EPL: Manchester City hang on to pole position
Yaya Toure's late penalty in 2-1 win over Norwich keeps Manchester giants on top of league; Arsenal stay second with 3-0 win over Swansea
Manchester: Yaya Toure's late penalty kept Manchester City on top of the Premier League as they secured a dramatic 2-1 victory over Norwich on Saturday.
Nicolas Otamendi celebrates after scoring Manchester City's first goal against Norwich City at Etihad Stadium on Saturday. Pic/Getty Images
Nicolas Otamendi looked to have put Manuel Pellegrini's side on course for victory when he powered in a header from Kevin De Bruyne's corner midway through the second half.
City goalkeeper Joe Hart stumbled backwards as he tried to gather a Robbie Brady cross, allowing Cameron Jerome to tap in an equaliser with seven minutes left. But Pellegrini's side grabbed the win in the closing minutes as Russell Martin handled Raheem Sterling's goalbound shot and was sent off, before Toure drove in the resulting penalty.
Gunners on track
Aleksandar Kolarov missed a second penalty in stoppage-time, but City did enough to stay ahead of Arsenal on goal difference. Arsenal made light of their injury problems with a comprehensive 3-0 win at Swansea.
Olivier Giroud put Arsenal on their way to a fifth successive Premier League victory four minutes after the restart with the 2,000th goal of Arsene Wenger's 19-year reign in north London. If that goal was sheer simplicity, the unmarked Giroud heading home Mesut Ozil's corner, the second was shrouded in controversy as Laurent Koscielny bundled home after 68 minutes.
The former Arsenal goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski failed to collect under pressure from Koscielny and Giroud, the sort of challenge which usually results in a free-kick. But referee Kevin Friend felt no offence had been committed and Koscielny finished amid protests. Joel Campbell wrapped up victory five minutes later.
Manchester United held
Meanwhile, Manchester United lost ground in the race for the English Premier League title with a 0-0 draw at Crystal Palace that could easily have ended in defeat. Against their improving opponents, United again struggled to convince with a predictable, sluggish display that leaves them at risk of falling outside of the division's top four.