Advantage Manchester City In The Premier League Title Race

Manchester City sit atop the Premier League table after a disappointing matchweek 32 for Liverpool and Arsenal.

All three teams had challenging European ties in midweek, and only Manchester City won at the weekend. Liverpool needed to bounce back against Crystal Palace after their 3 – 0 defeat to Atalanta at Anfield. 

Arsenal, meanwhile, were four days removed from their 2 – 2 draw with Bayern Munich when they hosted Villa at home.

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Manchester City had the most favourable league game with Luton at home, and they capitalised. Saturday’s 5 – 1 win for City set the tone for Arsenal and Liverpool who played the following day.

Unfortunately for Liverpool, Crystal Palace arrived at Anfield with the temerity to play quite well indeed. Oliver Glasner’s style is clearly taking effect, and they passed their way around Liverpool well. Eze scored on 14 minutes and for once, Liverpool couldn’t come back.

They have gained the most points from losing positions in the Premier League this season. However, you can’t keep conceding the first goal and expect to win. After Atalanta, this was another game too far for Liverpool.

Later on Arsenal had a chance to take advantage and move back into first place above City. At first, it looked like they would do just that. Their first half performance against Aston Villa was brilliant, and only lacked good finishing.

The second half was a different story, though. Arsenal should have been a goal or two or three ahead and when the second half started, they were edgy. 

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Villa improved but not hugely – they went from first half underdogs to competent opponents in the second. Arsenal had no answer, their football deserted them completely, and the first Villa goal from Bailey felt inevitable. Watkins scored a second two seconds later to put a serious dent in Arsenal’s Premier League hopes.

Of course, the three contenders are all still within one game of each other, so the title race is not over. However, we have seen this before. When it’s City’s title to lose, they tend not to lose it and it’s theirs to lose as it stands.