5 things we learned from the Premier League this weekend

Manchester City and Liverpool remain locked in a nerve-jangling battle for the Premier League title as the season approaches its climax.

However, the scrap for priceless points just behind them is equally tight with Tottenham, Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United all vying for a top-four finish.

Here, Press Association Sport takes a look at what we learned from the latest round of league fixtures.

They all count

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Sergio Aguero has scored more beautiful goals than he will care to remember, but his 20th of this Premier League season was as scruffy as any he has managed during his illustrious career to date. However, the significance of the shot he just about forced over the line despite the best efforts of defender Matt Lowton could prove immeasurable after it secured a 1-0 win at Burnley to take City back to the top of the table by a single point with just two games remaining.

The Mane man?

Sadio Mane celebrates scoring Liverpool’s second goal against Huddersfield with Virgil van Dijk

Sadio Mane celebrates scoring Liverpool’s second goal against Huddersfield with Virgil van Dijk (Peter Byrne/PA)

Liverpool’s front three of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane have proved irresistible at times this season. However, while it was Salah who came into the campaign with perhaps the biggest reputation, it is Senegal international Mane who has stepped up to the plate as it has reached crunch-point with eight goals in the last 10 league outings – including a double against Huddersfield on Friday evening – four more than the Egyptian with Firmino one further behind.

More despair for De Gea

Marcos Alonso draws us level just before the break! 👌

Posted by Chelsea Football Club on Sunday, April 28, 2019

Manchester United keeper David de Gea has endured a difficult few weeks with a series of uncharacteristic high-profile errors starting to erode the enviable reputation he has built for himself during his time in England. While his enduring quality may not be in any doubt, Sunday provided further evidence that confidence is currently in short supply for the Spaniard, who spilled Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger’s long-range effort to allow Marcos Alonso to cancel out Juan Mata’s opener.

Ayo’s silver lining

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Newcastle strike Ayoze Perez is not a prolific goalscorer, but his timing is impeccable. Last season, six of his eight league goals came in the final eight games, helping to drag the Magpies to a 10th-place finish. This time around, he has 11 and eight of them have arrived in his last 10 outings, with his opener in the 1-1 draw at Brighton meaning he has scored all the club’s goals in their three most recent matches. That return has won them seven points from a possible nine.

A week is a Long time in football

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On Tuesday evening, Shane Long scored the fastest ever Premier League goal when he struck at Watford after just 7.69 seconds. On Saturday, the Southampton striker, who had earlier opened the scoring against Bournemouth, had a glorious opportunity to help himself to a fifth goal in as many league games when, after seeing keeper Artur Boruc repel his initial effort, the ball fell to him with the goal at his mercy – only for him to direct the rebound against the post.

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