Carlos Tevez scored twice as Manchester City survived a late fightback to beat Wolverhampton Wanderers 4-3 and move to the top of the English Premier League on Saturday.
Argentine international Tevez struck his 14th and 15th goals of the season, while Ivorian brothers Kolo and Yaya Toure both netted as City took a slender one-point lead over Manchester United.
Serbian midfielder Nenad Milijas had fired Wolves into a shock lead on 12 minutes, rifling home a rebound after a Matthew Jarvis cross.
City’s blushes were spared five minutes before halftime when Kolo Toure controlled on the edge of the six-yard box and prodded a deflected shot past Wolves goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey.
Four minutes after the restart City were in front, captain Tevez weaving his way through the Wolves defense, before finishing calmly.
Yaya Toure made it 3-1 five minutes later, lifting his shot over Hennessey to join his brother on the scoresheet after good work by new signing Edin Dzeko, making his debut for City.
Tevez made it four on 66 minutes, stooping to steer home as City looked to be cruising to victory, but Kevin Doyle slotted a late penalty for Wolves to make it 4-2 and an 86th-minute goal from French defender Ronald Zubar set up a nerve-jangling finale.
City manager Roberto Mancini was happy with the way his side performed after a poor start to the game.
“I think we were bad in the first 20 minutes,” Mancini said. “We didn’t play, but after that we played well. We scored four goals and had two or three good chances.”
Chelsea maintained their title hopes with a labored 2-0 win over Blackburn Rovers thanks to second-half goals from Branislav Ivanovic and Nicolas Anelka.
Ivanovic opened the scoring on 57 minutes, firing a low shot through a forest of legs to the relief of under-pressure manager Carlo Ancelotti, before a flicked effort from Anelka on 76 minutes made the game safe.
The result put Chelsea back into the top four and Ancelotti voiced hope that the result means Chelsea have finally turned the corner.
“I think that the difficult moment is gone,” Ancelotti told Sky Sports. “We are coming back to get good results. It’s not easy to come back and close the gap for the first position, but we have to try.”
In the late kickoff, third-placed Arsenal piled the pressure on West Ham United manager Avram Grant after cruising to a comfortable 3-0 victory at Upton Park courtesy of two goals from Robin van Persie and one from Theo Walcott.
Grant — reported to be facing dismissal earlier on Saturday — was taunted mercilessly by Arsenal’s traveling supporters, who bombarded the beleaguered Israeli with the chant: “You’re getting sacked in an hour.”
A miserable evening for the Hammers was completed when new signing Wayne Bridge hacked down Walcott to concede the penalty for Arsenal’s third, a development that sent the home fans streaming toward the exits.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was pleased his side had bounced back from two disappointing results in the FA Cup and League Cup to extend their unbeaten run in the Premier League to five matches.
“We are in a good run in the Premiership and it’s important to continue,” said Wenger, who was delighted with the form of van Persie. “Today is the sharpest I’ve seen him. He gets stronger and stronger with every game.”
At the Hawthorns, two goals from Peter Odemwingie — including an 87th-minute winner — handed West Bromwich Albion a 3-2 victory over Blackpool as the Baggies ended their six-match losing streak.
Blackpool looked to have grabbed a share of the points when Gary Taylor-Fletcher equalized on 80 minutes, before Odemwingie’s late effort denied Ian Holloway’s men a draw.
Stoke City, meanwhile, moved up to eighth place with a 2-0 win over Bolton Wanderers.
Stoke defender Danny Higginbotham opened the scoring, bundling home from close range on 37 minutes. A Matthew Etherington penalty doubled the Potters’ lead on 64 minutes and secured the points.
At the DW Stadium, substitute Andrew Johnson scored an 86th-minute equalizer just 10 minutes after coming on as Fulham secured a 1-1 draw against Wigan Athletic, who had taken the lead through striker Hugo Rodallega.
‘GREAT EVENING‘: In the women’s singles in Rome, Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova advanced, while Rafael Nadal swept into the quarters in the men’s singles Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Friday had to dig deep to advance to the semi-finals of the women’s doubles at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. The top seeds, who did not drop a game in their opening match on the clay courts at the Foro Italico, battled to a 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 victory over sixth seeds Veronika Kudermetova and Katerina Siniakova in 1 hour, 39 minutes. The reigning Wimbledon champions saved nine of 11 break points and converted three of eight, winning 56 percent of points on their second serve and sending down two aces
’SO CONSISTENT’: The victory gave the world No. 1 and world No. 2 a 21-1 win-loss record and their fourth title of the season after successes in Brisbane, Dubai and Doha Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Sunday cruised to their fourth women’s doubles title of the season at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome in their first tournament back since the suspension of the WTA Tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The top seeds took just 63 minutes to complete a comprehensive 6-2, 6-2 victory over unseeded German-Romanian duo Anna-Lena Friedsam and Raluca Olaru at the Foro Italico. It was the Taiwanese-Czech pairing’s first outing since they won the Qatar Open in February. “After five months, you don’t know what to expect,” Strycova told the WTA Web site.
‘FUN TIME’: Denver’s Nikola Jokic said that his team would not accept that anyone else is better than them and the opposition need to play much better than they do Just about everyone had LA versus LA written in for the NBA’s Western Conference finals, but the resilient Denver Nuggets have crashed the party. Behind Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic, the Nuggets advanced to the conference finals for the first time since 2009 to face LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers. Game 1 is scheduled to be played tomorrow. This was no ordinary road. The Nuggets fell behind 3-1 in their first-round series against the Utah Jazz before bouncing back with three straight victories. Then they went down 3-1 to the Los Angeles Clippers in the second round before winning in Game 7
‘GREAT COMPETITOR’: Former French Open champion Garbine Muguruza was tested by American teenager Coco Gauff, before the Spaniard advanced in three sets Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Thursday cruised into the quarter-finals of the women’s doubles at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia by handing their Japanese opponents a rare “double bagel,” a feat matched by US Open losing finalist Victoria Azarenka in the women’s singles. Top seeds Hsieh and Strycova took just 49 minutes to see off the challenge of Japanese duo Nao Hibino and Makoto Ninomiya 6-0, 6-0 on the clay courts at the Foro Italico in Rome. The Taiwanese-Czech duo saved both break points they faced and converted six of 14, winning 62 percent of their first