Tevez saves City in EPL's longest game

Story highlights

  • Carlos Tevez scores only goal as Manchester City struggle to 1-0 win over Swansea
  • Match is longest in Premier League history after almost 13 extra minutes added on
  • Lengthy delays caused as both teams lose a player due to injury
  • Arsenal also bounce back from European defeat, moving up to fourth place with win

It was the longest game in Premier League history, and Saturday's unconvincing victory must have lasted an eternity for Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini and the disgruntled fans of the big-spending English club.

Last season the Italian was a hero as he guided City to a first league title in 44 years, but with a second successive early Champions League exit imminent following Wednesday's defeat at Ajax, his future does not seem so certain.

Criticized for tactics that his players apparently could not understand, Mancini made more changes for the match at home to Swansea -- but a lackluster first half ended to the sound of booing from the stands.

Carlos Tevez, last season's enfant terrible after going AWOL following his feud with Mancini, came to the manager's rescue after being pulled back to a deeper striking role.

The Argentine netted the only goal of the game, his first since September 1, with an opportunist effort from distance in the 61st minute that sparked the first of two lengthy delays as goalkeeper Michel Vorm collapsed with a groin injury that has ruled the Dutchman out for up to six weeks.

City then had an anxious wait as defender Micah Richards -- who publicly questioned Mancini after the Ajax game -- was stretchered off with a knee injury, needing an oxygen mask.

Mourinho on the enigma of Balotelli
Mourinho on the enigma of Balotelli


    Mourinho on the enigma of Balotelli


Mourinho on the enigma of Balotelli 01:35

With almost 13 minutes of time added on, the game beat the previous record set when Arsenal drew with Liverpool in 2011.

The win moved City up to second place, a point behind Chelsea -- who take on third-placed Manchester United on Sunday.

"Our performance in the first half was so-so because I think we were so tired, but in the second half we played better, we had a lot of chances to score," Mancini told reporters.

"In this moment, when you are in a difficult moment, after a defeat in the Champions League, it is important we start to win quickly.

"We played three days ago and Swansea played very well. They were fresh, so it was important to take these three points.

"We now have one week when we can recover and I hope we can recover a couple of (injured) players for the next game and we can work."

Arsenal also rebounded from midweek European defeat as midfielder Mikel Arteta scored a late winner against bottom club Queens Park Rangers, who had Stephane Mbia sent off.

The match marked the return of young England international midfielder Jack Wilshere after a 17-month injury absence, and the 20-year-old lasted more than an hour as he helped the London side bounce back from losses to Schalke and Norwich last weekend.

Arteta's 84th-minute goal, on the rebound after his initial header hit the bar, came soon after Mbia was red-carded for kicking out at Thomas Vermaelen.

"I am very happy with the result because we lost two big games in our head,

and the confidence was a bit jaded," manager Arsene Wenger said after seeing his team move up to fourth place

"We were serious, we moved the ball quite well and we needed to be patient. It was important not to make a mistake, and wait for our chance and take it."

Fulham moved up to sixth after conceding a last-minute equalizer in the 3-3 draw at Reading, who remained in the bottom three.

Former Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov put the London team 3-2 up in the 88th minute, but Hal Robson-Kanu snatched his winless team's fourth draw from eight matches.

Wigan moved away from the relegation zone with a 2-1 win at home to midtable West Ham, while Sunderland and Stoke played out a stalemate and Norwich drew 1-1 with fellow strugglers Aston Villa, who had Joe Bennett sent off with 40 minutes to play.

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