Wins for City, Arsenal, thriller at Reading
Carlos Tevez provided a rare spark and the only goal of an otherwise lacklustre Barclays Premier League clash between Manchester City and Swansea to send the champions second in the table.
The Argentinian striker struck a fine 20-yard winner in the 61st minute of a match which lasted beyond the 100-minute mark due to worrying injuries sustained in the second half by Swansea goalkeeper Michel Vorm and City defender Micah Richards.
Swansea had 12 minutes of stoppage-time at the end of the early-evening fixture to find an equaliser but it was beyond them, with Mario Balotelli going close to adding a second City goal when he lashed a late shot just too high. The win took City three points ahead of Manchester United, who tackle leaders Chelsea at Stamford Bridge tomorrow.
Earlier, Jack Wilshere was a surprise starter for Arsenal who broke the resistance of stubborn ten-man QPR with six minutes remaining to claim a 1-0 win at the Emirates Stadium. Young England midfielder Wilshere was told only this morning by manager Arsene Wenger that he would be starting the game, his first for over a year after a troubling time with injuries.
Wilshere impressed but had departed the scene, replaced by Theo Walcott, by the time Mikel Arteta poked the ball home following a desperate goalmouth scramble. Bottom side QPR had shot themselves in the foot when Stephane Mbia was sent off in the 80th minute for inexplicably kicking out at Thomas Vermaelen.
Thriller at Reading
Winless Reading threw away a 1-0 lead and then came from behind twice in the final six minutes to snatch a 3-3 draw at home to Fulham. Mikele Leigertwood rifled into the top corner from just outside the area in the 26th minute to give the Royals the lead, but Bryan Ruiz levelled with an equally well-struck shot just after the half hour mark and Chris Baird's 77th-minute header completed the turnaround.
Garath McCleary made it 2-2 in the 85th minute, only for Dimitar Berbatov to appear to win it for the Cottagers three minutes later. There was more drama to come as substitute Hal Robson-Kanu struck the equaliser in the final minute.
Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert failed to get one over on his old side as Norwich were more than worth a 1-1 draw at Villa Park. Lambert, who left the Canaries in the summer, saw his new side go ahead in the 27th minute when Christian Benteke took advantage of poor defending to finish well.
But the hosts were reduced to ten men in the 52nd minute when Joe Bennett received a second booking. Norwich got an equaliser their domination deserved thanks to Michael Turner's 79th-minute glancing header and they would have gone on to win had they not wasted a clutch of chances.
Wigan picked up their first win in seven league matches with a 2-1 success at home to West Ham. Ivan Ramis volleyed powerfully home in the eighth minute and James McArthur's well-controlled finish two minutes after the break doubled the lead. James Tomkins headed a stoppage-time consolation, but the Latics were already home and dry.
The match between Stoke and Sunderland finished goalless.