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Manchester City late show closes gap on leaders United

Published on Dec 23, 2012 6:10 AM
Manchester City's Gareth Barry (R) challenges Reading's Mikele Leigertwood during their English Premier League soccer match at The Etihad stadium in Manchester, northern England, Dec 22, 2012. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (AFP) - Manchester City closed the gap on Premier League leaders Manchester United in dramatic fashion as Gareth Barry's stoppage-time winner clinched a crucial 1-0 victory over Reading on Saturday.

With United not in action until Sunday's trip to Swansea, Roberto Mancini's team desperately needed to put pressure on their bitter rivals and they finally seized the opportunity in the closing minutes at Eastlands.

After labouring to break down struggling Reading for long periods, the champions broke the deadlock when England midfielder Barry headed home from a David Silva cross.

That was enough to move City within three points of United and keep their title challenge alive heading into the busy Christmas programme, while Reading stay bottom after their 11th defeat of the season.

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