Man City and Liverpool win in EPL title race; Norwich relegated
LONDON (AP) — It’s still Manchester City’s advantage in the English Premier League title race after league leaders and Liverpool won tough away games against in-form teams on Saturday.
The first was Liverpool, who won at Newcastle 1-0 despite resting several players, and were briefly top of the table.
Then City won at Leeds 4-0 a few hours later to go one point above Liverpool and also close in on one of Liverpool’s goals, which is England’s first tiebreaker.
There are four rounds left in their compelling title fight.
“We stayed together and reduced the goal difference. I don’t know if it’s important, but it’s in our hands,” said City manager Pep Guardiola.
“Newcastle, Wolves, West Ham and Aston Villa. We know exactly what we have to do and we share the same opinion. We win, we will be champions. We draw, they (Liverpool) will be champions.
Both teams also have the second legs of their Champions League semi-finals next week: Liverpool travel to Villarreal with a 2-0 lead, and City play Real Madrid after also winning the first leg 4- 3.
With that in mind, Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp left Trent Alexander-Arnold, Fabinho, Thiago Alcantara and Mohamed Salah out of the starting line-up.
However, they should have won more comfortably as they dominated. In the end, Naby Keita’s first-half goal stood.
Jordan Henderson and Diogo Jota combined to feed Keita, who went inside before sending the ball past an unfortunate Martin Dubravka.
Newcastle had banked on a fifth straight win – and a seventh straight win at home – but struggled to escape the Liverpool press.
“Coming here, a fit team, six home wins in a row, great weather, everyone in good spirits, pretty much everything was ready for another home win,” Klopp said.
“The only group that wanted to avoid that was my players. It was an outstanding game of football, to be honest. Under the circumstances, it was a first-class performance.
Relegation-threatened Leeds have also been in impressive form having gone unbeaten in their previous five matches.
But Rodri steered City to a half-time lead, and further goals from Nathan Ake, Gabriel Jesus and Fernandinho sealed the result, which was not as comfortable as the scoreline suggests.
Leeds remained one place and five points above Everton, third from bottom, who have two games in hand.
Norwich were relegated after Dean Smith’s return to Aston Villa ended in a 2-0 defeat.
Goals from Ollie Watkins and Danny Ings handed Norwich a 10th defeat in 12 and left them with 13 safety points with four games remaining.
It is the fourth consecutive season that has ended in promotion or relegation for Norwich.
Watford were also on course to go straight back to the Championship after losing to Burnley 2-1 to become the first side in top-flight history to lose 11 consecutive games at home.
Two late goals condemned Watford to defeat and left them 12 points behind Leeds.
Burnley moved five points clear of the fall.
Southampton were 11 points clear – despite having played one game more than any team around them – after losing at home to Crystal Palace 2-1.
Moreover, Brighton won at Wolverhampton 3-0.
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