Harry Kane and Tottenham blew the title race wide open as Manchester City lost in the Premier League for the first time since October.
Liverpool took advantage of City’s slip as Mohamed Salah claimed his 150th goal for the Reds, while Manchester United ended a 10-month wait to score from a corner.
Here, the PA news agency takes a look at some of the main talking points from the latest round of fixtures.
Kane haunts City
Harry Kane topped Manchester City’s summer shopping list, Pep Guardiola saw the England captain as the final piece in his City jigsaw and Kane was keen to join the league champions. But the planned move never materialised, and Kane finally arrived at the Etihad Stadium to dent City’s title hopes. Striker Kane made one and scored two, his second coming in the final seconds of stoppage time to snatch a 3-2 win as he and Son Heung-min moved level with former Chelsea pair Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard on the list of most Premier League goal combinations (36).
Title race firmly on
1️⃣5️⃣0️⃣ goals in 233 games 🤯— Liverpool FC (@LFC) February 19, 2022
The common consensus was that City had one hand on the Premier League trophy after 14 wins from 15 games and facing a Spurs side on a three-match losing streak. But Liverpool have refused to go away and Jurgen Klopp’s men reduced the gap to six points by recovering from a goal down to beat Norwich 3-1. Liverpool also have a game in hand and have now won eight consecutive games. Mohamed Salah – who became the second fastest player to 150 Liverpool goals – Sadio Mane and new boy Luis Diaz all scored on Saturday, and the Reds’ trip to the Etihad Stadium on April 9 is looking increasingly important.
United’s corner joy
No Manchester United fan would have been excited by the sight of Luke Shaw trotting over to take a corner at Elland Road on Sunday. After all, United had not scored once from their 139 previous corners this season – a statistic that captain Harry Maguire described as “embarrassing”. But that was all to end as Maguire climbed above a static Leeds defence and headed the first goal of a quite extraordinary ‘War of the Roses’ clash. United lost a two-goal lead, then recovered to win 4-2 and boost their top-four hopes. A perfect end to a testing week for Maguire, who had denied reports of a rift with Cristiano Ronaldo amid doubts over his continued role as captain.
Lukaku out of touch
7 – Romelu Lukaku had just seven touches against Crystal Palace, the fewest in a single Premier League game for a player with 90+ minutes played since this data is available in full for the competition (2003-04). One of those touches was from kick-off in the first half. Quiet.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) February 19, 2022
Romelu Lukaku made his peace with Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel after an explosive December interview when he expressed dissatisfaction over his situation at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea have become Club World Cup champions since, but Lukaku’s role remains a huge cause for concern. At Crystal Palace, Lukaku set an unwanted Premier League record with just seven touches – the lowest figure for a player playing a full 90 minutes since such data was first collected in full in 2003-04. More scrutiny over the Belgium striker’s role at Chelsea is assured.
Relegation battle twist
Burnley and Watford breathed life into their survival battles with rare wins. Watford broke their scoring duck under Roy Hodgson at the fourth attempt with a 1-0 win at Aston Villa, moving them to within four points of safety. Burnley’s 3-0 victory at Brighton was only their second league win of the season and the Clarets are now five points from safety with games in hand. Those results will have others above the dotted line looking nervously over their shoulder.
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