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City ejected from Premiership top four after fifth draw
Published : 07 Nov 2009 17:54:00
LONDON (AFP) - Manchester City conceded their coveted spot in the Premier League's top four to Tottenham on Saturday after Mark Hughes side were held to a 3-3 draw by Burnley on Saturday. It was a fifth consecutive draw for City, who slip back to fifth after a run that has cast doubt on their ability to break into English football's Champions League elite. Robbie Keane and Tom Huddlestone were on the mark for Tottenham as Harry Redknapp's side moved up to fourth place with a 2-0 win over Sunderland at White Hart Lane. With league leaders Chelsea entertaining Manchester United on Sunday, Arsenal had the chance to move ahead of United into second place in the table with victory in their evening fixture at struggling Wolves. Elsewhere, Aston Villa overran struggling Bolton in a 5-1 rout at Villa Park while Blackburn lifted themselves out of the relegation zone with a 3-1 win over bottom side Portsmouth. Burnley's draw at Manchester City was their first point on the road since their return to the top flight. An even better outcome had looked on the cards when Graham Alexander maintained his perfect penalty record to give them a 19th-minute lead after Joleon Lescott had handled inside the box. The defender's 13th successful spot-kick for the visitors was followed by a tap-in from fellow Scot Steven Fletcher, just after the half-hour mark. But Shaun Wright-Phillips reduced the deficit two minutes before the break and second half strikes from Kolo Toure - his first league goal for City - and Craig Bellamy had City on track to claim the points before Kevin McDonald snatched an 87th-minute equaliser for the visitors. Sunderland striker Darren Bent's return to Tottenham proved to be an unhappy one with the England striker having a second-half penalty saved by Heurelho Gomes. That would have cancelled out Keane's 12th-minute strike for Spurs and been just reward for Sunderland's long periods of domination. But it was Tottenham who finished comfortable winners after Huddlestone beat Craig Gordon with a 68th-minute shot that went in off the bar. England duo Ashley Young and Gabriel Agbonlahor put Villa in control against Bolton. Johan Elmander gave the visitors hope on the stroke of half-time but Villa were too slick after the break with John Carew, James Milner and Carlos Cuellar all finding the net in the final 20 minutes. On-loan Tottenham midfielder Jamie O'Hara gave Portsmouth a 15th-minute lead against Blackburn, raising the prospect of a win that would have lifted Pompey out of the drop zone themselves. Instead it was Blackburn who took the points with Jason Roberts scoring twice either side of a strike from New Zealander Ryan Nelsen.