Led 2-0, but with a missed penalty late in the game, Manchester City settled for a 2-2 draw at West Ham on Sunday for the 37th day of the Premier League, while Tottenham overtook Arsenal in the race for the Champions League.
City keep control, but…
The duel between Citizens and Reds for the title almost experienced a major turning point, but the point taken in London is still a small step closer to the title for the outgoing champions.
With a win, they would have been six points clear and with a goal difference well above that of Liverpool who have just two games left to play. But they will be content with this lead of 4 units which leaves only a small hope for Jürgen Klopp’s men.
The latter will go to Southampton on Tuesday. In case of defeat, City will be crowned without playing. Otherwise everything will be decided on the last day when City will host Aston Villa, coached by Steven Gerrard, emblematic captain of Liverpool in the 1990s, while the Reds will host Wolverhampton.
We knew that this penultimate match at West Ham, a difficult team to maneuver, had everything of a trap match.
Especially since his defense is deprived of Ruben Dias, John Stones or Kyle Walker, forcing Fernandinho to evolve in the axis and Oleksander Zinchenko to chain matches on the left.
Faced with such a strong team in transition, the lack of defensive automatism paid off in cash, Jarrod Bowen, revelation of the season at West Ham, starting twice in the back to deceive Ederson (1-0, 24th, 2 -0, 45th).
Despite a relatively low number of shots conceded – 6 including 2 on target – City often trembled, Bowen (61st, 75th) and Michail Antonio (65th) may regret their lack of composure in the last gesture.
Because by dint of making the round back, and even if City struggled offensively for 45 minutes, West Ham cracked.
It was first Jack Grealish who reduced the score with a fine volley at the entrance to the surface on a badly cleared ball (2-1, 49th), before Vladimir Coufal, on a free kick returning from Riyad Mahrez, does not deflect the ball in his net (2-2, 69th).
The Algerian could have been the hero of the match by taking the winning penalty, granted after recourse to the VAR for a foul on Gabriel Jesus, but Lukasz Fabianski started well on his left and pushed it back (86th).
Tottenham take the lead for the C1
Tottenham did not miss their chance to steal 4th place from Arsenal, qualifying for the Champions League by beating, not without difficulty, Burnley (1-0).
After having sharply beaten the Gunners (3-0) in the middle of the week, the Spurs are ahead with 68 points against 66 and a much better goal difference (+24 against +11).
Suffice to say that winning at Newcastle on Monday (8:45 p.m.) will be absolutely imperative for Arsenal before the last day, in a week, when they will host Everton while Tottenham will go to Norwich, last and already relegated.
This defeat puts Burnley in the red zone (18th), a point behind Leeds who obtained a very precious draw against Brighton remains 17th and first non-relegation.
The Claret and Blue could have left with something from London, however, the goal having been provoked by a hand in the box that only VAR seemed to have seen.
The incident, in added time in the first period, allowed Harry Kane to put his side in front after 45 minutes of fruitlessly attacking the opposing goal.
Burnley may also long regret this strike from 20 meters from Ashley Barnes, which came to smash on the right post of Hugo Lloris (62nd).
But Tottenham could also have won more widely without two incredible saves from Nick Pope in front of Son Heung-min (66th, 81st) including a headline on a pivot shot from 7 meters.
Less dashing than Thursday, Antonio Conte’s men provided the essentials and put extreme pressure on the shoulders of Arsenal, the youngest team in the Premier League, who will have to rise to the occasion.