sport

Cesar foils City, Toon beat Villa

Manchester City could only draw 0-0 at QPR in the Premier League on Tuesday, as Newcastle won 2-1 at Aston Villa and Wigan drew 2-2 at Stoke.

City could not find a way past Julio Cesar at Loftus Road as they closed the gap on Manchester United to four points, ahead of the leaders' home game against Southampton on Wednesday.

Gareth Barry and David Silva both saw their efforts fantastically saved by the former Inter Milan goalkeeper, while Pablo Zabaleta's header from Silva's cross came back off the crossbar.

Adel Taarabt wasted QPR's best chance of the match when he saw his shot well saved by Joe Hart after bursting through on goal.

While the hosts remain rooted to the foot of the table, they are now just two points behind Reading.

Swansea climbed to eighth in the table after they were also held to a goalless draw, at Sunderland.

Black Cats target Danny Graham almost gave the Swans all three points in their clash at the Stadium of Light but the two teams had to settle for a point apiece.

Graham, a 74th-minute substitute, looked set to fire home from point-blank range but Titus Bramble's valiant interception saved a point for the hosts.

Newcastle are up to 15th, four points clear of the drop zone, after their victory at Aston Villa. First-half goals from Papiss Cisse and Yohan Cabaye put them in control, and although Villa pulled one back through Christian Benteke's penalty soon after the restart, the Magpies prevailed for all three points.

Toon boss Alan Pardew fielded two of his four new French signings and one of them, Moussa Sissoko, played in Cisse, who took a touch and slotted low past Brad Guzan in the 19th minute.

The visitors looked to be cruising to their first away victory in any competition this season when Cabaye magnificently volleyed into the top corner from 25 yards just after the half hour.

Villa were booed off at half-time, prompting beleaguered boss Paul Lambert to make two changes, with Gabriel Agbonlahor and Andreas Weimann replacing Joe Bennett and Darren Bent.

And the changes seemed to pay dividends as they won a penalty after Mathieu Debuchy was adjudged to have tripped Agbonlahor on the edge of the penalty area, with Benteke sending Newcastle goalkeeper Tim Krul the wrong way in the 49th minute.

Krul, however, made several fine saves thereafter as Villa desperately pressed for an equaliser.

Finally, at the Britannia Stadium, Stoke surged into a two-goal lead through Ryan Shawcross and Peter Crouch against Wigan - but the visitors responded through James McArthur and Franco Di Santo. The point moves Wigan out of the bottom three, and above Villa on goal difference.

The Potters looked firmly on course for the first Premier League win in five matches when Shawcross volleyed them ahead in the 23rd minute before Crouch doubled their lead after Charlie Adam's strike had been parried by Latics goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi shortly after half-time.

But Wigan showed their battling qualities and halved the deficit almost immediately when McArthur coolly finished after running through on goal before Di Santo secured a well-earned point when he rifled into the net from McArthur's knockdown.