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Manchester City’s David Silva celebrates scoring against Fulham during their English Premier League match in Manchester, northern England, yesterday.
LONDON: Manchester City cut Manchester United’s Premier League lead to four points by beating Fulham 2-0 yesterday thanks to a brace of goals from Spanish midfielder David Silva.
United are not in action until they visit Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday and defending champions City took advantage to breathe fresh impetus into their title defence.
Silva broke the deadlock after just 96 seconds at the Etihad Stadium, slamming home from six yards after Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer parried a long-range shot from Edin Dzeko.
Steve Sidwell hit the post for the visitors in the 31st minute and City lost Pablo Zabaleta to injury before Silva added a second with 21 minutes left, gathering a Carlos Tevez flick and beating Schwarzer with a dinked finish.
Meanwhile, Liverpool reacted to last weekend’s 2-1 loss at United in emphatic fashion by thrashing Norwich City 5-0 at Anfield to close to within three points of the European places.
At the bottom of the table, Adam Le Fondre scored twice in six minutes as Reading dragged themselves out of the relegation zone by coming from behind once again to win 2-1 at Newcastle United.
Yohan Cabaye’s picture-perfect free-kick put Newcastle in front 10 minutes prior to the interval but Le Fondre equalised 65 seconds after coming on as a 70th-minute substitute and then curled in a 77th-minute winner.
It was Reading’s second improbable comeback in two games following their dramatic 3-2 success over West Bromwich Albion last weekend and it meant that Newcastle remain two points above the bottom three.
Joe Cole scored the first goal of his second spell at West Ham United.
New signing Loic Remy marked his QPR debut with a coolly-taken 14th-minute goal but Cole gave West Ham a share of the spoils when he converted from close range in the 68th minute.
Sunderland continued their recent revival by coming back from a goal down to win 3-2 at Wigan Athletic, who slipped into the drop zone.
Swansea City warmed up for the second leg of their League Cup semi-final with Chelsea by beating Stoke City 3-1 at the Liberty Stadium.
In the late match, Peter Odemwingie’s late strike saw West Bromwich Albion fight back from two goals down to draw 2-2 at home to Aston Villa in an entertaining Midlands derby.