Gardner dents City title hopes

BIRMINGHAM 2 vs MANCHESTER CITY 2

BIRMINGHAM midfielder Craig Gardner struck a late penalty to deny Manchester City three precious points in the Premier League title race.

An opportunistic strike from Carlos Tevez put the visitors ahead in the fourth minute, but Nikola Zigic restored parity 20 minutes later when he got the slightest of touches to David Bentley’s free-kick.

City’s own set-piece specialist, Aleksandar Kolarov, blasted his side back into the lead on the stroke of half-time, but Gardner kept his nerve from the spot 13 minutes from the end after Patrick Vieira had fouled substitute Kevin Phillips.

City boss Roberto Mancini said: “I’m not happy, it wasn’t a penalty.”