London: Edin Dzeko scored twice as Manchester City heaped more misery on Manchester United with a 3-0 victory on Tuesday to move to within three points of Premier League leaders Chelsea with two games in hand.
Dzeko needed just 43 seconds to give City the lead in a Manchester derby at United’s Old Trafford ground.
Rafael’s last-ditch tackle blocked David Silva’s run into the box, but Samir Nasri hit the post and Dzeko followed up to side-foot in the rebound.
The Bosnian striker was on target again in the 56th minute, when he dropped marker Rio Ferdinand to volley in Nasri’s corner,
Yaya Toure rubbed salt into United’s wounds with a third goal in the 90th minute as Manuel Pellegrini’s men, now second in the table, completed a derby double following a 4-1 win over United at Eastlands in September.
It was yet another night to forget for United boss David Moyes, in his first season in charge of the fading English champions following the retirement of Alex Ferguson, British football’s most successful manager.
This result left United 12 points off the top four and effectively needing to win this season’s Champions League, where they face holders Bayern Munich in the quarter-finals, in order to qualify for a place among Europe’s elite next term.
“We didn’t start the game well,” Moyes told Sky Sports. “They were very good but we grew into the game and up into the second goal we had a fighting chance.
“I think we have played a very good side, playing at the sort of level we are aspiring to. We need to come up a couple of levels ourselves because at the moment we are not there.”
By contrast, City manager Pellegrini said: “We know we can score lots of goals. We were very compact and worked completely in attacking and defending.
“We are a very balanced team at the moment.”
Arsenal, fresh from the humiliation of being thrashed 6-0 by Chelsea in manager Arsene Wenger’s 1,000th game in charge last weekend, were held to a 2-2 draw by struggling Swansea at the Emirates Stadium.
Wilfried Bony headed in Neil Taylor’s cross to give the Swans an 11th minute lead in north London.
But two goals in as many many minutes midway through the second half turned the match on its head.
Kieran Gibbs, cleared to pay after being incorrectly sent off in place of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain against Chelsea, provided the cross from which Lukas Podolski’s volley drew Arsenal level in the 73rd minute.
And from the kick-off the onrushing Podolski turned provider, his cross turned in by Olivier Giroud to the delight of the Arsenal faithful.
But there was a twist in the tale when, in the final minute of normal time, Leon Britton’s shot ricocheted off Wojciech Szczesny and rebounded off Mathieu Flamini for a comical own-goal equaliser.
“It’s difficult to swallow because the team gave absolutely everything tonight, their spirit was great,” Wenger said.
Tuesday’s other top-flight clash saw Everton continue their push for European football next season with a 3-0 win away to Newcastle as the Toffees leapfrogged Tottenham into fifth spot and closed to within six points of fourth-placed Arsenal with a game in hand.
Ross Barkley put the Merseysiders ahead in the 22nd minute at St James’ Park when he ran unchallenged from inside his own half and into the Newcastle box before beating Fabricio Coloccini and blasting the ball into the top corner.
Everton, Moyes’ former club, were 2-0 up when Romelu Lukaku, found by Gerard Deulofeu, finished from close range in the 52nd minute.
Leon Osman sealed victory for Roberto Martinez’s men three minutes from time after good build-up work by Deulofeu and Lukaku.
Liverpool will move to within a point of Chelsea, having also played 31 games, if they win at home to Sunderland on Wednesday, when West Ham and Hull meet at Upton Park.