LONDON: Gareth Barry came to the rescue with a late winner as champions Manchester City sneaked a single-goal home victory over bottom club Reading.
Roberto Mancini’s men trailed neighbours and league leaders Manchester United by six points heading into the game but halved that – temporarily at least – as Barry headed home in stoppage time from David Silva’s cross.
Reading manager Brian McDermott complained that the goal should have been disallowed because he thought Barry had fouled Nicky Shorey in contesting the cross.
The day’s early game saw Mikel Arteta’s penalty edge Arsenal to a 1-0 win over Wigan 1-0 and a third successive league victory for the first time since March.
The three points lifted Arsenal up to third ahead of Chelsea, who play on Sunday, while Wigan remain in the bottom three and have taken only one point from their last five games.
Everton moved back into the top four as they came from behind to beat West Ham 2-1 at Upton Park.
Carlton Cole fired the Hammers into the lead, just moments after the Toffees had seen a Leon Osman effort ruled out after Victor Anichebe was adjudged to have fouled Jussi Jaaskelainen.
Anichebe levelled after the break before Cole was sent off for a high challenge on Leighton Baines. Everton capitalised as Steven Pienaar grabbed the winner and the visitors held out after Darron Gibson was dismissed late on.
Tottenham thus slipped to fifth as they failed to beat Stoke in a 0-0 draw at White Hart Lane.
Liverpool winger Stewart Downing scored his first Premier League goal for Liverpool in a 4-0 victory over Fulham. The England international also registered his first league assist in setting up Steven Gerrard – after Martin Skrtel’s opener – and capped his performance with a goal of his own before Luis Suarez added an injury-time fourth.
Norwich saw their 10-game unbeaten run come to an end as they were beaten 2-1 by West Bromwich while Sunderland also claimed an important 1-0 win at Southampton.
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