23 Dec 2012

City leave it late against bottom side Reading

10:55 am on 23 December 2012

It took until the 93rd minute but the English football champions Manchester City have closed the gap with the Premiership leaders Manchester United to three points, with a 1-0 home win over bottom club Reading.

Gareth Barry scored the stoppage-time winner with a diving header at the Etihad Stadium. It was the fourth time in the league this season Roberto Mancini's side has scored a winner in the 87th minute or later.

Elsewhere, Arsenal needed a penalty to win 1-0 at Wigan Athletic and move up to third place on the Premier League table, thanks to north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur drawing a blank with visitors Stoke City.

Spurs are fifth.

Liverpool thrashed Fulham 4-0 at Anfield to climb up to eighth.

There was no joy for New Zealand players' teams with Ryan Nelsen and Queens Park Rangers losing 1-0 at Newcastle while Winston Reid and West Ham fell 2-1 at home to Everton, in a game marred by a dubious red card to each side from referee Anthony Taylor.

West Bromwich Albion are up to fifth after seeing off Norwich 2-1, and West Brom's All Whites striker Chris Wood scored yet again in the Championship for his loan side Milwall - but the Lions still lost 2-1 to visitors Barnsley.

Another New Zealand international, Tommy Smith, scored the only goal for Ipswich Town with the equaliser against visitors Bristol City.

Back in the Premier League, Southampton lost 1-0 to fellow Premiership strugglers Sunderland, also at home.

Manchester United play at Welsh side Swansea City on Monday while Chelsea, currently seventh, face Aston Villa, who are languishing near the relegation zone in 16th.