Home Sport Gunners still firing but Man City already have one hand on crown

Gunners still firing but Man City already have one hand on crown

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Pep Guardiola’s City have the destiny of the crown in their hands after a 2-0 win at Nottingham Forest, while Mikel Arteta’s Gunners are still in the lead after their 3-2 victory at Tottenham, albeit having played a game more.

File Picture: Action Images via Reuters, Jason Cairnduff

The Premier League is down to a two-horse race between Manchester City and Arsenal after Liverpool’s slim title chances took a further hit.

Pep Guardiola’s City have the destiny of the crown in their hands after a 2-0 win at Nottingham Forest, while Mikel Arteta’s Gunners are still in the lead after their 3-2 victory at Tottenham, albeit having played a game more.

Aston Villa are in prime position to secure the fourth Uefa Champions League spot, while Burnley have given themselves a fighting chance of survival.

Here, we look at three talking points from the Premier League weekend.

Reds’ season unravels

Jurgen Klopp will be desperate to end his Liverpool career on a high note after a painful period for the club.

Just weeks ago the Reds were on course for a historic quadruple of trophies with the League Cup already under their belts but exits from the FA Cup and the Europa League have been accompanied by a damaging run of Premier League results.

Saturday’s 2-2 draw at West Ham effectively ended their title push and fans saw the unedifying spectacle of a touchline spat between Klopp and substitute Mohamed Salah.

Klopp will know he faces a huge challenge to motivate his men in the final weeks of the campaign, with little to play for.

“Do they (Manchester City and Arsenal) look like they will lose two or three games?” he said.

“No, I don’t think so but, honestly, I’m not angry or whatever … I don’t think about it. It’s just we have to win football games and let’s see what that means in the end.”

Villa close on Champions League spot

Aston Villa last played in Europe’s top club competition in 1983 – a year after they beat Bayern Munich in the final. Now they are close to qualifying for next year’s Champions League with just three Premier League matches remaining.

Unai Emery, who has pedigree in European competition with Sevilla and Villarreal, was unfazed by his side’s 2-2 draw with Chelsea on Saturday even after they squandered a 2-0 lead, preferring to focus on their consistency.

It has turned out to be a valuable point for Villa after fifth-placed Tottenham lost to Arsenal on Sunday. Villa are seven points ahead of Spurs with league games to come against Brighton, Liverpool and Crystal Palace.

Tottenham have two games in hand but a daunting fixture list including games against Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City.

Can Burnley escape the drop?

Vincent Kompany’s Burnley looked dead and buried just weeks ago – certain to head back down to the Championship after just one season in the Premier League. But they have earned the right to dream, with just one defeat in their past eight matches.

Zeki Amdouni scored a late penalty as Burnley drew 1-1 with faltering Manchester United on Saturday to earn one more precious point.

They are still second from the bottom of the table but just two points behind Nottingham Forest, who are just outside the drop zone.

Much could depend on whether Forest have any success in their appeal against a four-point deduction for breaching Premier League financial rules, with a decision expected in the coming days.

AFP

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