MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Manchester City took until stoppage time to find a way past bottom-place Reading, with Gareth Barry's header clinching a 1-0 victory in the Premier League on Saturday.
Barry got on the end of a cross from David Silva as City's dominance finally paid off. "It's more important to score early on in games — my heart is not strong for these late goals," City manager Roberto Mancini said.
The defending champions went three points behind Manchester United, but the leaders are at Swansea on Sunday. "I think that we deserved to win but when you are in the last two or three minutes it can be difficult if you don't score in the first half when you have lots of chances," Mancini said. "You have to be strong because they defended really well with lots of players behind the ball and we didn't find the space to play. In the end I'm happy with this victory."
A seventh straight loss for Reading left the southern English side a point behind Queens Park Rangers at the bottom of the standings. Reading manager Brian McDermott felt Barry jumped on the back of Nicky Shorey as he leapt to reach David Silva's cross but referee Mike Dean saw nothing untoward.
"He hung in the air, but you can hang in the air all day long if you are on someone's back," McDermott said. "It's an absolute cert foul, it cannot be anything else. "But listen, the bottom line is we are Reading. We are a small club in this league punching above our weight."