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Man City Close Gap, Arsenal Survive Newcastle

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Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud (middle) vies for the ball with Newcastle United’s Mike Williamson (right) and Jack Colback during the Premiership match at St James Park…yesterday. The Gunners won 2-1. PHOTO: AFP

Wilfried Bony’s first goal for Manchester City helped his side on their way to a much-needed victory after Gareth McAuley was controversially sent off for West Brom.

Olivier Giroud scored two goals in four minutes as Arsenal beat Newcastle 2-1 to continue their pursuit of second-placed Manchester City, just as Harry Kane’s first Premier League hat-trick got Tottenham’s challenge for a top-four spot back on track with a hard-fought win over Leicester.
Man City’s Fernando and David Silva added further goals as they cut Chelsea’s lead at the top of the table to three points, at least until Jose Mourinho’s side play their two games in hand.

But the game turned on McAuley’s dismissal after just 89 seconds – the fastest in the Premier League this season – when it was unclear whether referee Neil Swarbrick had shown the red card to the wrong man.
After City beat West Brom, the Gunners remained a point behind their rivals with a sixth successive win, hanging on as Newcastle improved after half-time.

Giroud poked in from Santi Cazorla’s free-kick before heading in a corner.
Moussa Sissoko’s crisp finish sparked a response but Arsenal held on after David Ospina saved Remy Cabella’s shot.
Any Newcastle hopes that the Gunners would suffer the after-effects of Tuesday’s Champions League exit were extinguished in a first half in which the visitors could easily have been four goals ahead.

Despite being without Mesut Ozil, they did not miss the German playmaker as Giroud again linked up well with Alexis Sanchez and Danny Welbeck to score his ninth goal in as many games.

Harry Kane’s first Premier League hat-trick got Tottenham’s challenge for a top-four spot back on track with a hard-fought win over Leicester.
Kane slotted home and scored with a deflected shot as Spurs went 2-0 up.

Leicester fought back and Jamie Vardy steered in a David Nugent cross before Wes Morgan headed in an equaliser.
Kane converted a penalty and Foxes defender Jeff Schlupp scored an own goal as Spurs, despite Nugent’s late second strike, held on for victory.
Southampton boosted their hopes of securing a Champions League place with victory over struggling Burnley.

Home goalkeeper Fraser Forster – called up to the England squad this week – was taken off on a stretcher early on with injuries to his knee and shoulder.



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