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Manchester City go top of English Premier League
Published on: Monday, April 15, 2024
By: AFP
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Manchester City go top of English Premier League
Manchester City’s Erling Haaland (left) has his shot deflected into the net by Luton’s Daiki Hashioka (right) for an own-goal.
MANCHESTER: Manchester City moved to the top of the Premier League as lowly Luton were eased aside 5-1 at the Etihad while Newcastle thrashed Tottenham 4-0 on Saturday.

Amid a gruelling schedule, Pep Guardiola could hardly have wished for a kinder fixture in between the two legs of his side’s Champions League quarter-final against Real Madrid.

Guardiola made six changes from a thrilling 3-3 draw in the Spanish capital on Tuesday and City seemed set for a stress-free afternoon from the moment they opened the scoring after just two minutes.

Erling Haaland’s shot deflected off the unfortunate Daiki Hashioka into his own net.

Yet the floodgates refused to open as the English champions had to wait until after the hour mark before making the points safe when Mateo Kovacic smashed in Julian Alvarez’s cross at the edge of the box.

Haaland scored five goals when the sides met in the FA Cup in February.

The Norwegian had to settle for just one time this time when scored from the penalty spot for his 20th Premier League goal of the season.

Ross Barkley netted a late consolation for Luton but they have just five games left to save their top-flight status.

Jeremy Doku fired into the far corner after jinking through the Luton defence before Josko Gvardiol scored his second goal in a week after opening his City account in Madrid.

Victory takes City two points clear of Arsenal and Liverpool, who both have a game in hand, and are in action on Sunday.

Liverpool host Crystal Palace at Anfield looking to bounce back from their shock Europa League defeat to Atalanta.

Arsenal entertain Aston Villa, who moved back into the top four without kicking a ball on Saturday thanks to Tottenham’s trouncing at St. James’ Park.

“The only way is to win our games and put the pressure,” said Guardiola. “We have done our job and that is what we have to do.”

Alexander Isak scored twice while Anthony Gordon and Fabian Schar were also on target as the Magpies moved up to sixth and kept their slim chances of Champions League football next season alive.

Newcastle are 10 points adrift of Tottenham and Villa with six games remaining but have the far easier run-in.

“We’ve just got to keep doing our bit which is trying to win every game,” said Newcastle boss Eddie Howe.

“We’re hopefully returning to somewhere near our best and we’ve got to keep heading in that direction.”

Manchester United missed the chance to move back above Newcastle after a 2-2 draw at Bournemouth.

Twice the Cherries led through Dominic Solanke and Justin Kluivert, but Bruno Fernandes struck twice to salvage a point for the Red Devils.

Bournemouth thought they had the chance to win the game deep into stoppage time when referee Tony Harrington pointed to the spot.

But VAR intervened to determine Willy Kambwala’s foul on Ryan Christie had taken place just outside the box.

At the bottom of the table, Nottingham Forest edged one point clear of the bottom three after a thrilling 2-2 draw against Wolves.

Matheus Cunha struck twice for the visitors at the City Ground to deny Forest a vital three points after goals from Morgan Gibbs White and Danilo had put them 2-1 in front.

Brentford’s first win in 10 games pulled the Bees seven points clear of the drop zone as Ollie Arblaster’s own goal and Frank Onyeka earned a 2-0 victory over Sheffield United.

Burnley’s chances of survival are fading fast after a 1-1 draw at home to Brighton left them still second bottom, six points adrift of safety.

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