Feb. 13 (Bloomberg) -- Manchester City defeated Aston Villa 1-0 yesterday with a goal from Joleon Lescott to regain the lead in soccer’s Premier League from Manchester United.
Center-back Lescott scored after 63 minutes to extend Villa’s winless run at home in the league to seven matches. City had won only one of its past six away matches.
“In the first half we played fantastic football, missing only a goal,” City manager Roberto Mancini told Sky Sports. “Villa defended very well in the second half but we got the goal. Joleon played a fantastic game.”
City has 60 points, United is on 58, with Tottenham on 53. Arsenal and Chelsea are 10 points further back, with the Gunners in fourth on goal difference.
In yesterday’s other match, West Bromwich Albion won 5-1 at local rival Wolverhampton Wanderers to move eight points clear of the relegation positions and climb above Villa into 14th.
Villa remains without a home win since Nov. 5 after struggling to create chances. Villa’s only clear opportunity in the first half was a header from Richard Dunne that was easily collected by City’s England goalkeeper Joe Hart.
City was also unable to score in the first half, with home goalkeeper Shay Given making low saves from Sergio Aguero and David Silva.
Given, who joined Villa from City, also made a stop from man of the match Gareth Barry. Adam Johnson came closest to a goal with a low shot that hit the outside of a post.
Villa continued to be pushed back after the interval and Lescott settled the match with a goal from close range after reacting to a flick on by Barry from a James Milner corner.
The hosts had a couple of late chances, with Carlos Cuellar heading over the bar, then Hart denied Darren Bent from close range.
“The fans stayed with us right to the end and I think we were unlucky not to get a result,” Villa manager Alex McLeish told Sky Sports.
Wolves slipped one spot and into the relegation positions after a home defeat at Molineux, which eased its opponent’s risk of demotion.
Peter Odemwingie got a hat-trick for the visitors, while Jonas Olsson and Keith Andrews also scored for West Brom in the team’s sixth away victory in the league this season. It was West Brom’s biggest win at Molineux since 1962. Steven Fletcher replied for Wolves.
Wolves drops to 18th in the 20-team standings, behind Blackburn and Queens Park Rangers on goal difference. Three teams will be demoted at the end of the season.
“I apologize for the performance and I’ve never done that before,” Wolves manager Mick McCarthy told reporters. “But the way we capitulated in the last half hour is not associated with my teams.”
Two days ago, United beat Liverpool 2-1, Tottenham defeated Newcastle 5-0, Arsenal won 2-1 at Sunderland, while Chelsea lost 2-0 at Everton.
Last-place Wigan beat second-last Bolton 2-1, Blackburn defeated Queens Park Rangers 3-2, Fulham beat Stoke City 2-1, and Norwich won 3-2 at Swansea.
--Editor: Dex McLuskey.
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