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Manchester 2 London 0

In the big two Sunday games in the Premier League, both Manchester City and Manchester United dealt big blows to North London rivals Spurs and Arsenal.

In the first game, Man City won a thrilling controversial 3-2 match thanks to Mario Balotelli’s injury-time penalty.

The controversy is whether Balotelli should have been on the field to score the penalty as he appeared to stamp on Scott Parker’s head. It will be interesting to see if the FA comes down and gives balotelli a three-game ban for the stamp, but that will not do Spurs any good as their title hopes ended today.

After a goalless first half, the Blues were in control when Samir Nasri and Joleon Lescott struck. But Jermain Defoe profited from Stefan Savic’s mistake almost immediately before Gareth Bale levelled with a magnificent curling shot.

Spurs seemed more likely winners after that. But when Defoe could only turn an injury-time Bale cross narrowly wide as he slid in at the far-post, it gave Balotelli a chance to win the match after he had been fouled by Ledley King. It maintained City’s 100% home record in the league this season.

Here is Man City’s assistant David Platt taking about the game:

City’s win put the pressure on United to keep in touch as they travelled to the Emirates and they did as Antonio Valencia scored one goal and set up another to give Manchester United a 2-1 win at Arsenal.

Valencia headed United into the lead in first-half injury time, but Arsenal played so much better in the second half and it was no surprise when Robin van Persie equalized in the 71st, minute.

But the game turned on an Arsenal substitute as Arsene Wenger took off Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and replaced him with Arshavin.

Arshavin failed to track back and stop Valencia who drove into the Arsenal box with nine minutes to go and the ball eventually ended up at the foot at Danny Welbeck the chance to smash the ball past goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny.

The result kept the defending champions within three points of City and further threatened the Gunners’ chances of qualifying for next season’s Champions League.

Arsenal is five points behind fourth-place Chelsea and 18 behind City.

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