Sports

English Premier League 2023-24 Wrap: Liverpool, Arsenal Keep Up Title Pace But Manchester City Slip Up

Liverpool won at Brentford 4-1 and Arsenal routed Burnley 5-0 before City was held by Chelsea to 1-1

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AP
Erling Haaland reacts after his Man City side slipped up against Chelsea. Photo: AP
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Big wins for Liverpool and Arsenal felt even bigger after Manchester City lost ground in the race for the English Premier League title. Leader Liverpool won at Brentford 4-1 and Arsenal routed Burnley 5-0 before City was held by Chelsea to 1-1. (More Football News)

There is still a lot of soccer to come, and City has a game in hand, but a rare slip by the defending champion could prove to be a key moment in the league.

It took a deflected strike from Rodri in the 83rd minute for City to salvage the draw after former player Raheem Sterling gave Chelsea a first half lead.

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“We have enough experience to know it's just the beginning of the last part of the season," Rodri said. "We want to win, but we have to check ourselves, and in the first half with our defending we have to be stronger for the rest of the season.”

Liverpool and Arsenal have suffered the pain of going head to head with City for previous league crowns and know the importance of capitalizing on any mis-step.

Liverpool twice missed out on the title to City by a single point in recent years, while Arsenal imploded at the end of last season.

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Despite dropping points, City still extended its unbeaten run to 15 games in all competitions, having won 11 in a row before Chelsea. City was four points behind Liverpool and two off second-placed Arsenal.

SALAH'S BACK

Mohamed Salah is back from injury and back among the goals. While the return of the talismanic striker was good news for Liverpool, beating Brentford came at a cost as the team's injury concerns piled up.

Salah, back after a month out with a hamstring injury, scored the third of Liverpool's goals.

First-half injuries to Curtis Jones and Diogo Jota, however, threaten to leave Jurgen Klopp's squad further stretched in its four-pronged trophy pursuit.

“We have to see how much it costs us — we don't know that yet," Klopp said. “That Curtis cannot play on tells you that it must be something because he would have played on at all costs.

“Diogo looks probably the worst. I didn't see it back, but I heard the pictures didn't look great as well." Jota was taken from the field on a stretcher with an apparent knee issue, while Jones was hurt after being hit above his ankle.

Darwin Nunez was also taken off, but that appeared to be a precautionary measure.

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Liverpool was already without goalkeeper Alisson, who was hurt in training on Friday, as well as Trent Alexander-Arnold, Thiago Alcantara and Dominik Szoboszlai.

They are set to miss some regulars in the League Cup final against Chelsea next weekend.

Klopp's team made light work of Brentford and raced 3-0 ahead through goals from Nunez and Alexis Mac Allister and Salah. Ivan Toney pulled one back for Brentford before substitute Cody Gakpo got Liverpool's fourth.

ARSENAL PRESSURE

After hammering West Ham 6-0 last week, Arsenal produced another rout at Burnley's expense. Bukayo Saka scored twice at Turf Moor, while Martin Odegaard, Leandro Trossard and Kai Havertz were also on target in the 5-0 win.

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It was a sixth straight win for Arsenal and the third time in that sequence that it has scored five or more goals.

HAALAND FRUSTRATION

Erling Haaland missed a header from close range to cap a frustrating game against Chelsea for the Norway striker.

In total, he had nine shots without scoring. That is the first time he has had so many shots without success since joining City from Borussia Dortmund in 2022. Not that manager Pep Guardiola seemed concerned.

“I played 11 years and scored 11 goals so I can't give too much advice to Erling," Guardiola said. “The next one he will score.”

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TOP FOUR

The race for the top four was tightening. While it looks like being a shootout between Liverpool, City and Arsenal for the title, the battle for Champions League qualification could also make tense viewing.

Aston Villa moved back up to fourth after winning at Fulham 2-1, and Tottenham lost at home to Wolves 2-1.

Just two points separate Villa and Spurs, while Manchester United could boost its chances of a top four finish by beating Luton on Sunday.

Sixth-placed United has won its last three in the league and could move to within three points of Tottenham with a win at Kenilworth Road.

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NEWCASTLE STRUGGLE

Newcastle's problems at home continued when it had to twice come from behind to draw with Bournemouth 2-2 at St James' Park.

Matt Richie's goal in the second minute of stoppage time earned a point, but couldn't end a four-game winless run at home that dates to December.

Seventh-placed Newcastle was a point ahead of West Ham after the London side suffered a third straight defeat, 2-0 at relegation-fighting Nottingham Forest.

Some West Ham fans held up signs calling for manager David Moyes to go.

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