered a blow in its attempts to reach a Champions League position. "We knew it was going to be a tough game, it's proven very difficult for every team that has come here."

City defender Pablo Zabaleta created the first chance in the fifth minute when he beat Ashley Cole to a bouncing ball in the box and squared for David Silva to screw a shot over the bar.

Fernando Torres, preferred to Didier Drogba up front for Chelsea, looked lively in the opening stages and his strong run at the City defense created a chance that Juan Mata sliced over from just inside the box.

Chelsea's goal came completely against the run of play. Ramires forced a corner on the right wing, City failed to clear the cross and Cahill pounced on the loose ball to hit a shot that bobbled off Yaya Toure to leave City 'keeper Joe Hart stranded.

Tevez was tasked with rescuing the situation after replacing Nigel De Jong and his introduction coincided with an improved tempo from City.

Aguero finally leveled from the penalty spot after Zabaleta's shot ricocheted off Michael Essien's arm in the box.

"I thought it was a harsh decision but probably the right one," acknowledged Di Matteo.

Tevez had a crucial part in the winning goal as his deft pass on the turn allowed Nasri to break into the box and lift a shot over Cech to seal the points for City.

Doc: Muamba was dead


LONDON — Fabrice Muamba's heart stopped beating on its own for 78 minutes and "in effect, he was dead in that time," Bolton's team doctor said Wednesday.

The 23-year-old Bolton midfielder collapsed during an F.A. Cup match against Tottenham on Saturday after suffering from cardiac arrest. He was taken to London Chest Hospital where he's improving and talking to doctors after needing 15 shocks from a defibrillator.

Medics tried unsuccessfully to revive Muamba for 48 minutes on Saturday before he arrived at the hospital, Bolton team doctor Jonathan Tobin said. It took another 30 minutes, after 15 shocks from a defibrillator, before the player's heart started beating again on its own.

"They were working on him without his heart having a muscular beat," Tobin said. "In effect, he was dead in that time . . . throughout the whole resuscitation period you are worrying.

"You know the longer the resuscitation goes on the less chance there is of survival, but this is slightly different. This is a very fit 23-year-old."

On Monday, the former England Under-21 international started breathing independently and speaking. He likely survived because of the emergency care, which kept blood and oxygen supplied to his vital organs. Defibrillators are used to restore normal heart rhythm when there is no beat or an irregular beat.

Dr. Andrew Deaner, a cardiologist and Tottenham fan who was at the game Saturday, left his seat and rushed onto the field to help Muamba.

"If you're going to use the term 'miraculous,' I guess it could be used here," Deaner said. "He has made a remarkable recovery so far."

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