Monday, April 15, 2024
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Manchester City handed title race boost as Arsenal, Liverpool both slip at home

It was a stunning day in the Premier League title race as two of the three contenders to win the title suffered home defeats.

On Saturday, Manchester City had gone two points clear at the top of the standings with a 5-1 victory at home to Luton Town — but both Arsenal, who had started the weekend top of the league, and Liverpool had games in hand.

Liverpool were first up, but suffered a shock 1-0 defeat at home to Crystal Palace. It was the first Premier League home loss of the season for Jurgen Klopp’s side, whose damaging week continued after last weekend’s 2-2 league draw at Manchester United and a 3-0 loss at home to Atalanta in the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final.

That left the door open for Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal to move top of the league, but they had to overcome a tricky test at home to Aston Villa, managed by their former head coach Unai Emery.

Arsenal had only suffered one league home defeat this season — against West Ham United in December — but had slipped to a 1-0 defeat away to Villa in December.

However, just as with Liverpool earlier in the day, Arsenal failed to score and with six minutes to go, they fell behind as Leon Bailey gave Villa the lead and stunned the Emirates Stadium.

As Arsenal pushed forward in search of an equaliser, a counter-attacking goal saw Villa striker Ollie Watkins break clear of the home side’s defence to double their lead.

Aston Villa striker Watkins celebrates after scoring his team’s 2nd goal in the 87th minute.

Sunday’s results see City end the weekend as league leaders on 73 points, with Arsenal (71) in second ahead of third-placed Liverpool (71) courtesy of their superior goal difference.

Pep Guardiola’s City — who are also hunting for a second successive ‘treble’ of Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League titles in a single season — are next back in league action with a trip to Brighton on April 25. First, though, they host Real Madrid on Wednesday in the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final following last Tuesday’s spectacular 3-3 draw in Spain.

Arsenal, who also remain in the Champions League and face Bayern Munich away on Wednesday, return to league action on April 20 with an away game against Wolverhampton Wanders while Liverpool, who face Atalanta 3-0 down in their Europa League quarter-final, are away to Fulham on April 21.

Derek Kanalo
the authorDerek Kanalo
News Reporter/ Editor
Am a professionally trained and well skilled media personality. Accuracy is part of my top priority as a journalist.