Manchester City stifles Aston Villa comeback in unconvincing 3-2 win

MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Manchester City's disappointing season looks like ending with the consolation prize of Champions League qualification after an unconvincing win Saturday over Aston Villa opened a nine-point gap to the fading chasers for the Premier League's top four.

An 89th-minute goal by Fernandinho earned City a 3-2 victory that moved the soon-to-be-deposed champions provisionally into second place — above Arsenal and Manchester United, who both play Sunday. More importantly, City is now nine points ahead of fifth-place Liverpool and sixth-place Tottenham after their draws on Saturday.

Liverpool drew 0-0 at West Bromwich Albion and Spurs twice came from behind to draw 2-2 at Southampton.

Leicester and Hull enjoyed significant wins at the bottom, dropping Sunderland into the relegation zone in what looks like a fight to the final day for survival.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide—from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Andy Staples, Grant Wahl, and more—delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.