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EPL PIX: City given title lifeline! Arsenal stumble; Liverpool stunned

April 15, 2024 01:03 IST
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Arsenal's title hopes hit with 2-0 loss to Villa as Man City get boost


IMAGE: Aston Villa's Ollie Watkins scores their second goal past Arsenal's David Raya. Photograph: David Klein/Reuters

Arsenal's Premier League title push was hit by late goals from Aston Villa's Leon Bailey and Ollie Watkins as they suffered a surprise 2-0 home defeat on Sunday to hand the initiative to leaders and defending champions Manchester City.

Villa substitute Bailey tapped home from close range in the 84th minute before Watkins' sublime finish three minutes later sent Gunners fans streaming for the exits.

Arsenal's loss, their first in 12 league games, leaves them in second place, two points behind City and level on points with third-placed Liverpool with six games left to play.


Following Liverpool's 1-0 defeat at home to Crystal Palace earlier on Sunday, the weekend belonged to City who bolstered their chances of an unprecedented fourth straight league title with a 5-1 demolition of visiting Luton Town on Saturday.

Opta now give City a 70% chance of winning the Premier League, with Arsenal on just over 18% and Liverpool nearly 12%.

Arteta said his side's trip to Bayern Munich in the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie, after a 2-2 draw in midweek, was "a beautiful opportunity" to respond.

The win boosts fourth-placed Villa's chances of qualifying for next season's Champions League and moves them three points above Tottenham Hotspur, albeit having played a game more.


IMAGE: Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta reacts. Photograph: Paul Childs/Reuters

Villa weathered pressure in the first half, with Kai Havertz shooting straight at goalkeeper Emi Martinez before Gabriel Jesus and Bukayo Saka hit the side-netting as an opening goal for the Gunners' felt like an imminent inevitability.

Bailey gave Villa the lead when he turned in Lucas Digne's dangerous cross before Watkins broke Arsenal hearts with a beautiful chip over keeper David Raya to settle the contest.

The goal was Watkins' 19th in the league, which with his 10 league assists puts him behind only Bayern Munich's Harry Kane and Paris St Germain's Kylian Mbappe for goal involvements in Europe's top five leagues this season.

Eze and Palace deal Liverpool big blow to title chances with 1-0 victory


IMAGE: Crystal Palace's Eberechi Eze scores past Liverpool's Alisson. Photograph: Carl Recine/Reuters

Liverpool's bid to win the Premier League title in manager Juergen Klopp's final season with the club suffered a huge blow as they were beaten 1-0 by Crystal Palace at Anfield on Sunday that left them third in the table.

Eberechi Eze scored in the 14th minute to stun the Anfield faithful in the third consecutive disappointing result for Liverpool.

Klopp's men are level on 71 points with second-placed Arsenal, who suffered a 2-0 shock loss to Aston Villa later on Sunday but lead Liverpool on goal difference. Liverpool trail leaders Manchester City by two points.

Tyrick Mitchell found Eze unmarked in the box after a beautiful build-up of 21 passes and Eze slotted home with his first touch to put Palace ahead.

Poor finishing by Liverpool sealed their first league loss at Anfield since October 2022 and the television cameras captured young Liverpool fans wiping away tears in the stands after the final whistle.

Liverpool, who had 21 shots to Palace's eight, squandered a bagful of chances including Curtis Jones's shot on a breakaway that he fired wide, tugging his shirt over his head in disbelief. Liverpool's talisman Mohamed Salah hammered a close-range strike off a defender in the dying seconds.

Palace could have doubled their lead in the first half when Jean-Philippe Mateta chipped past Liverpool keeper Alisson. The ball was bound for goal but defender Andy Robertson sprinted back and slid to just save it on the line.

Palace, who are 14th in the table, ended a 10-match winless run on the road with their first away victory since November against Burnley.

Liverpool were coming off a 3-0 loss to Atalanta in the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final on Thursday and a costly 2-2 draw with Manchester United in their previous league game last Sunday.

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