City back on top with tense win

Lescott strikes as Mancinis men go two points clear of Manchester United

Joleon Lescott scored against boyhood heroes Aston Villa to give Manchester City a 1-0 away win on Sunday and send Roberto Mancini's men back to the top of the Premier League.

 Joleson Lescott (6) scores for Manchester City against Aston Villa in the English Premier League on Sunday. City won 1-0. AFP

Manchester United's 2-1 win over Liverpool on Saturday had put City under pressure but Lescott finally eased their nerves after dominating the game when he hooked in ex-Villa midfielder Gareth Barry's far-post header after 62 minutes.

City top the table with 60 points from 25 games, two ahead of United while toothless Villa are looking anxiously over their shoulders down in 15th.

Peter Odemwingie earlier scored a hat-trick as West Bromwich Albion triumphed 5-1 at Wolverhampton Wanderers to move further away from danger and leave their beleaguered local rivals inside the drop zone.

Roy Hodgson's side continued their strong away form to jump eight points clear of 18th-placed Wolves, who endured a fourth straight home defeat to put manager Mick McCarthy under increased pressure as the boos rang out at fulltime.

Nigerian Odemwingie's deflected effort put West Brom ahead before Steven Fletcher's superb turn-and-shot on the stroke of halftime brought the hosts level.

Jonas Olsson's shot slipped through Wayne Hennessey's hands to give the visitors the lead and West Brom then ran riot with Odemwingie's second and third coming either side of former Wolves man Keith Andrews netting on his debut.

Spurs score

Late on Saturday, one of the most remarkable weeks in the life of Harry Redknapp ended on a high when his entertaining Tottenham Hotspur side crushed Newcastle United 5-0.

Redknapp, widely tipped by the media to be the next England manager, sat in the dugout after a rousing reception from the fans to watch his team make a blistering start with two goals in the first six minutes and they were 4-0 ahead by halftime.
Emmanuel Adebayor epitomised the home side's determination with a hand in all four first-half goals before scoring a spectacular volley of his own to give Spurs their biggest league win of the season and consolidate third place in the table.

The supporters, faced with the prospect of losing their manager to England, let their feelings be known. On a night of freezing temperatures at White Hart Lane, they repeatedly chanted Redknapp's name, singing "We want you to stay" at the 64-year-old coach who has transformed Spurs from relegation candidates to title contenders in three years.

He applauded the crowd after his own personal emotional roller-coaster, which saw him cleared on Wednesday of two charges of evading tax after a 13-day trial before being installed as favourite to replace Fabio Capello as England boss.

Redknapp said again that as far as he knew the FA had not approached his chairman Daniel Levy about the job and he was totally focused on Spurs who are on track for a place in next season's Champions League, if not their first title since 1961.

Spurs went ahead after only four minutes with a goal from defender Benoit Assou-Ekotto before new signing Louis Saha scored twice on his home debut to make it 3-0 after 20 minutes. Niko Kranjcar scored his first goal of the season in the 34th following more good work by Adebayor who ended a nine-match run without a goal after 65 minutes.

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