Premier League round-up: Manchester City still ahead of Liverpool, top four race takes multiple twists, Brighton pulling away from Cardiff
The Premier League had all manner of twists and turns this weekend as the title race, top four battle, relegation dogfights and contest for seventh place and a potential Europa League spot goes on.
Below is a review of the action concerning all 20 clubs in the top flight.
Leicester 3-0 Arsenal
Arsenal’s Champions League hopes suffered a serious blow after the 10-man Gunners went down to a disastrous 3-0 defeat at Leicester.
Unai Emery’s side slipped to a third straight loss and missed the chance to climb back into the Premier League’s top four.
Jamie Vardy continued his hot streak against the Gunners with his late brace making it eight goals in his last nine games against them.
Youri Tielemans opened the scoring after Ainsley Maitland-Niles’ first-half dismissal.
Burnley 0-1 Manchester City
Sergio Aguero scrambled a vital winner as Manchester City reclaimed top spot in the Premier League with a hard-fought 1-0 victory at Burnley.
The champions benefited from goalline technology as top scorer Aguero was ruled to have forced the ball over the line by a mere 29.5mm just after the hour on a tense afternoon at Turf Moor.
The result took City a point clear of Liverpool with just two games remaining for each side in a a compelling title race.
Manchester United 1-1 Chelsea
David De Gea cost Manchester United again as the Red Devils’ hopes of Champions League qualification were dealt a major blow.
United’s three-game run without a goal was ended 11 minutes into the clash with Chelsea at Old Trafford as Juan Mata scored on his 31st birthday but another goalkeeping error allowed Marcos Alonso to equalise two minutes before half-time and the game ended 1-1.
Antonio Rudiger’s speculative 35-yard shot was Chelsea’s first effort on target and it should have been comfortable for De Gea but the Spaniard spilled the ball at Alonso’s feet and he guided it in off the far post.
Tottenham 0-1 West Ham
West Ham became the first opposition team to win at Tottenham’s new stadium after a Michail Antonio goal gave them a 1-0 victory.
Spurs had not conceded a goal in their previous four games at their new home, but Antonio’s second-half strike proved the difference between the two sides.
Mauricio Pochettino’s men looked lethargic and lacked spark and the boss will know much better will be required when Ajax visit the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in the Champions League semi-final first leg on Tuesday.
Crystal Palace 0-0 Everton
Crystal Palace and Everton played out a forgettable goalless draw at Selhurst Park to dent the visitors’ chances of ending the Premier League season with European qualification.
A seventh-placed finish could prove enough to play Europa League football next season but, after thrashing Manchester United last weekend, the Toffees could not find a way past Palace.
With fellow European hopefuls Wolves winning at Watford, Everton are now four points adrift of Nuno Espirito Santo’s side.
Fulham 1-0 Cardiff City
A spectacular strike from Ryan Babel pushed Cardiff closer to relegation from the Premier League and gave Fulham a third successive win.
Babel scored his third goal in four matches with a scorching curler from 25 yards to secure a 1-0 victory and leave City’s plight looking increasingly bleak.
Fulham’s run of decent form under caretaker boss Scott Parker has come too late to save them, and Babel’s thunderbolt may well have helped drag Cardiff back down with them.
The match was overshadowed by what appeared a horrific injury to Denis Odoi, who stooped to head the ball clear and took a boot in the face from his Fulham team-mate Maxime Le Marchand.
The defender appeared to have been out cold as he crumpled to the floor, and although he initially got back to his feet he then required treatment for eight minutes before eventually being taken off on a stretcher wearing an oxygen mask.
Thankfully Odoi was later said to be fine and did not need to be taken to hospital.
Southampton 3-3 Bournemouth
Callum Wilson’s smart Bournemouth double denied Southampton the south coast bragging rights, but Saints still sealed their Premier League safety with a 3-3 draw.
Matt Targett’s header looked to have sent Saints storming to a 3-2 derby win to cement their top-flight status in style, only for Wilson to spoil the party late on.
But Cardiff’s 1-0 loss at Fulham leaves Saints seven points clear of the Bluebirds with two games to play.
Watford 1-2 Wolves
Diogo Jota fired Wolves to victory in their revenge mission against Watford as they took charge of the race for seventh.
Ben Foster’s error gifted Jota a second-half winner at Vicarage Road to clinch a late 2-1 victory.
Raul Jimenez opened the scoring with his 17th goal of the season before Andre Gray levelled against his hometown club.
Seventh would net a Europa League qualifying spot if the Hornets lose to Manchester City in next month’s FA Cup final.
Wolves now sit seventh in the Premier League, four points clear of Watford and Everton.
Brighton 1-1 Newcastle United
Struggling Brighton edged a point closer to Premier League safety after Pascal Gross’ second-half equaliser salvaged a 1-1 draw with Newcastle.
Gross nodded in 15 minutes from time to give Chris Hughton’s Seagulls a four-point advantage over 18th-placed Cardiff with two games to go, in addition to a significantly superior goal difference.
Albion looked set to suffer an alarming sixth defeat in seven league games after Ayoze Perez’s fifth goal in three matches gave the visitors a deserved first-half lead.
The Seagulls had not registered a top-flight goal since beating bitter rivals Crystal Palace on March 9 before midfielder Gross halted the lengthy drought at 631 minutes to ease their relegation fears.
Liverpool 5-0 Huddersfield Town
Liverpool’s title destiny may still be out of their hands, but they refuse to submit with a 5-0 demolition job of Huddersfield at Anfield.
The Reds raced to a 3-0 lead at half-time with goals from Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah, while Naby Keita opened the scoring just 15 seconds into the game.
Mane and Salah added another goal each to take Jurgen Klopp’s men to 91 points and top of the league, although they have since lost that lead after City’s win at Turf Moor.
LATEST PREMIER LEAGUE NEWS
Premier League table
Source: SportsLatest TS