03 May 2022 | 08:03 | Football
MANCHESTER, England— Manchester City regained its one-point lead at the top of the Premier League with a 3-0 win over Brighton and Hove Albion while upset Arsenal London rivals Chelsea with a 4-2 victory at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.
Liverpool had taken over at the top of the table after its 4-0 demolition of Manchester United on Tuesday, meaning City could ill afford a slip-up at home to Graham Potter’s side.
Pep Guardiola’s team quarreled to break down a well-organized Brighton defense in the opening 45 minutes but broke the deadlock through Algerian forward Riyad Mahrez in the 53rd minute.
Kevin De Bruyne burst forward from inside his own half, brushing off three challengers, before finding Mahrez who converted at the second attempt.
That opener settled City’s nerves with the hosts scoring a second 12 minutes later as Phil Foden’s effort from distance was helped past Brighton goalkeeper Robert Sanchez by a deflection.
Bernardo Silva added a late third to round off the win that moved Pep Guardiola’s side onto 77 points from 32 games.
Arsenal’s victory, with two goals from Eddie Nketiah was a major boost in its bid to qualify for the Champions League via a top-four finish.
The win moves the Gunners level on 57 points with fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur with both teams having played 32 matches and set to meet at Spurs on May 12.
Arsenal went ahead twice in a pulsating first half at Stamford Bridge, first when Nketiah pounced on a weak back pass by Andreas Christensen in the 13th minute and then when Emile Smith-Rowe finished off a flowing counter-attack in the 27th.
But the visitors were quickly pegged back on both occasions by equalizers from Timo Werner and Cesar Azpilicueta.
Nketiah restored the visitors’ lead in the 57th minute when he seized on another mix-up in Chelsea’s defense to make it 3-2, stabbing the ball home after Thiago Silva’s interception bounced into the Arsenal striker’s path off Malang Sarr.
Chelsea searched for a third leveler but it was Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka who rounded off the win when he converted a penalty in the 92nd minute after he was adjudged to have been fouled by Azpilicueta.
Chelsea stayed in third place on 62 points having played a game less than both Spurs and Arsenal.
At the bottom end of the table, Everton needed a stoppage-time equalizer from Richarlison to scrape a point at home to Leicester City and move four points clear of the relegation zone.
Harvey Barnes put the visitors in front in the fifth minute, poke home a pass from James Maddison from close range as Everton quarreled to find its feet, and the home side did not register a shot on target in the first half.
Richarlison finally forced a save from Kasper Schmeichel in the 67th minute but he wasted several good chances before redeeming himself with a scuffed shot in the second minute of stoppage time at the end of the game to grab a point.
Everton are four points clear of 18th-placed Burnley with both teams having seven games to go. Managerless Burnley hosts Southampton at Turf Moor on Thursday.
Relegation worries are now a distant memory for Newcastle United which picked up its sixth straight home win with Miguel Almiron’s first goal for the club in over a year earning them a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace to move Eddie Howe’s side up to 11th.
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