Manchester City leapfrog Arsenal to grab box seat in Premier League title race

In relegation battle, Burnley are down after defeat at Spurs, while Luton look set for drop after loss at West Ham

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Manchester City cruised to a 4-0 victory against Fulham on Saturday to overtake Arsenal at the Premier League summit and take a giant stride towards retaining their title.

Pep Guardiola's side, seeking a record fourth consecutive crown, won thanks to a double from Josko Gvardiol and goals from Phil Foden and Julian Alvarez.

At the other end of the table, Burnley were relegated after they lost 2-1 at Tottenham Hotspur, while a 3-1 defeat at West Ham means that Luton Town look set to join them in the Championship next season.

At Craven Cottage, City's victory took the defending champions to 85 points, two clear of the Gunners, with just two games left in the title race. The scoreline in West London also means City now trail Arsenal by just two Arsenal in terms of goal difference.

Mikael Arteta's side face Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday hoping a win can maintain the pressure on City.

City next face Tottenham Hotspur in London on Tuesday before playing West Ham at the Etihad Stadium on the final day of the season on Sunday.

After their clash with United at Old Trafford, Arsenal take on Everton at the Emirates Stadium in their last match on Sunday.

City took the lead on 13 minutes after a free-flowing move involving 19 passes before Kevin De Bruyne fed Gvardiol on the edge of the box.

The Croatian took two touches as he skipped through the Fulham defence before sending a low finish past Bernd Leno.

City doubled their lead in the 59th minute as Bernardo Silva burst into the area, his progress halted by Joao Palhinha's tackle, only for the alert Foden to pounce with a perfectly-placed strike into the far corner.

Guardiola's team struck again in the 71st minute as Gvardiol stretched to turn in Silva's cross with an agile close-range finish for his fifth goal in his last seven appearances.

Alvarez, who came on for Erling Haaland in the 82nd minute, sealed a clinical performance, converting a stoppage-time penalty after Issa Diop chopped him down. The French defender was sent off after receiving a second yellow card.

After the game, Guardiola told BBC Match of the Day: "The great players enjoy playing with great pressure. These players in the last few years have been able to do it and we are again in the latter stages. Our dream is as we said a few weeks ago when they [Arsenal] lost against Aston Villa was to arrive in the last games with it in our hands, to play West Ham at home with the destiny belonging to us.

"We played really well and now we recover, go back to Manchester, then come back to London to play the final [against Spurs], the big final we have to try and retain our title."

Goalscorer Gvardiol said to TNT Sports: "Another great performance, not just from me but the team as well. It was a very good goal, but today we showed who we are and what we are ready for."

Fulham boss Marco Silva told TNT Sports: "It was really difficult, the way we planned the game, the first goal made a huge impact. City control the ball, control the game and take a lot of energy from you. Take a lot of emotion energy too."

Fulham are currently 13th in the table and face Luton away in their last match on Sunday. On the season overall, Silva said: "It was a successful season with the context of what happened in the summer, a difficult summer after a good last season."

At the bottom of the table, Burnley were relegated after they were beaten 2-1 by Spurs at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Vincent Kompany's side took the lead after 25 minutes thanks to Jacob Bruun Larsen but, seven minutes later, Spurs were level after Pedro Porro scored. Micky van de Ven then sealed the win for Ange Postecoglou's side in the 82nd minute.

The defeat means the Clarets cannot catch fourth-bottom Nottingham Forest. Tottenham's win means they still have a slim chance of catching Aston Villa in fourth place to secure Champions League football next season.

Kompany, told BBC Sport: "It's way too early to answer if I'd have done things differently.

"I'm constantly thinking about what we could do better right now and before. But if you treat it as something which improves you, us as a club and a group of players, there is a lot of value in what we have experienced this season."

Luton Town were also dealt a huge blow in their fight for survival as they lost 3-1 to West Ham at the London Stadium.

The Hatters took an early lead through Albert Sambu Lokonga's sixth-minute opener before James Ward-Prowse equalised in the 54th minute. Tomas Soucek fired the Hammers in front before 19-year-old George Earthy sealed the win for departing boss David Moyes.

Luton are now 26 points, three behind Forest, who have a vastly superior goal difference despite losing 3-2 in the late kick-off at home to Chelsea.

Chelsea drew first blood when Mykhailo Mudryk swept home a delightful pass from Cole Palmer after eight minutes.

Willy Boly then headed Forest level after 16 minutes before former Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi gave the home side the lead on 74 minutes.

But substitute Raheem Sterling made it 2-2 on 80 minutes before Nicolas Jackson grabbed an 82nd-minute winner for the visitors.

Elsewhere, Newcastle slipped up in their pursuit of fifth-placed Spurs as they drew 1-1 at home to Brighton. Joel Veltman put the Seagulls in front after 18 minutes before Sean Longstaff got the equaliser in first-half stoppage time at St James' Park.

Updated: May 11, 2024, 6:57 PM