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October 20, 2009

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Petrov earns a point as City holds Wigan

MARTIN Petrov's equalizer captured a 1-1 draw for 10-man Manchester City at Wigan on Sunday while Blackburn came from a goal behind to beat neighbor Burnley 3-2.

City had a chance to go third with a game in hand on the teams above in the Premier League standings by winning by two clear goals. But it had to come from behind to take a point and stay in fifth, five points behind leader Manchester United and four behind Chelsea. Wigan dropped a place to 13th.

Despite seeing his side drop two points, City manager Mark Hughes showed he now has strength in depth to deal with injuries to key players, such as strikers Robinho and Craig Bellamy and defender Kolo Toure.

"That's what we had to address in the closed season," said Hughes, whose club's wealthy owner, Sheik Mansour, has helped him strengthen the squad by spending more than 120 million pounds (US$200 million).

"The depth of the squad in terms of numbers and quality wasn't correct and we have done really well in that regard. We have been able to bring in good quality players so that when one player has gone out of the team I can bring in quality to compensate."

After Wigan goalkeeper Chris Kirkland had saved from Emmanuel Adebayor, the home side went ahead in first half injury time,

Charles N'Zogbia turned the ball home after City goalkeeper Shay Given had failed to hold a shot from Hugo Rodallega.

City drew level in the second minute of the second half, however, when Petrov fired home with a well-placed left foot shot from the edge of the area from a low cross from Carlos Tevez.

Elsewhere, Robbie Blake gave Burnley a fifth minute lead at Ewood Park in the first meeting of the northwest England rivals in a top-flight league match for 43 years.

But David Dunn equalized within four minutes, Franco Di Santo made it 2-1 in the 21st and fullback Pascal Chimbonda added the third just before half time. Although Chris Eagles scored a second for Burnley in second half injury time, Rovers held on for the three points. Blackburn's third victory of the season gave it 10 points from eight matches.


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