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Monday, Sep. 3, 2012

Tevez leads Man City as champs beat QPR


LONDON — A rejuvenated Carlos Tevez inspired Manchester City to a 3-1 victory over Queens Park Rangers on Saturday, moving the defending champions to within two points of early pacesetter Chelsea in the Premier League.

News photo
Eat my dust: Manchester City's Carlos Tevez avoids a tackle by QPR's Nedum Onuoha on Saturday at the Etihad Stadium. City won 3-1. AP

Tevez spent the bulk of last season on strike but has settled his differences with the club and is now back to his best form, scoring for the fourth straight game this campaign and his 50th in the league for City.

The Argentina forward also set up the other two goals, by Yaya Toure and Edin Dzeko, as the team joined surprise packages West Bromwich Albion and Swansea on seven points from three games.

The misery continues, however, for Tottenham and its manager Andre Villas-Boas, who is still searching for the first league win at his new club after a disappointing 1-1 home draw against Norwich on Saturday.

The Portuguese coach was hoping to repair his reputation at White Hart Lane after being fired by Chelsea after just eight months last season, but Robert Snodgrass' 85th-minute equalizer leaves Spurs with just two points from three matches.

After Tottenham was booed off at the final whistle, Villas-Boas said: "I understand why the fans are frustrated . . . we will repay their faith. It is only our third game, so it may take some patience."

Swansea missed the chance to climb to the summit above Chelsea by drawing 2-2 with Sunderland, needing Michu's fourth goal of the season to salvage a point.

West Brom beat Everton 2-0 to go third on goal difference behind Swansea and ahead of City, while West Ham eased past Fulham 3-0 following an encouraging debut from Andy Carroll after his loan move from Liverpool.

Wigan drew 2-2 with Stoke in the other game.

City was in cruise control in the first half, keeping possession well and deservedly going in front when Tevez's volley was deflected into the path of Toure, who fired home left-footed.

However, tiredness appeared to creep into its display in the second half, allowing Bobby Zamora to equalize in the 59th minute for QPR — the team which City beat in dramatic circumstances on the final day of last season to win the title.

Tevez crossed for Dzeko to equalize less than two minutes later, before the Argentine glanced in the third in injury time.

"What we need to take out of this game was how much character and strength we showed," City captain Vincent Kompany said.

After a 2-1 loss at Newcastle and a home draw with West Brom, Villas-Boas will have been hoping for much more against Norwich, which had conceded five goals in its only other away game this season — at Fulham.

However, Moussa Dembele's 68th-minute goal — a fine effort from the edge of the area on his debut after a £15 million ($23.8 million) move from Fulham — came slightly against the run of play. And Norwich deserved the point earned by Snodgrass' low finish into the corner.

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