Premier League Notebook: Spurs stun Manchester City to reignite the title race
Who said the title race was already over? Manchester City looked to have an unassailable lead in the Premier League after a flawless couple of months, but suddenly it’s all to play for again, as Harry Kane came back to haunt them.
Elsewhere, Mo Salah continued to fire for Liverpool, while Manchester United and Arsenal kept the pressure on each other in the race for Champions League football next season.
Here are the five top takeaways from all the league’s action.
City stunned by Kane
Manchester City’s 15-game unbeaten streak in the Premier League (14-0-1) came to a dramatic end at home to Tottenham on Saturday, as Harry Kane headed a Spurs winner in the 95th minute. It was a true twist of fate for City, who had spent all summer trying to sign Kane, and now the Tottenham striker has reignited the title race.
City twice drew level with Spurs, who went ahead through Dejan Kulusevski in the first half, and then Harry Kane just before the hour mark. It was in the 92nd minute that Riyad Mahrez scored the second equalizer and appeared to have rescued a point for Pep Guardiola’s side, only for Kane to pop up with the winner two minutes later.
The England captain had one of his best games of the season and was a constant threat at the Etihad. Home supporters no doubt left wondering what might have been had they been able to secure Kane’s signature six months ago.
Klopp chasing top spot
City’s defeat was coupled with a thrilling Liverpool comeback at home to Norwich City. The first half at Anfield saw Klopp’s Reds struggle in front of goal, and bottom-of-the-table Norwich took a shock 1-0 lead at the start of the second half. Liverpool rallied though and goals from Sadio Mane, Mo Salah, and new signing Luis Diaz denied Norwich their first win at Anfield in 28 years.
This is a huge result, as it moves Liverpool within six points of Manchester City, with the Reds having played one game less. That additional fixture is another home game this coming Wednesday against Leeds United, a team who are winless in their last four, and in that spell have conceded 2.8 goals a game. A win in that match will put just three points between Liverpool and City in the race for the title.
Those teams meet each other at the Etihad in little over one month’s time in a match that could become the title decider.
The race for the top four heats up
Tottenham’s win was also important in the race for the Champions League, as Wolves, Arsenal, and Manchester United all won over the weekend. The Gunners were comfortable 2-1 winners over Brentford at home, while Wolves won a hard-fought game, 2-1, against Leicester. Manchester United saw their two-goal lead against Leeds disappear in 60 seconds at Elland Road, but the Red Devils rallied to eventually win 4-2.
That means that United currently sit in fourth on 46 points with 26 games played, with West Ham in fifth with 42 points from 26 games. Arsenal are in the best position in sixth, with 42 points, but from just 23 games, while Spurs have also played 23 and are on 39 points.
Arsenal play Wolves on Thursday in a huge top-four clash, with the winner guaranteed to move up to fifth.
Premier League Race for the Top Four
|Position||Team||Games||Points||Top Four betting|
Twists and turns at the bottom
Incredibly, three of the bottom four teams all picked up points to help spice up the battle against relegation. Newcastle picked up a valiant point on the road to Champions League-chasing West Ham, while Burnley put in a huge performance to beat Brighton away 3-0.
Watford also went on the road and beat Aston Villa 1-0, and that has suddenly dragged Everton and Leeds into a messy relegation battle.
Just six points separate Norwich in 20th and Leeds in 15th, and with more than a third of the season still to go, it’s all to play for in the fight to avoid the drop.
Mo Salah, the Egyptian King
Finally, a word on Mo Salah, who scored yet again in the Premier League as Liverpool beat Norwich. It was his 150th goal for Liverpool, meaning he is just one of 10 players to reach that number for the club. He also got there in the second-fastest time, taking just 232 games to get to 150 goals, with Roger Hunt getting there in 226 games.
Mo Salah's Premier League conversion rate
It’s an extraordinary record for the Egyptian King, who now has 17 goals this season and is a clear favorite to win the Golden Boot at -455. He’s also on for his fourth league season with at least 22 goals in the last five years and could clear 40 goals in all competitions, depending on how Liverpool progress in Europe.
He’s in the deadliest league form since his phenomenal 2017-18 season, and that should put the fear into Manchester City!