LONDON: Manchester City moved closer to the Premier League title as the runaway leaders won 2-0 at Leicester, while Liverpool took full advantage of Chelsea’s shock 2-5 collapse to West Bromwich Albion to close within two points of the top four with a 3-0 win at Arsenal. City are 17 points clear of second-placed Manchester United after a remarkable 15th successive away win in all competitions, and it is only a matter of time before Pep Guardiola’s men celebrate their third title in four seasons. Goals from Benjamin Mendy and Gabriel Jesus killed off third-placed Leicester in the second half at the King Power.
City, chasing an unprecedented quadruple, will go into their Champions League quarter-final first leg against Borussia Dortmund tomorrow in confident mood after avenging the 5-2 thrashing they suffered against Leicester in September. “It is a big step to winning the Premier League,” Guardiola said. “The Premier League is the nicest competition to win. It is 11 months and it is so tough. We are close.”
City controlled possession and their dominance was rewarded in the 58th minute. Mendy cleverly eluded Marc Albrighton in the Leicester penalty area before curling a fine finish into the far corner with his weaker right foot. Jesus then converted his fifth goal in his last seven games 16 minutes from time from Raheem Sterling’s unselfish pass.
Liverpool back in the groove
City’s win meant Liverpool can now not mathematically retain their title, but they are back in the race for Champions League football next season thanks to their first successive league victories since January. Jurgen Klopp’s men looked more like their old selves in a dominant display that got its reward thanks to three goals in 18 second-half minutes.
Substitute Diogo Jota powered home Trent Alexander-Arnold’s cross to break the deadlock before Mohamed Salah cleverly prodded the ball between the legs of Bernd Leno. Jota rounded off the scoring with his sixth goal in four games for club and country. “We have to win our own games, but in our situation other teams have to lose games as well,” said Klopp. “We have to keep working, but it is a nice sign. We are still there.”
Arsenal remain in ninth with their season now hinging on success in the Europa League after what manager Mikel Arteta described as an “unacceptable” performance. Leeds moved level on points with the Gunners as they pushed bottom-of-the-table Sheffield United closer to relegation with a 2-1 win in a Yorkshire derby at Elland Road. – AFP