AP – City tops Premier League Fulham, Cardiff down and out

City tops Premier League Fulham, Cardiff down and outManchester City hurdled its last big obstacle en route to the English Premier League title by winning 3-2 at Everton, while heavy defeats condemned Fulham and Cardiff to relegation.Two home wins, against Aston Villa on Wednesday and West Ham on Sunday, separate City from a second championship in three years after coming from behind to win at Goodison Park – a stadium where it has traditionally struggled with just one victory from its last 15 visits. Sergio Aguero’s goal canceled out Ross Barkley’s brilliant 11th-minute opener for Everton, then Edin Dzeko scored twice in a five-minute span bridging halftime to help City go top – for a day at least – on goal difference from Liverpool, and two points clear of Chelsea. All three teams have two games left, with Chelsea playing Norwich later on Sunday and Liverpool at Crystal Palace on Monday. “Three points is a huge step for us,” City manager Manuel Pellegrini said. “It’s a decisive moment, but we haven’t finished yet.” Aguero gave City a scare by limping off in the 28th minute – soon after scoring his equalizer – but said on Twitter that he came off as a precaution and he was “fine.” Everton’s defeat dealt a major blow to the title hopes of neighbor Liverpool, and ensured Arsenal clinched fourth spot and Champions League qualification for the 17th straight season. Resurgent Sunderland’s surprise 1-0 win at Manchester United pulled the team three points clear of third-from-bottom Norwich, gave interim United manager Ryan Giggs a reality check, and also consigned Fulham and Cardiff to the second tier. Fulham lost 4-1 at Stoke, and Cardiff was defeated 3-0 at Newcastle, leaving both sides unable to climb out of the relegation zone. Cardiff goes down after spending just one year in the Premier League, having also changed managers midway through the season in a bid to prevent the drop. Sunderland has taken seven points from trips to Man City, Chelsea and United in the past three weeks, with Sebastian Larsson’s 30th-minute goal clinching a first league victory at Old Trafford since 1968. Already out of contention to qualify for the Champions League, United is also struggling to make the Europa League as it is six points behind sixth-place Tottenham, which lost 2-0 at West Ham. Spurs went down to 10 men in the 25th minute when Younes Kaboul was given a straight red card for a professional foul, before an own goal by Harry Kane and Stewart Downing’s free kick secured a victory that preserved West Ham’s Premier League status for another season. Aston Villa moved six points clear of Norwich after beating Hull 3-1 thanks to Ashley Westwood’s goal after 58 seconds and a pair of headers from Andreas Weimann just before halftime..

SOURCE: Todays Zaman

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