Where Man City Could Drop Points as Liverpool Pray for Late Slip Up in Premier League Title Race

Liverpool fans saw their best chance of winning a first league title in 29 years slip away on Wednesday night as Manchester United failed to do their fiercest rivals a favour by taking points off Manchester City in the potentially season-defining Manchester derby.

City moved back to the top of the Premier League as a result of the 2-0 win at Old Trafford, with both they and Liverpool now having played the same number of games.

Three more wins in the remaining fixtures would therefore see Pep Guardiola’s City become the first team to retain the Premier League title since Manchester United in 2009.

Leroy Sane,Bernardo Silva,Raheem Sterling

Hope isn’t dead for Liverpool. Jurgen Klopp’s team know that winning their three remaining fixtures, against Huddersfield, Newcastle and Wolves, will at least keep the pressure firmly on the leaders and be ready to pounce on any City slip up in the final weeks of the season.

But where could City now drop points? All it takes is one draw to open the door again.

Burnley (a) 

Ashley Barnes

City’s next fixture is a tough one, away at Burnley. The Clarets are one of the Premier League’s form teams after winning three of their last four games and holding Chelsea to a 2-2 draw in the other. They also went on an eight-game unbeaten run from December to February.

What’s more, Burnley have the impressive record of beating the reigning champions at least once every season in which they have been a Premier League club. That includes beating Manchester United in 2009/10, City in 2014/15, Leicester in 2016/17 and Chelsea in 2017/18.

They didn’t manage a win against City earlier this season and could yet do it. That being said, Sean Dyche’s side were battered 5-0 when the teams met at the Etihad Stadium in October.

Leicester City (h)

FBL-ENG-PR-WEST HAM-LEICESTER

Liverpool fans will be looking to former manager Brendan Rodgers to do them one more favour on 6 May as, after Burnley, City play host to Leicester in their penultimate game. Assuming the leaders have beaten Burnley, that is Liverpool’s next hope for a slip up as the Foxes have caused City problems in the recent past, and notably already this season.

During the 2015/16 campaign, Leicester thrashed City 3-1 at the Etihad Stadium after drawing 0-0 at home. City were then thumped 4-2 by Leicester in Guardiola’s first year in England.

This season, the pair have already met twice, once in the EFL Cup. It took a penalty shootout before Leicester were beaten in that tie, while the Foxes won 2-1 in the Premier League fixture on Boxing Day after a late winner from Portuguese full-back Ricardo Pereira.

Brighton & Hove Albion (a)

Lewis Dunk

City’s final game of the season will then be against Brighton on 12 May. A result favourable to Liverpool appears far less likely in that one, although at least it wouldn’t be out of the question. With Brighton not yet safe from relegation, Chris Hughton’s side may still need at least a point on the final day to guarantee survival.

While Brighton are in a wretched run of form – losing five of their last six league games – they did put up a solid showing against City in the FA Cup final back at the start of April. They did, however, still lose that day courtesy of an early Gabriel Jesus goal.

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Unai Emery Says He’s ‘Angry’ With Himself After Arsenal Suffer 3-1 Defeat at Wolves

Arsenal manager Unai Emery has revealed that he was left ‘angry’ with himself ​after his side’s embarrassing first-half display led to Wolves inflicting a 3-1 defeat on the Gunners on Wednesday evening.

Having fallen to a shock 3-2 loss to Crystal Palace at the Emirates on Sunday, Arsenal were in dire need of an improved performance and result in the race for the top four.

Matt Doherty

Instead, the north London side found themselves three goals down at the break courtesy of strikes from Ruben Neves, Matt Doherty and Diogo Jota, before Sokratis added a late consolation for the visitors.

Speaking after the game about how he felt at half-time, Emery revealed (as quoted by the ​club’s official website): “I usually am very disciplined with myself. I am angry with myself. We didn’t do the game plan like I wanted. I am not angry with the players, I am angry with myself. 

“My idea and my style is to look in front and find a solution. Not to find who the player is who is playing worse or why they are not doing all we spoke about before. 

Unai Emery

“First I find the solution. The solution for me [now] is to think about Sunday and take the possibility on Sunday to come back with our best performance and our best competitive team for the possibility to take the three points.”

With the defeat taking the destiny of finishing in the top four out of their hands, Emery admitted that securing Champions League football via the ​Premier League would now be ‘difficult’.

The ​Arsenal boss added: “Generally we are now disappointed, but we need to also look at all the season and we are not in our own hands now because we lost this possibility today, but we need to prepare the best as possible for Sunday’s match against Leicester. 

“If we win, okay it’s going to be very difficult again, but another option that we can take on Sunday.”

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Niko Kovac Laments Bayern Munich’s ‘Passive’ Defence Despite Reaching DFB Cup Final

​Niko Kovac was full of praise for both sides as Bayern Munich beat Werder Bremen 3-2 at the Weserstadion to reach the DFB Cup final on Wednesday night.

