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Football: Manchester City regains the lead of the English championship just before the final day

Manchester City did not stumble against Tottenham on Tuesday evening, May 14, during their late Premier League match. The Citizens did not master everything, they sometimes lacked tone and precision, but they went for a crucial victory (2-0) in a Tottenham Hotspur Stadium where they had never won, or even scored , in the championship since the inauguration in 2019.

With this success, Manchester City regains the lead in the championship, at the expense of Arsenal before the final day, with the objective of finishing in style to win a fourth title in a row, a series never achieved in England.

The Mancunian club, leader with two points ahead, must finish the job on Sunday against West Ham at home to prevent their runner-up Arsenal, host of Everton at the same time, from taking the lead and winning their first championship since 2003 -2004, during the “invincibles” season of French manager Arsène Wenger.

Read also | Article reserved for our subscribers Twenty years after the “Invincibles”, Arsenal returns to the heights of the English championship

Double from Erding and save from Ortega

Deliverance, on Tuesday, came for the Sky Blues from a double from Erling Haaland, now author of 27 goals in 30 Premier League matches played this season, a rate that is still hellish for his second year in England. The Norwegian giant first took over a service from Kevin De Bruyne, his favorite serial passer (51e1-0), before scoring a penalty (90+1) obtained by Jérémy Doku.

Five minutes earlier, however, Man City fans were given a huge thrill when Heung-min Son came to challenge Stefan Ortega. But the German goalkeeper, who entered Ederson’s place earlier, hit in the face, made a superb save like a handball goalkeeper (86e).

“Ortega made saves, otherwise Arsenal are champions”summed up Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola in a post-match conference. “This is the reality in modern football, the margins are very fine”he admitted.

Arsenal fans and players were hoping for a boost from Tottenham, their historic rival in north London, but it did not come, despite the desire displayed by the “Spurs”. Goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario delayed the deadline with a left volley from Phil Foden (16e), pushed back with the right arm, or a pivotal strike from Kevin De Bruyne (47e), dismissed not without difficulty.

Manchester City final sprint specialist

But the successor of Hugo Lloris ended up giving in to the master of assists, De Bruyne, and the chief finisher, Haaland, thus becoming the first “Citizen” (and the only one for the moment) to have scored in Premier League at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. The local fans didn’t like it, but they took the opportunity to scare their London rivals − “Are you watching, Arsenal? » (Are you looking, Arsenal) −, aware that the result took the Gunners away from the title.

Read also | Arsenal beat Manchester United to maintain suspense in Premier League title race

But for Tottenham (5e), this setback at home buries the hope of playing in the Champions League next season. The last ticket will go to Aston Villa (4e) back in the continental elite more than 40 years after its last appearance (Champion Clubs’ Cup in 1982-1983).

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The curtain on the Premier League is ready to close on a final day of suspense. The outcome could be cruel for Arsenal who are having a fantastic second half of the season, with an iron defense and a fiery attack. But the Manchester City machine was also running at full speed as the finish approached, its specialty from year to year. Pep Guardiola’s armada has gone 22 matches without defeat in the Premier League since the last one, at the start of December against Aston Villa.

“It’s another final and I hope we can make history for this great club. The work is not finished, far from it”tempered Citizens captain Kyle Walker.

The World with AFP

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