Man City’s ‘title to lose’ after Chelsea, Liverpool fall on their swords

4 January

EVEN after a weekend in which Manchester City produced the worst performance of the Premier League’s top four, the champions streaked further clear towards a fourth title in five years.

City manager Pep Guardiola admitted his side were second best despite coming from behind to beat 10-man Arsenal 2-1 with a 93rd minute winner that secured an 11th consecutive league win.

As Guardiola’s men have hit their stride, Chelsea and Liverpool have run out of steam to turn a tight three-horse race, into a procession.

Struck down by coronavirus outbreaks and injuries, the two challengers for City’s crown threw themselves into a titanic battle at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, but a 2-2 draw did little for either side’s hopes of reeling in the leaders.

City’s advantage now stands at 10 points from Chelsea, with Liverpool a further point back with a game in hand.

“It’s a big gap, so they have the title maybe to lose at the moment,” said Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk, one of those forced into a swift return to action after testing positive for Covid-19.
“We just have to get results, play good football and win games. It sounds pretty easy but it’s tough.”

Rather than cutting the gap, there is a likelihood it could grow in the coming weeks as Chelsea and Liverpool tackle their own issues.

Both are involved in two-legged League Cup semi-finals over the next two midweeks despite calls from managers for the ties to be switched to one-off games. — AFP