Sterling puts City 3 points ahead of Liverpool in title bid

MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Manchester City kicked off the celebrations to mark a decade since their first Premier League title by trying to avoid making their sixth win so tense or dramatic with a rout started and ended by Raheem Sterling.

What had been a tight title race is now more firmly in City’s control after a 5-0 win over Newcastle sent the champions three points clear of Liverpool on Sunday.

How costly Liverpool’s draw with Tottenham alone on Saturday could be, as City now also have a plus-4 superior goal difference over their rival with three games to go.

Between a pair of goals from Sterling, Aymeric Laporte, Rodri and Phil Foden also found the net. The victory in style ensured that City could even afford to drop points in one game remaining and still win a sixth English title in 10 years.

Surely City won’t take the trophy into stoppage time of the last match like in 2012, a moment immortalized on the shirts worn by the 2022 team before Sunday’s kick-off with “Agueroooo 93:20” to mark the moment Sergio Aguero . he scored the title goal.

What hasn’t changed in 10 years, with every Premier League title won, is the quest for Champions League glory. But after a collapse at Real Madrid on Wednesday denied City a place in a second successive final, Pep Guardiola’s side returned effortlessly to housework.

However, in the years to come, Newcastle could challenge City for honors not only in the Premier League but also in Europe.

“We are richer than you,” Newcastle fans mockingly taunted their City counterparts.

But City showed Abu Dhabi’s 14-year funding advantage over a Newcastle side that have only had one transfer window since being bought by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund and spent to avoid relegation.

After Chris Wood’s meek header squandered the chance to give Newcastle the lead, João Cancelo headed the visitors’ goal and Sterling headed City in front in the 19th minute.

Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dubravka’s inability to stop İlkay Gündoğan’s shot from outside the penalty area eventually allowed Laporte to score the second goal in the 38th. That goal came from a corner, as did the third. in minute 61 when Rodri finished off Kevin De Bruyne’s center with a header.

The sparkle of victory came when Jack Grealish set up Oleksandr Zinchenko for a shot that Foden converted in the 90th. And in the third minute of stoppage time, Grealish drove in Sterling to sweep in his second goal.

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE CHASE

The Champions League is preparing to receive Arsenal again after five seasons of absence.

The north London club are close to sealing fourth place and returning to Europe’s elite and lucrative competition after a 2-1 victory over Leeds on Sunday left the team four points clear of Tottenham with three games to go. final.

The first of these is at Tottenham on Thursday and a win in the North London derby would secure fourth place.

It was Eddie Nketiah’s brace in the opening 10 minutes that ultimately secured victory over Leeds, which saw captain Luke Ayling sent off in the 27th minute for a two-footed foul on Gabriel Martinelli. Diego Llorente’s second-half goal for Leeds failed to spark a comeback.

Arsenal qualified for the Champions League for 19 consecutive seasons under Arsene Wenger before two years of failing to do so led to the manager’s departure in 2018.

DESCENT SCRAP

Losing to Arsenal sent Leeds into the relegation zone along with already relegated Watford and Norwich, while Everton jumped out of the bottom three with a 2-1 win at Leicester.

Mason Holgate’s header ensured victory for Everton half an hour after Leicester striker Patson Daka canceled out Vitalii Mykolenko’s volley. Jordan Pickford’s saves for Everton secured all three points in the second half.

Frank Lampard’s Everton have the advantage of three games remaining while Burnley and Leeds, who are a point behind Everton, have one game in hand.

PERSECUTION OF EUROPE

Manchester United’s worst Premier League season in history, typified by a 4-0 collapse at Brighton on Saturday, has given West Ham hope of dislodging the fallen giants from sixth place.

A 4-0 win over last-place Norwich kept West Ham in seventh place, good enough for Europa Conference League qualification, but David Moyes’ side are just three points off sixth place with two games remaining. and one less against United in the Europa League final. point.

A brace from Said Benrahma, a goal from Michail Antonio and a penalty from Manuel Lanzini in the second half ensured a resounding victory for West Ham, who were denied a place in this season’s Europa League final by Eintracht Frankfurt on Thursday. .

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