Man City pile pressure on Arsenal with Haaland record

15 Apr 2023
Erling Haaland MCILEI goal cele

Striker matches Mo Salah's 32-goal mark as win over Leicester sends champions three points from leaders

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Erling Haaland equalled a Premier League record as Manchester City closed the gap on leaders Arsenal to only three points with a 3-1 win over Leicester City.

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John Stones had put the champions ahead inside the opening five minutes with a long-range shot for his first league goal of the season.

Haaland’s two goals in the next 20 minutes took his total to 32, equalling the mark for a 38-match Premier League season set by Mohamed Salah for Liverpool in 2017/18.

See: Halaand matches Salah record

Haaland was unable to beat the record as he was substituted at half-time by Pep Guardiola ahead of a UEFA Champions League quarter-final, second-leg trip to Bayern Munich on Wednesday.

After further changes by the Man City boss, the pace of the match eased and Leicester pulled a goal back through Kelechi Iheanacho against his former club and gave their opponents further scares.

A sixth league win in a row gives Man City 70 points, while defeat for Dean Smith’s team in his first match in charge at Leicester leaves the Foxes 19th, with 25 points, two from safety.

The title race

Position Pos Club Played Pl GD Points Pts
1 Manchester City MCI 38 +61 89
2 Arsenal ARS 38 +45 84
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Watkins hot streak goes on

In-form Ollie Watkins boosted Aston Villa’s hopes of European football next season, scoring two goals and assisting another in an emphatic 3-0 victory over Newcastle United.

Jacob Ramsey gave the hosts a deserved lead after 11 minutes, blasting home from Watkins’ clever knockdown for his fourth goal of the season.

Watkins added a second midway through the second half shortly after he had a goal overturned by VAR for offside, before adding a third late on.

His 11 league goals in 2023 are the joint-most of any player in the division, level with Haaland.

It was a fifth straight win for Villa for the first time in 25 years while Unai Emery is only the third manager, after Mike Walker at Norwich City and Carlo Ancelotti at Chelsea, to see his side score in each of his first 18 matches in charge.

Villa climb to sixth on 50 points, six behind Newcastle, who suffered only their fourth defeat of the season and remain third.

Cherries stun Spurs

Tottenham Hotspur spurned a chance to exploit Newcastle’s defeat, going down 3-2 at home to AFC Bournemouth thanks to a stoppage-time winner from Dango Ouattara.

Spurs had taken the lead through Son Heung-min, who slotted in the ball from Ivan Perisic’s cutback.

AFC Bournemouth fought back through Matias Vina’s first goal for the club on his first start.

Dominic Solanke put the Cherries ahead after half-time, showing excellent composure to finish.

Spurs thought they had claimed at least a point when substitute Arnaut Danjuma scored his first goal for the club in the 88th minute to make it 2-2.

But AFC Bournemouth broke away in the fifth minute of added time and Ouattara coolly slotted in a goal that lifts his side to 14th with 33 points, six from the bottom three.

Spurs remain fifth on 53 points, three behind Manchester United, who have played two matches fewer. 

Brighton claim first win at Chelsea

Brighton & Hove Albion enhanced their own European hopes with an impressive 2-1 victory over Chelsea, their first win at Stamford Bridge.

The visitors flew out of the blocks and could have been 3-0 up in the first 10 minutes but fell behind after Conor Gallagher’s deflected shot wrongfooted Robert Sanchez for Chelsea’s first goal in five matches in all competitions.

Brighton got a deserved equaliser when Danny Welbeck, less than three minutes after coming on for the injured Evan Ferguson, rose highest to head in his fourth goal of the season from Pascal Gross’s cross.

The winner came from 19-year-old Julio Enciso, who produced a stunning strike from 30 yards that flew into the top corner.

Brighton are seventh on 49 points, one behind Villa. Six matches without a win in all competitions leaves Chelsea 11th with 39 points. 

The race for Europe

Position Pos Club Played Pl GD Points Pts
3 Manchester United MUN 38 +15 75
4 Newcastle United NEW 38 +35 71
5 Liverpool LIV 38 +28 67
6 Brighton & Hove Albion BHA 38 +19 62
7 Aston Villa AVL 38 +5 61
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Palace extend Hodgson revival

Crystal Palace’s excellent form under Roy Hodgson continued as Eberechi Eze struck two second-half goals in a third straight victory, dispatching Southampton 2-0 at St Mary’s.

Eze put Palace ahead in the 54th minute, scoring for a second successive match, before adding a superb second from range after a neat turn.

Palace have 36 points in 12th, nine off the bottom three. A third straight defeat keeps Southampton bottom with 23 points.

Fulham back to winning ways

Fulham claimed a first win in six matches by handing Everton a 3-1 home defeat.

The visitors took the lead through Harrison Reed when he finished from 10 yards after Harry Wilson’s initial shot struck a post.

Dwight McNeil brought Everton level before half-time with a low shot from range after a smart turn.

The hosts fell behind again when Wilson converted Willian’s clever cutback, and Dan James sealed the victory by adding a brilliant third.

Fulham are 10th with 42 points, while Everton remain 17th on 27 points, out of the relegation zone on goal difference only.

Diego Costa breaks duck

Diego Costa’s first Premier League goal for almost six years inspired Wolverhampton Wanderers to a 2-0 win over Brentford and eased their relegation fears.

The forward opened his account for Wolves when Christian Norgaard’s clearance rebounded off him to go in.

A second straight home victory was secured when Hwang Hee-chan converted from close range after an excellent run and cross from Matheus Nunes.

Wolves remain 13th with 34 points. Back-to-back defeats leave Brentford in ninth, with 43 points.

The relegation battle

Position Pos Club Played Pl GD Points Pts
12 Chelsea CHE 38 -9 44
13 Wolverhampton Wanderers WOL 38 -27 41
14 West Ham United WHU 38 -13 40
15 Bournemouth BOU 38 -34 39
16 Nottingham Forest NFO 38 -30 38
17 Everton EVE 38 -23 36
18 Leicester City LEI 38 -17 34
19 Leeds United LEE 38 -30 31
20 Southampton SOU 38 -37 25
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Double header on Sunday

Two matches take place on Sunday, with Arsenal travelling to West Ham United before Nottingham Forest welcome Man Utd. 

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The leaders will hope to reclaim their six-point gap over City with a fourth consecutive victory against the Hammers.

Man Utd will look to profit from the defeats of boost and Spurs and burnish their top-four credentials at the City Ground, where they won 8-1 last time out in the Premier League, 24 years ago.

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