UpdatedFebruary 21, 2021, 10:22 PM
The Citizens have chained an 18th consecutive victory in all competitions (1-0) and keep their ten points ahead of their pursuers, Manchester United and Leicester.
With the return to the starting lineup of Kevin de Bruyne, a month after his last tenure, and associated with Riyad Mahrez, Bernardo Silva, Raheem Sterling or Ilkay Gundogan, Manchester City displayed impressive offensive power when it came time to face Arsenal. But the Citizens had to be content with a goal at the very start of the match, on an uncrossed header from Sterling, alone in the middle of the Gunners’ defense to take over a center from Mahrez, to make the difference (2nd, 1-0, final score).
Sterling and Gundogan could have widened the gap in a first half hour one-way, before the debates are balanced a little. But the defensive base of Pep Guardiola’s men allowed them to go through this match almost without fear and to take one more step towards a reconquest of the league title, before finding Wednesday the Champions League which continues to resist them, with an eighth-final go to Budapest – Covid-19 pandemic requires – against Mönchengladbach.
Manchester United and Leicester fight
Temporarily dispossessed of its second place by Leicester in the early afternoon, Manchester United took it back thanks to a favorable goal difference in the evening. With 49 points, the two clubs are 4 lengths ahead of West Ham and 6 over Chelsea, the big loser of the C1 race after their draw against Southampton on Saturday (1-1).
Best Premier League away team (30 points out of 39 possible), Leicester built their success against Aston Villa (2-1), deprived of Jack Grealish, on a very solid start to the match. The 2016 England champions struck by James Maddison (1-0, 19th) and Harvey Barnes (2-0, 23rd), under the eyes of English coach Gareth Southgate in full scouting in view of Euro-2020n this summer. Bertrand Traoré gave hope to the Birmingham club from the start of the second act (2-1, 48th), but Leicester showed great control to keep three precious points.
The response of the Red Devils was quick, however, inflicting a 9th defeat in the last 11 matches, in all competitions, to the Magpies who are only three points ahead of the red zone. The match was quite bizarre, Marcus Rashford opening the scoring after a very sluggish first half hour – as often – of his family, with a beautiful dribble-strike sequence at the near post (1-0, 30th).
This goal further motivated Newcastle and Allan Saint-Maximin who equalized with a beautiful half-volley in the box (1-1, 36 ‘). Newcastle seemed the closest to regaining the advantage early in the second half, when Daniel James inherited a ball from the far post and scored with a furious strike shortly before the hour mark (2-1, 57 ‘). A penalty from Bruno Fernandes sealed a deserved and important success (3-1, 75th).
West Ham dreams of C1
By beating Tottenham (2-1), West Ham has seized 4th place which sends him to the Champions League next season. The Hammers took advantage of Chelsea’s draw at Southampton (1-1) on Saturday to take two steps ahead of the Blues and five over Liverpool and Everton. Tottenham, 9th with 36 points, will have a hard time snagging a ticket for the prestigious European competition, despite a late match, the fault of two catastrophic starts.
It took less than five minutes for Michail Antonio to deceive Hugo Lloris on a center that the French keeper had pushed back as best he could, in the middle of a passive defense (1-0, 5th). And in the 47th minute, it was Jesse Lingard, who threw himself with determination towards the opponent’s area before triggering an unstoppable cross strike (2-0, 47th).