Man City retain top spot after Liverpool draw, Brentford stun West Ham


LONDON: Manchester City saved their one- point lead at the top of the Pre­mier League after a palpitating 2-2 draw against title rivals Liverpool on Sunday.

Pep Guardiola’s side doubly led in the blockbuster showdown at the Etihad Stadium thanks to pretensions from Kevin De Bruyne and Gabriel Jesus.

Liverpool hit back to equalise on both occasions through Diogo Jota and Sadio Mane, but it was City who finished happier with the result of a high- quality hassle between arguably the world’s two stylish brigades.

With just seven games left, reigning titleholders City remain in pole position to pip second placed Liverpool to the title.

That would give City a fourth English title in five seasons as they look to win a treble of the Premier League, Titleholders League and FA Mug this term, Liverpool’s expedients of a alternate top-flight crown in three times have really been downsized by their failure to take three points home from Manchester.

Jurgen Klopp’s platoon will need a slip from City during the run-in if their shot for an unknown quadruple is to come to consummation.

Since the launch of the 2018-19 season, combining the four juggernauts, City and Liverpool are separated by just a point and the rearmost investiture of their title contest is set to go down to the line again.

On January 15, the title race looked done and dusted as City were 14 points ahead of Liverpool, who had two games in hand.

Liverpool’s 10- match winning run in the league had whittled down at City’s advantage, but the leaders’ capability to end that band leaves the fortune of the jewel in their hands.

City made a flying launch in the fifth nanosecond as De Bruyne skipped once Fabinho on the edge of the area and disburdened a shot that took a wicked deviation off Joel Matip before glancing in off the far post.

City’s joy at De Bruyne’s sixth thing in his last six games was short-lived and Liverpool were level eight twinkles latterly.

Andrew Robertson’s cross reached Trent Alexander-Arnold at the far post and he cropped the ball towards Jota, whose low shot from 10 yards beat Ederson’s weak tried save.

City recaptured the lead in the 37th nanosecond as Jesus repayed Guardiola’s faith for opting him rather of Riyad Mahrez. Cancelo’s superb pass picked out Jesus’s run behind the slow to reply Alexander-Arnold and the Brazilian forward guided a fine finish in off the underpart of the bar.

Running at half- time in a Premier League game for the first time in a time, Liverpool hit back 47 seconds after the interval.

Mohamed Salah’s sublime defence-splitting pass plant Mane’s run and the Senegal forward fired a composed strike into the top corner to celebrate his 30th birthday in style.

City allowed they had gone ahead when Raheem Sterling converted De Bruyne’s pass, only for VAR to disallow the thing for a tight offside.

Mahrez nearly won it for City in the last nanosecond with a free- kick that smacked off the post.

Down from the day’s peak meeting, West Ham’s expedients of finishing in the top four suffered a major blow in a 2-0 defeat at Brentford.

Brentford struck in the 48th nanosecond when Ivan Toney’s film reached Bryan Mbuemo for a sonorous low finish.

Mbuemo returned the favour with an help for Toney as the striker headed home in the 64th nanosecond.

David Moyes’sixth- placed side are now six points behind fourth- placed Tottenham, who have played a game lower than their London rivals.

Norwich kept alive their faint expedients of beating the drop with a 2-0 palm against fellow strugglers Burnley at Carrow Road.

Pierre Lees-Melou and Teemu Pukki scored for bottom-of-the- table Norwich, who are seven points from safety with seven games remaining.

Third-nethermost Burnley are four points adrift of fourth-nethermost Everton, with both brigades having eight matches to play.

Leicester beat Crystal Palace 2-1 at the King Power Stadium as Ademola Lookman bagged his first thing since February.

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