City Goes Top With Tough Win Over Palace

Edin Dzeko’s 66th-minute goal earned the points for City who maintained their perfect home record this season but showed none of their usual free-scoring swagger.

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Manchester City ground out a 1-0 win over struggling Crystal Palace to go top of the Premier League and champions Manchester United continued their recent revival with a 1-0 victory at Norwich City on Saturday.

Edin Dzeko’s 66th-minute goal earned the points for City who maintained their perfect home record this season but showed none of their usual free-scoring swagger at the Etihad Stadium.

Mid-table Hull City hammered relegation-threatened Fulham 6-0, Aston Villa struggled again in a 1-1 home draw with Swansea City and West Ham United were held 3-3 by West Bromwich Albion in a thrilling early kickoff at Upton Park. Managerless Cardiff City threw away a 2-0 lead to draw 2-2 with bottom club Sunderland in their first game since Malky Mackay was sacked.

Manchester United struggled initially at Norwich, surviving a first-half onslaught before taking control.

Manager David Moyes left England striker Wayne Rooney out of his squad completely, but substitute Danny Welbeck’s 57th-minute strike secured victory. United climbed to sixth behind City, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Everton while Hull’s battering of Fulham took them to 10th and earned midfielder Tom Huddlestone an appointment with his barber.

The former Tottenham and England player drove in Hull’s fourth goal and his first for the club, an achievement he had said would result in the trimming of his plentiful locks and a pair of scissors were duly brandished on the touchline.

On a triumphant day for Steve Bruce’s Hull, Slovenian midfielder Robert Koren struck twice after Ahmed Elmohamady had opened the scoring. George Boyd and Matty Fryatt also found the net to inflict Fulham’s heaviest defeat in the top tier since 1968.

A home triumph seemed likely when Gabriel Agbonlahor put Aston Villa ahead after seven minutes, but Swansea fought back and Belgian winger Roland Lamah headed them level after 36 minutes.

Cardiff looked on course for a comfortable win following goals from Jordon Mutch, with a deflected strike after six minutes, and Fraizer Campbell after 58, but Steven Fletcher pulled one back for Sunderland with seven minutes remaining. Sunderland poured forward and levelled five minutes into stoppage time, a deflected shot by Jack Colback flying in after a concerted spell of pressure.

The draw lifted Sunderland to within one point of second-bottom West ham and Cardiff stayed 16th.

Joe Cole shot West Ham ahead inside five minutes before two well-taken goals from Nicolas Anelka, his first in the Premier League since Aug.11, put West Brom in charge before the interval. Substitute Modibo Maiga fired the Hammers level and helped set up Kevin Nolan to volley them in front at 3-2 but they held the lead for only two minutes before Saido Berahino completed the scoring.

Manchester United's Rio Ferdinand during their English Premier League soccer match against Swansea City at Liberty Stadium, Swansea, August 17, 2013.Credit: Reuters