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Haaland’s Haul Helps Man City Keep Title Pressure On Leaders Arsenal

The reigning champions, who have a game in hand on Arsenal, will clinch an unprecedented fourth successive English title if they win their last three matches.


Manchester City’s Norwegian striker #09 Erling Haaland (L) celebrates with teammates after scoring their third goal and his hattrick goal from the penalty spot during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Wolverhampton Wanderers at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England, on May 4, 2024. (Photo by Darren Staples / AFP)

 

Erling Haaland scored four times as Manchester City thrashed Wolves 5-1 to move within one point of Arsenal after the Premier League leaders beat Bournemouth 3-0 on Saturday.

City responded to Arsenal’s victory just hours earlier with a goal blitz at the Etihad Stadium.

Pep Guardiola’s side took the lead in the 12th minute when Rayan Ait-Nouri clattered into Josko Gvardiol, conceding a penalty that Haaland stroked past Jose Sa.

Haaland bagged City’s second in the 35th minute as he rose highest at the far post to meet Rodri’s cross with a majestic header that looped over Sa.

Deep into first half stoppage-time, Nelson Semedo tripped Haaland to give City another penalty that was drilled home by the Norway striker.

Hwang Hee-chan got one back for Wolves in the 53rd minute after a mistake by City keeper Ederson.

But Haaland, who was visibly unhappy to be substituted in the closing stages, made it 36 goals in all competitions this term less as he curled a fine finish into the far corner in the 54th minute.

Julian Alvarez’s 85th-minute finish capped City’s sixth consecutive league win, extending their unbeaten run in the competition to 20 games.

The reigning champions, who have a game in hand on Arsenal, will clinch an unprecedented fourth successive English title if they win their last three matches.

They head to Fulham next Saturday before visiting Tottenham on May 14 and hosting West Ham five days later.

At the Emirates Stadium, Arsenal cruised to a fourth successive victory, with Bukayo Saka’s penalty putting them ahead on the stroke of half-time.

Leandro Trossard slotted past Bournemouth keeper Mark Travers in the 70th minute before Declan Rice capped a dominant display by blasting home in stoppage-time.

Chasing their first title since 2004, Arsenal’s 26th Premier League victory this season equalled the club’s top-flight record for a single campaign.

“It was probably the best first half we’ve played all season,” Gunners boss Mikel Arteta said.

“We were unbelievable. Everything flowing, super composed on the ball. We generated so many chances, we could have gone three, four, five up easily.”

READ ALSO: Arsenal Sink Bournemouth To Keep Pace With Title Race

Burnley on the brink 

Arsenal travel to Manchester United in their penultimate game next weekend before hosting Everton on May 19.

Burnley’s hopes of avoiding relegation suffered a huge blow as Newcastle ran riot in a 4-1 win at Turf Moor.

Vincent Kompany’s second bottom side are five points from safety, with only two games left to avoid an immediate return to the Championship after last season’s promotion.

Callum Wilson put Newcastle ahead with a 19th minute tap-in and Sean Longstaff doubled their advantage in the 35th minute.

Bruno Guimaraes made it three in the 40th minute with a powerful strike before Arijanet Muric saved Alexander Isak’s 50th minute penalty.

Isak made amends five minutes later when he grabbed his 20th league goal this season, making Dara O’Shea’s 86th minute header no consolation for bedraggled Burnley.

At Bramall Lane, fourth bottom Nottingham Forest took a giant step towards survival with a 3-1 win against already-relegated Sheffield United.

Gonzalo Montiel brought down Ben Brereton Diaz and the Blades forward picked himself up to lash in the 17th minute penalty.

But Callum Hudson-Odoi grabbed Forest’s equaliser in the 27th minute with a superb strike that curled into the far corner.

Ryan Yates slammed in Forest’s second from close-range after 51 minutes and Hudson-Odoi curled home in the 65th minute.

That gave the Blades an unwanted record as the first club to concede 100 goals in a 38-match Premier League season.

Forest, awaiting the result of their appeal against a four-point deduction for financial breaches, are three points ahead of third bottom Luton, who drew 1-1 with Everton on Friday.

West London rivals Brentford and Fulham shared a dour 0-0 draw.

AFP