Premier League matchday 13: three talking points

Premier League matchday 13: three talking points

Arsenal took advantage of the points sharing between Manchester City and Liverpool to move to the top of the Premier League after a weekend that left the top four separated by just four points.

The Gunners needed a late goal from Kai Havertz to beat Brentford 1-0.

Liverpool ended City’s 23-game winning streak at the Etihad with a 1-1 draw, while Aston Villa beat Tottenham 2-1 to move up to the top four.

Manchester United and Newcastle also picked up big wins, against Everton and Chelsea respectively, to move closer to the top four.

AFP takes a look at three talking points from the Premier League weekend.

City leaves the door open

City’s bid to win an unprecedented fourth successive English top-flight title looked like a formality when Pep Guardiola’s men won their first six games.

However, City have won just three of their last seven Premier League games, leaving the title race wide open.

The champions had to regret not pressing their lead after Erling Haaland scored his 50th Premier League goal in a record 48 appearances.

Liverpool equalized with 10 minutes remaining through a fine Trent Alexander-Arnold goal to keep Jurgen Klopp’s men just a point behind their title rivals.

Guardiola admitted afterward that City had missed injured Kevin De Bruyne and Ilkay Gundogan, who left the club when it came to finding the fatal ball in the final third.

It’s quite possible that his side still has plenty to give their opponents in May, but some rare imperfections from the three-time champions are helping to fuel a fascinating title race.

The reality for Spurs

On the day Tottenham paid tribute to Terry Venables following the death of their former manager at the age of 80, the club’s current generation failed to claim a victory that marked the occasion in north London.

Tottenham produced the kind of attacking play Venables would have admired, but his former side lacked a decisive advantage and conceded too easily in defense, eventually losing 1-2 to Aston Villa.

Tottenham were at the top of the table less than three weeks ago after an excellent start under Ange Postecoglou.

But a series of injuries and suspensions of key players have taken a heavy toll on the team, which has lost its last three games.

Aston Villa overtook Postecoglou’s men to move up to fourth, leaving Tottenham to lick their wounds ahead of a difficult trip to City next weekend.

Garnacho’s magic inspires Man Utd

Manchester United is just six points off the top of the table, despite having endured a season of near-constant turmoil, both on and off the pitch.

Erik ten Hag’s men have won five of their last six Premier League games and are in sixth place.

But the 3-0 win at Goodison Park, where Everton fans demonstrated against the Premier League’s 10-point deduction, was the first time Manchester United had won a Premier League game this season by more than a goal difference.

Alejandro Garnacho’s incredible overhead kick just three minutes into the game will go down in history as one of the Premier League’s greatest goals.

What followed during the rest of the first half was more befitting of the rest of Manchester United’s season, as Everton could and should have struggled but squandered the opportunity.

However, Ten Hag will have been encouraged by Marcus Rashford, who scored his first goal for the club since September, and Anthony Martial, who took a rare opportunity to score a third in a week when big moments are expected.

The Red Devils must avoid an away defeat against Galatasaray on Wednesday to avoid an early exit from the Champions League ahead of a tough trip to Newcastle next Saturday.