EPL week 30 review: Man City lead with eight games to go
Manchester City leads the English Premier League with eight games to go after beating Watford at home. Arsenal moves into the top four with a win over Manchester United.
Man City 3 v 1 Watford
There are eight games to go, and at this rate, you have more chance of stopping a greedy duck from eating all of the bread in the pond than stopping Manchester City from becoming the first team in a decade to defend the English Premier League (EPL).
With Watford facing Crystal Palace in the FA Cup Quarter-Finals at the weekend, Javi Gracia made seven changes in a bid to keep his first team tip-top, and you can’t do that and expect to get anything at the home of the best team in the world.
City should have had the game won by half time with Sergio Agüero and David Silva missing headers from six-yards and Oleksandr Zinchenko forcing Ben Foster into a brilliant save after a piledriver from the left-hand side, but the Hornets made the break all square.
The game ended as a spectacle within 13-minutes of the restart, and Raheem Sterling was the man ripping Watford to shreds. Only a minute had passed in the second half when Sterling lifted the ball over Foster only for the linesman to disallow it. After dialogue with the referee the officials changed their mind and allowed the goal to stand. Video replays show that Sterling was offside.
Not that it mattered.
City were the guys who create the blueprints for pyramids, and Watford are the guys who build them.
13-minutes after Sterling had scored the controversial opener he had scored a hat-trick, firstly a tap-in after great work from Riyad Mahrez down the right, and then a nice finish after a bob and a weave inside the Watford penalty area. Gerard Deulofeu scored a 66th-minute consolation goal with his first touch after coming off the bench.
The win means City has now won six games on the trot, ten from eleven; piquing at the right time.
Liverpool 4 v 2 Burnley
The gap at the top was four points before Liverpool kicked off against Burnley at Anfield. This morning, the difference is one.
Burnley took a surprise lead in the sixth minute when an Ashley Westwood corner flew into the back of the Liverpool net. Video replays show that a barrage of Burnley players fouled Alisson on the line, but the referee must have been staring at the women in a tight-fitting leotard bending over in the front row.
Liverpool reacted brilliantly to go into the half time interval with a two-goal lead. Roberto Firmino equalised on 19-minutes after Mohamed Salah and Georgino Wijnaldum had cut a neat one-two inside the area. Then on 29-minutes Adam Lallana’s dogged work saw a defensive clearance rebound off him into the path of Salah; a Burnley defender put in a goal-saving tackle, but the ball fell to Sadio Mané to score in front of the Anfield faithful for the sixth game on the spin.
The game seemed dead and buried on 67-minutes when Tom Heaton smashed a goal kick into the feet of Salah. A great Burnley tackle denied the Egyptian, but Firmino took care of the rebound to give Liverpool a comfortable looking 3-1 lead.
Then with two minutes of injury time played, Liverpool supporters began biting fingernails after Johann Berg Gudmundsson scored from six-yards, only for Mané to seal the win with the last kick of the game courtesy of a neat through ball by Daniel Sturridge.
In the weekend’s other news, Manchester United failed to take advantage of a shock 2-1 Spurs defeat against Southampton. United could have gone level on points with Spurs had they beaten Arsenal at The Emirates. Instead, the Gunners moved into the fourth spot, two points clear of United after a two-goal win.
At the other end of the table, Cardiff inch two points closer to Southampton and Burnley in the fight to avoid relegation after a 2-0 home win against West Ham.
Results in Full
Crystal Palace 1 v 2 Brighton
Huddersfield 0 v 2 Bournemouth
Southampton 2 v 1 Spurs
Leicester 3 v 1 Fulham
Cardiff 2 v 0 West Ham
Newcastle 3 v 2 Everton
Man City 3 v 1 Watford
Liverpool 4 v 2 Burnley
Chelsea 1 v 1 Wolves
Arsenal 2 v 0 Man Utd
Premier League Table
1. Man City – 74 points
2. Liverpool – 72
3. Spurs – 61
4. Arsenal – 60
5. Man Utd – 58
6. Chelsea – 57
7. Wolves – 44
8. Watford – 43
9. West Ham – 39
10. Leicester – 38
11. Everton – 37
12. Bournemouth – 37
13. Newcastle – 34
14. Crystal Palace – 33
15. Brighton – 33
16. Southampton – 30
17. Burnley – 30
18. Cardiff – 28
19. Fulham – 17
20. Huddersfield – 14
Man City 4/11
Top 4 Finish
Chelsea – evens
Man Utd 11/8
Sergio Aguero 6/4 (18 goals)
Mohamed Salah 3/1 (17 goals)
Harry Kane 10/3 (17 goals)
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 6/1 (17 goals)
Next Manager to Leave
Maurizzio Sarri 4/6
No Manager to Leave 5/2
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