EPL: City Return to Top, Arsenal Lose, United and Chelsea Share Spoils
The result meant Pep Guardiola’s side returned to the top of the table, one point ahead of second-placed Liverpool
By Samuel Victor Akpan
Manchester City returned to the top of the Premier League after defeating Burnley 1-0 at Turf Moore.
Sergio Aguero scored the only goal of the game (his 20th of the season in the 63rd minute but needed goal-line technology to confirm his strike which was cleared by Burnley’s Matthew Lowton after it had crossed the line.
The result meant Pep Guardiola’s side returned to the top of the table (92points), one point ahead of second-placed Liverpool (91points) with just two games left to play.
Despite expectedly dominating the game, City struggled to break a very organized Burnley side down as a combination of goalkeeper Tom Heaton and last-ditch defending from the home team kept City at bay. Defender Ben Mee hacked away Gabriel Jesus’ effort off the line while Tom Heaton saved from Laporte, Bernado Silva and Aguero as Dyche’s men looked to frustrate the Cityzens.
However, Aguero popped up with the decisive goal to hand Pep Guardiola an all important win.
The Cityzens next host Leicester City at the Etihad stadium before travelling to Brighton on the final day. Victories in both matches will secure a second successive title for Pep and his side.
Meanwhile Arsenal failed to take advantage of Spurs’ defeat to West Ham on Saturday as they were thrashed 3-0 by Leicester City at the King Power stadium.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles was sent off early in the first half after receiving two yellow cards as the Gunners got off to the worst possible start.
The hosts took advantage of the extra man and duly opened the scoring in the 59th minute through Youri Tielemans who headed in a James Maddison cross. Brendan Rodgers’ men doubled their advantage 27 minutes later as the in-form Jamie Vardy headed in his own rebound before rounding off the scoring deep in to injury time, tapping in from close range to condemn Arsenal to a third consecutive defeat in which they have conceeded at least three goals in each game.
The Gunners now face a huge task securing a top four finish as they now need either or both of Spurs and Chelsea to slip up in the remaining two games of the season, while they win their remaining games in order to secure champions league football for next season .
Arsenal are fifth on the log with 66points, two pionts behind fourth-placed Chelsea (68points) and four points behind Spurs (70points)in third. They are just a apoint ahead of Manchester United in sixth (65points) as the race for the top four heats up.
Arsenal host relegation strugglers Brighton next at the Emirates before travelling to Burnley on the final day.
In the other game played, Marcos Alonso made the most of a David De Gea error as he scored to help Chelsea secure a point at Old Trafford against Manchester United.
Former Chelsea player Juan Mata gave the home side the lead on 11 minutes as United made the most of an early pressure but Chelsea levelled just before half-time, Marcos Alonso quickest to react to a De Gea mistake as the goalkeeper spilled a shot from Antonio Rudiger.
Both sides missed good enough chances as time went by in the game with Marcos Rojo and Gonzalo Higuain both coming closest to winning it for their respective sides. Rojo- who was probably lucky not to see red for a challenge on Willian- saw his header headed clear by Pedro on the line while Higuain had his near post flick blocked by De Gea who made up for his earlier error.
With the point earned, Chelsea remain fourth on the table (68points), three points ahead of United in sixth (65points) and have their destiny in their own hands as victory against Watford at Stamford Bridge and Leicester at the King Power stadium on the final day will secure at least fourth place.
Ole Gunner Solskjaer and his United side have the same task- win their remaining games against Huddersfield at The John Smith’s stadium and at Old Trafford against Cardiff on the last day of the season- alas, they will need those above them, Chelsea, Spurs and maybe Arsenal to slip up to have any chance at a top four finish.