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Three Talking Points From The Premier League

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – All is still to play for in the Premier League with the title race, battle for the top four and relegation fight set to go to the wire. 

Arsenal’s 2-0 win at Newcastle kept the pressure on Manchester City at the top.

Newcastle’s defeat and Manchester United’s 1-0 loss at West Ham means the race for the top four is back on thanks to Liverpool’s six-game winning run.

Meanwhile, at the bottom, Leicester and Leeds fell into the relegation zone as Everton and Nottingham Forest secured vital wins.

Arsenal refuse to go quietly

Arsenal’s four-game winless run that culminated in a 4-1 thrashing at City last month led many to call the title race a foregone conclusion.

But the Gunners have shown some steel to bounce back with victories over Chelsea and at St. James’ Park, where their bid for a top-four finish came apart last season.

“I think the word to describe it is pride. When you have question marks, you have to resolve them straight away,” said Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta.

City still need to drop points in two of their final four games for Arsenal to have a chance of their first title in 19 years.

A 2-1 win over Leeds was City’s 10th consecutive league win at just the right time of the season.

But two mammoth Champions League semi-final games against Real Madrid in the next two midweeks for Pep Guardiola’s men offer Arsenal hope that City could yet falter.

Man Utd give Liverpool hope

The fight for the top four is back on after Liverpool closed to within one point of Manchester United with Newcastle two points further ahead in third.

Both United and Newcastle still have a game in hand over Liverpool, but they are now nervously looking over their shoulder as Jurgen Klopp’s men have finally found their form after a difficult season.

By contrast, United look out on their feet after a gruelling campaign that will stretch to 62 games.

Erik ten Hag’s men have scored just eight goals in their last nine league games as an over-reliance on Marcus Rashford has been exposed during a dry spell for the England international.

A kind run-in means the Red Devils are still favourites to secure a return to the Champions League.

But it is far from the certainty it appeared just a few weeks ago.

Leicester staring down the barrel

The race for a place in the Champions League could also have a big impact on the relegation battle.

Seven years on from being crowned champions, Leicester are sliding toward relegation to the Championship.

The Foxes’ shoddy defending was ruthlessly exposed by Fulham in a 5-3 win on Monday.

Leicester’s misery was compounded by victories for Everton and Forest later in the day that dumped them into the bottom three.

With Liverpool and Newcastle to come in their next two games, Leicester could already be down by the time they face West Ham at home on the final day.

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