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November 3, 2009

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City held to fourth straight draw

MANCHESTER City's English Premier League challenge continued along its spluttering, unconvincing path when it was held goalless at Birmingham City on Sunday, its fourth successive league draw.

Big-spending City remains a disjointed side and draws against Aston Villa, Wigan Athletic, Fulham and struggling Birmingham, which missed a penalty and was the more dangerous side throughout, showed how much work manager Mark Hughes still has to do.

City's point moved it up to fourth on 19, eight behind leader Chelsea, which hammered Bolton Wanderers 4-0 on Saturday.

Champion Manchester United is second on 25 after beating Blackburn Rovers 2-0, with Arsenal third on 22 following its 3-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur, which is fifth on 19.

Birmingham, which climbed to 14th on 11 points, had the best of the first half with Shay Given forced to make several good saves as Christian Benitez looked particularly dangerous.

It should have taken the lead 10 minutes after halftime when Nigel de Jong handled in the box but Given came to the rescue again when he saved James McFadden's penalty.

Birmingham had Barry Ferguson sent off in stoppage time to become the ninth red card victim from the weekend's 10 league games.

In France, Paris St Germain grabbed its first Ligue 1 win in two months when it thrashed host Sochaux 4-1 on Sunday.

The side from the capital, which did not play last weekend because three of its players were diagnosed with the H1N1 virus, rose to 10th in the standings.

PSG, which had not won in the league since August 30, is nine points behind leader Girondins Bordeaux, 1-0 winner over Monaco on Saturday.


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