The game was a rematch of the two club’s Bundesliga match just four days prior, in which Bayern secured a 1-0 win, with chances falling for either side in a highly entertaining semi final encounter.


Goals from Robert Lewandowski and ​Thomas Muller put Die Roten in the driving seat, yet the visitors were pegged back courtesy of two goals within a minute from Yuya Osako and Milo Rashica before Lewandowksi sealed the win from the spot ten minutes from time.

“Both teams turned in a great display. On the balance of the chances I’d say we deserved to progress, taking everything into account,” Kovac said on the ​club’s official website.

“We defended high up the field in the first half, we didn’t let Bremen approach our goal.”

A pulsating first half never let off, despite Lewandowski’s simple finish settling Die Roten nerves, and even after Muller’s second seemed to seal the deal, the hosts struck back with a quickfire double to stun the traveling faithful.


Kovac was critical of his side’s defensive reaction after taking the lead, and was equally unapproving of their negative approach after scoring the second, but confessed the home support played their part on the night.

He added: “We dropped deeper and deeper after the hour mark, inviting our opponents to attack, that hadn’t been our plan. I knew it would be open again if Bremen scored, spurred on by the fantastic crowd. We were too passive when we conceded the goals.”


Wednesday’s result now means Bayern are in the driving seat to claim a ​Bundesliga and DFB Cup double this season, leading ​Borussia Dortmund in the league and setting up a tie with RB Leipzig in the DFB Cup final.

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Eden Hazard Inching Closer to Real Madrid as Huge Potential Wages & Chelsea Asking Price Revealed

Chelsea superstar Eden Hazard is seemingly edging closer and closer to competing his dream summer transfer to Real Madrid after a new report claimed to reveal the enormous wages he is expected to be offered by Los Blancos.

Hazard has just one more season left on his current Chelsea contract and appears to have little intention of signing a new one. That will force Chelsea’s hand as selling him for as much as they can this summer is the best way to avoid losing him as a free agent in 2020.

Eden Hazard

It was reported earlier this month that Real planned an opening offer of £85m, while eager Spanish outlet Marca ​even claimed a €100m (€86m) was just days away from being ‘official’.

The saga may drag on as the clubs continue to hammer out a formal fee, but The Sun claims that Hazard ‘will be allowed to leave’ if Real agree to pay £100m (€116m).

The tabloid report explains that Hazard does not wish to be distracted by talks over his future while Chelsea are still fighting to win the Europa League, but then Real will ‘throw everything’ at the Belgian international to strike a deal on personal terms when the seasons finishes.

FBL-EURO-2020-QUALIFIER-BEL-RUS

According to The Sun, that offer would see a net salary of £400,000 (€460,000) each week, worth as much as £20m (€23m) per year, in addition to £15m (€17m) in potential bonuses. It is said Real are even planning to help with relocation costs and ‘in talks’ to buy Hazard a house.

Real have already been active in the transfer market ahead of this summer after striking a pre-arranged deal for Porto defender Eder Militao. Santos prodigy Rodrygo Goes is also expected to make the switch to Madrid this summer after agreeing a €45m transfer a year ago.

Rodrygo

For Chelsea, a £100m windfall for 28-year-old Hazard would certainly represent smart business, but it remains to be seen if the club will actually be able to spend on new players this summer as a FIFA-imposed transfer ban continues to hang over them.

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Concedes Man Utd Are Nowhere Near Man City’s Level After Derby Defeat

​Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has admitted that their local rivals Manchester City are on a different level as it stands.

City returned to the top of the Premier League after beating United 2-0 at Old Trafford thanks to second half strikes from Bernardo Silva and Leroy Sane, with David De Gea being questioned on both goals.

Leroy Sane,David Silva,Bernardo Silva,Sergio Aguero,Raheem Sterling

The Red Devils only managed one shot on target during the defeat, which was their seventh in nine games, having failed to score in their last four fixtures.

“Towards the end you can see the difference,” Solskjaer said, as quoted by the Manchester Evening News

He added: “I thought we held our own, the players came out with a great attitude, we got a reaction from them, we got a reaction the crowd, we had some half-decent chances, they had probably the biggest one with ​Sterling, of course, just before half-time.

“But at half-time we felt we’re still in the game and then the more the game went on after they scored you could see the difference.

“Of course you’re at home against a very good team but at home you want to win games like this. But they’ve set the standard and over the last couple seasons they’ve been best team in country and that’s the challenge for us to get to.

“And we’re clearly not there now and that’s for everyone to see but that’s why I’m in the job for: To improve and get closer to them.”

Man Utd remain in sixth, with a place in next season’s Champions League in serious doubt, as they currently lie three points off fourth placed Chelsea with just three games remaining.

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