EPL results at a glance: City go top after Luton demolition

THINGS are decidedly tight at the top as three teams slug it out for a hotly contested title. With Arsenal and Liverpool in action later today, reigning champions Manchester City had the chance to go top, which they duly did with a comprehensive victory over Luton Town. The onus is now on the chasing pack to keep pace.

Focus M looks at the talking points from Saturday’s fixtures.

Manchester City 5 v Luton Town 1

Having been involved in an epic 3-3 draw with Real Madrid in midweek, some Manchester City players hinted at tiredness. But there were no signs of fatigue as the reigning champions dismantled a Luton side struggling at the wrong end of the table. If the visitors had envisaged getting something from this game, they had to be near perfect.

That plan went out the window as early as the second minute when Daiki Hashioka slotted in his own goal. However, Luton held on for the rest of the half before the floodgates finally opened midway through the second. The flurry of goals could yet prove decisive at the end of the season.

Newcastle 4 v Tottenham Hotspurs 0

Alexander Isak is very much the man of the moment at St James Park. The Magpie’s leading scorer added to his bourgeoning reputation with two exquisitely taken goals that greatly dented the visitor’s bid for Champions League football next season.

Flat, uninspired and error-strewn, Spurs never really got going as Newcastle took control of the game early on. Anthony Gordon and Fabian Schar added to the scoreline which highlighted the home side’s dominance, greatly boosting their own European ambitions.

Nottingham Forest 2 v Wolverhampton Wanderers 2

These are the sort of games the home side needs to win if they are to escape relegation. For all the endeavour, all Forest has to show for it in the end is a solitary point, which does not really help their cause.

Having gone behind to a Santos Cunha goal in the first half, Forest responded with a spirited fightback that saw them take the lead with goals from Morgan Gibbs-White and Danilo. But the usual lack of focus at the back allowed Cunha to equalise and salvage a point for the visitors.

Burnley 1 v Brighton 1

For all their grit and determination, Burnley just cannot seem to secure a win. Three points have been few and far between which is obviously why the Clarets find themselves second from bottom, with a return to the Championship looking imminent.

They had started the game brightly, giving home fans belief and something to cheer about, with the Seagulls struggling to cope with the pace of the game.

Burnley deservedly took the lead in the 74th minute but all their hard work was undone minutes later via goalkeeping error, gifting Brighton an equaliser.

Brentford 2 v Sheffield United 0

Brentford needed this win badly to steer them clear of the drop zone. Too many lacklustre draws have dragged them uncomfortably close to relegation places and a lack of goals is a major factor. Ivan Toney’s lengthy suspension for gambling offences was a huge reason for this lack of incisiveness in front of goal. His absence from the starting eleven was again telling ass the Bees laboured to fashion clear-cut chances.

But the home side still had enough to nudge the Blades ever closer to the trap door. The lack of quality to survive in the top flight is obvious and Blades fans will be wondering what the point of it all is.

AFC Bournemouth 2 v Manchester United 2

Erik Ten Hag remains defiant despite dropping more points and insists that Manchester United can still qualify for the Champions League. The away side are winless in seven and needed a contentious penalty to salvage a point. They were extremely lucky that they did not leave empty-handed, as VAR came to the rescue in stoppage time to deny Bournemouth a penalty.

With a vague strategy that seemingly allows opposition teams to take potshots at them, Erik Ten Hag’s tenure at Old Trafford seems unlikely to extend beyond this season as the reality of not having any form of European football hits home. – April 14, 2024


All photos credited to The Guardian

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