Arsenal pair lead derby win to maintain title push: Premier League team of the week

Manchester City stay in contention with a hard-fought victory at Nottingham Forest on a weekend that saw Sheffield United relegated

Kai Havertz and Bukayo Saka were both on target in Arsenal's 3-2 win over Tottenham. AFP
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The three-horse Premier League title race looks to be reduced to two. Liverpool had the chance to apply some pressure in Saturday's early game at West Ham, but their stuttering form continued with a 2-2 draw.

Manager Jurgen Klopp said before the weekend Liverpool needed leaders Arsenal and second-placed Manchester City to suffer a "crisis" for the Reds to win the title, but he was in no such luck.

The Gunners made it two London derby victories in a row on Sunday, following up their 5-0 destruction of Chelsea in midweek with a 3-2 win at arch-rivals Tottenham having held a 3-0 lead at half time.

City responded immediately by claiming a 2-0 win at Nottingham Forest on Sunday evening, even though the champions were well below their best.

This weekend's results leave third-placed Liverpool five points adrift of Arsenal with three games to play. City, one point behind, will go top if they win their game in hand.

While the title is set to go down to the wire, there has been the first confirmed relegation at the other end of the table; Sheffield United's 5-1 defeat at Newcastle United on Saturday has sent the Blades straight back to the Championship.

Also on Saturday, Everton all but secured their Premier League status for another season with a 1-0 win over Brentford to leave the Toffees 11 points clear of the drop zone; Manchester United were held to a disappointing draw by 19th-placed Burnley at Old Trafford; Wolves beat Luton 2-1 at Molineux; and Fulham and Crystal Palace played out a 1-1 draw at Craven Cottage.

In Saturday's late game, Chelsea fought back from 2-0 down at half time to draw 2-2 at Champions League-chasing Aston Villa.

Before Arsenal's and City's games on Sunday, Bournemouth eased past out-of-form Brighton 3-0 at Vitality Stadium.

Here is the Premier League team of the week (formation: 3-5-2).

GK: Jordan Pickford (Everton)

Everton have found form at just the right time, and key to their fourth victory in their past five games was goalkeeper Pickford. The England No 1 produced four big saves to keep Brentford at bay to claim his third straight clean sheet. Only Arsenal's David Raya (14) has kept more clean sheets than Pickford's 12.

CB: Marcos Senesi (Bournemouth)

Bournemouth have amassed their highest Premier League points total (48) and moved up to 10th in the table with Sunday's 3-0 win over Brighton. Defender Senesi sent the hosts on their way to victory with a 13th-minute header before doing his part defensively to secure his side a clean sheet.

CB: Toti Gomes (Wolves)

Wolves ended their five-match winless run with a 2-1 victory over relegation-threatened Luton Town, with defender Toti scoring a lovely diving header for the hosts' second goal. That goal proved crucial as Luton halved the deficit with 10 minutes remaining.

CB: Josko Gvardiol (Manchester City)

City may have spluttered to victory at Forest but Gvardiol delivered a Rolls Royce-like performance. The Croatian defender scored City's opener with a fine glancing header, then dug in defensively to preserve the clean sheet, including a block on the line from Chris Wood. Gvardiol has taken some time to adapt in his first season in England, but in recent weeks has looked every bit the £77 million player City signed last summer.

CM: Conor Gallagher (Chelsea)

A proper captain's performance from the Chelsea midfielder, who sealed his side's fightback at Aston Villa with a sublime goal from the edge of the area. With the Blues trailing 2-0 at half time and at risk of another capitulation just four days after getting battered by Arsenal, Gallagher and fellow midfielder Moises Caicedo took control of the game and provided the foundations for the comeback.

CM: Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City)

Pep Guardiola admitted City were "very fortunate" to beat Forest, but when De Bruyne is pulling the strings, more often than not the champions will emerge victorious. The Belgian assisted both goals, sending in the corner for Gvardiol's header before sliding in the pass for Erling Haaland's trademark finish. De Bruyne even had a couple of chances to score himself but was repelled by fine saves from Matz Sels.

CM: Idrissa Gueye (Everton)

Not a player typically known for goals, Gueye scored his second in as many games, slamming a loose ball into the top corner, to guide Everton to a crucial victory over Brentford. The Senegalese was committed in midfield, too, by covering plenty of ground and offering protection to his defenders.

RM: Bukayo Saka (Arsenal)

Spare a thought for Tottenham left-back Ben Davies, who was tormented by Saka throughout the North London derby. The England winger scored Arsenal's second goal in superb style for his 15th league goal of the season and was a constant threat on the right wing.

LM: Jarrod Bowen (West Ham)

In a season that has seen several English wide forwards excel, Bowen has been up there with the likes of Saka, Phil Foden, and Cole Palmer. He scored his 16th league goal of the campaign to give the Hammers the lead against Liverpool, before turning provider with a pinpoint cross to Michail Antonio for the equaliser.

CF: Kai Havertz (Arsenal)

One of the form players in the Premier League, Havertz carried his devastating display against former club Chelsea into the clash with Tottenham, scoring Arsenal's third goal with a close-range header. That followed his sensational long ball to set up Saka for the second. The German has now scored eight goals in his past 11 league matches.

CF: Alexander Isak (Newcastle)

Isak boosted his Golden Boot chances with a well-taken double to send Sheffield United back to the Championship. Everything good about the Swedish striker was displayed in his first goal; pace, a perfectly-timed run, and a cool finish to equalise. That opened the floodgates for Newcastle, and Isak scored his second with a confident penalty to make it 3-1.

Updated: April 29, 2024, 7:13 AM