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Saturday November 5, 2011QPR 2 - 3 Manchester City

By Rhonda Richards | In Match Reports - Away Games

Manchester City emerged victorious in a thrilling encounter with QPR, sealing a 3-2 win that restored their five point lead at the top of the Premier League.

City, though, didn’t have it all their own way and Neil Warnock’s men proved their own top flight credentials with a combative performance.

The hosts were lively in the opening exchanges and it made for a cagey opening 10 minutes for Roberto Mancini’s men, and Joey Barton’s early effort had Joe Hart on his toes.

And it was the home side who grabbed the lead, Jay Bothroyd rising highest to meet Barton’s ball in to edge QPR in front with 28 minutes on the clock, and it was almost two as Jamie Mackie fired in a well struck shot that Hart parried behind.

Another header from Bothroyd rebounded off the post, before City finally found a way through of their own, Edin Dzeko cutting in and blasting home to make it 1-1.

Aguero went close himself just before the break as his shot came back off the woodwork, whilst Barton saw another attempt flicked behind by Hart’s fingertips straight after the interval.

With City looking increasingly dangerous up top, David Silva grabbed the side’s second. He coasted into the box and connected with Dzeko’s cross to nudge his side in front, despite having been quiet up to that point.

Mancini brought Aguero off as his side looked to be taking a hold of the game, but QPR immediately found an equaliser of their own. Bothroyd’s header struck Helguson and the ball flew past Hart to make it 2-2 and set up a frantic final 20 minutes.

However, the league leaders had just four minutes to wait to get back on script, Yaya Toure heading home Kolarov’s cross to make it 3-2 to the visitors.

City subsequently closed out the game to seal a vital win having looked in danger of dropping points, and it could be argued that such results are those of champions when, without dominating, they can grind out the results.

QPR: Kenny, Gabbidon, Traore, Young, Ferdinand, Faurlin, Barton, Wright-Phillips, Bothroyd, Mackie, Helguson.

Man City: Hart, Richards, Lescott, Kolarov, Savic, Milner, Barry, Silva, Yaya Toure, Dzeko, Aguero.