Super Mario rediscovers touch as City stay on leaders’ heels

STRIKER Mario Balotelli poached his first Premier League goal of the season as Manchester City kept the heat on leaders Manchester United with a 2-0 win at Wigan.

City foundered against a tireless Wigan side until Balotelli pounced on a spill by Ali Al Habsi in the 69th minute and finished at the second attempt. Moments later James Milner made the points safe with a rising drive.

Swansea ended high-flying West Brom’s run of four straight wins, Wayne Routledge scoring twice in a 3-1 home win. Michu had given the Swans the lead with his ninth goal of the season before Routledge’s brace, and fourth-placed West Brom failed to mount the comeback threatened by Romelu Lukaku’s effort.

A howler from goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga cost Southampton three points in a 1-1 draw at home to Norwich, although they still moved to within one of safety. Rickie Lambert put Saints ahead before Gazzaniga allowed a Robert Snodgrass free-kick to squirm in.

Stoke struck twice in the last 10 minutes through Jonathan Walters and Cameron Jerome to condemn flailing Newcastle to a fourth successive top-flight defeat for the first time since 2006.