Arsenal beat Man City; Madrid win
London, May 5:
Arsenal defeated Manchester City 3-1 thanks to two goals in six minutes by substitute Jose Antonio Reyes in the English Premier League on Thursday.
Arsenal’s second win in three days ensured the race for fourth place in the standings and the last Champions League berth was wide open going into Sunday’s final round.
Tottenham has 65 points and Arsenal 64. Tottenham goes to London neighbours West Ham and Arsenal plays at home at Highbury against Wigan.
Arsenal welcomed back England fullback Ashley Cole after seven months out with a broken foot. He played all 90 minutes, and he and manager Arsene Wenger were relieved. Wenger wanted to see how Cole recovered before deciding whether he would play on Sunday and figure in the Champions League final on May 17 against FC Barcelona.
Arsenal took a 1-0 lead after 29 minutes through Fred Ljungberg off a pass from Thierry Henry. City equalised late in the first half on a goal by David Sommeil. Reyes scored his pair in the last 12 minutes.
If Arsenal fails to finish fourth in the Premier League, the Gunners can still make next year’s Champions League by winning the final in Paris. That would knock Tottenham out of the Champions League.
In Thursday’s other Premier League game, Sunderland won its first home league game of the season, beating Fulham 2-1.
Spanish La Liga
MADRID: Real Madrid regained second spot in the Spanish League with a 3-2 win at Racing Santander on Thursday, but had to survive a late fight back as the struggling hosts got two goals in the last 15 minutes.
Roberto Carlos opened the scoring for Real from the penalty spot after 33 minutes, following a foul by Racing defender Pablo Pinillos on Robinho.
Real then seemed to put themselves firmly on the road to their third successive victory when Roberto Soldado got their second goal just before the hour.
Soldado slid in to connect with a cross from Raul Gonzalez after Roberto Carlos had made a defence-splitting run which left the Racing defenders still in their blocks. Robinho added a third with a fierce right foot shot from 20 yards after 69 minutes but then Racing suddenly woke up and almost salvaged a point in a fraught final 15 minutes for Real.
Sergio Matabuena got one back for Racing after 75 minutes, tapping home a loose ball after a corner kick and the midfielder got his and his team’s second of the night two minutes into the injury time.
Real now have 69 points from 36 games and two games to go, one place and one point ahead of 2004 champions Valencia, who lost 2-1 at Real Mallorca on Wednesday. Barcelona became champions for the second successive year on Wednesday when Valencia’s defeat gave the Catalan club an unbeatable lead at the top of the Spanish league.