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Late Nasri goal keeps Manchester City's title dream motoring

updated 6:17 AM EDT, Thu March 22, 2012
Samir Nasri lifts the ball over Chelsea keeper Petr Cech to seal a dramatic win for Manchester City
Samir Nasri lifts the ball over Chelsea keeper Petr Cech to seal a dramatic win for Manchester City
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Samir Nasri's late goal helps Manchester City to a dramatic 2-1 win over Chelsea
  • Carlos Tevez sets up winning goal as City move within one point of leaders Man Utd
  • Arsenal move into third after beating Everton 1-0 while Tottenham and Stoke drew 1-1
  • Liverpool squander two-goal lead to lose 3-2 at Queens Park Rangers

(CNN) -- A late strike from Samir Nasri, set up by the returning Carlos Tevez, helped Manchester City maintain their quest for a first English league title in 44 years with a 2-1 win over Chelsea on Wednesday.

The France international collected a clever reverse pass from Tevez, making his first appearance in five months after falling out with manager Roberto Mancini, to score an 86th-minute winner.

City had trailed to Gary Cahill's deflected strike until Sergio Aguero leveled the match from the penalty spot with 12 minutes remaining.

The victory maintains City's 100% record in home league matches this season and draws them within a point of Premier League leaders and bitter rivals Manchester United.

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The buildup to the match was dominated by the return of Tevez, who hadn't featured for City since refusing to warm up during a Champions League clash with Bayern Munich back in September.

He took his place on the bench to a mixture of boos and applause, and he was called upon in the 66th minute after Cahill had pounced on a loose ball in the area to fire a shot into the net via an inadvertent flick from Yaya Toure.

But when Pablo Zabaleta's shot hit the arm of Chelsea substitute Michael Essien, City were handed a lifeline and Argentina striker Aguero slotted home the spot kick.

Then Tevez played a cute one-two with Nasri, and the midfielder dinked the ball over Chelsea keeper Petr Cech to secure a vital win.

On a dramatic night in England's top flight, Tottenham surrendered third place to Arsenal after being held 1-1 at home by Stoke.

Taking to the field for the first time since Saturday's FA Cup quarterfinal clash with Bolton was abandoned due to Fabrice Muamba's cardiac arrest, Tottenham's poor form continued.

The London side had to rely on an injury-time goal from Netherlands international Rafael Van der Vaart to salvage a draw after striker Cameron Jerome had put City in front.

Arsenal leapfrogged their north London rivals with a 1-0 win at Everton, as defender Thomas Vermaelen's eighth-minute goal put the Gunners a point clear.

Chelsea stayed fifth, losing ground on both Tottenham and Arsenal in the race to finish in the fourth and final European Champions League qualification spot.

Liverpool's hopes of finishing fourth are all but over after squandering a two-goal lead to lose 3-2 to relegation threatened Queens Park Rangers.

Uruguay international Sebastian Coates put Liverpool ahead with a superb volley early on before Dirk Kuyt made it 2-0 on 72 minutes. But Rangers hit back with three goals in the last 14 minutes, from Shaun Derry, former Liverpool striker Djibril Cisse and Jamie Mackie.

The result kept Liverpool seven points behind Chelsea, while QPR moved out of the relegation zone, moving one point clear of Bolton.

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