Haaland is unhappy with the replacement — Guardiola left him without a penta-trick. Arsenal are first, but Man City are favorites

Two con­tenders for the Eng­lish title won with big scores.

Destruction to order

Eng­land. Pre­mier League. 36th round

May 04, 14:30. Emi­rates Sta­di­um (Lon­don)




Math­e­mat­ics is an exact sci­ence, but when they say that some­one has a math­e­mat­i­cal chance, in fact this indi­cates the absence of real oppor­tu­ni­ties to achieve some­thing. In the con­text of the title race in the Pre­mier League, this is all about Liv­er­pool. Last week, the Reds, fol­low­ing match­es with Ever­ton (0:2) and West Ham (2:2), lost five points, which mea­sured the gap between Jur­gen Klopp’s team and Arse­nal before the start of the next round.

In fact, the Gun­ners are the only ones capa­ble of tak­ing the title away from under the noses of Man­ches­ter City, which has a game in hand. And since Lon­don­ers have no room for error, the bur­den of respon­si­bil­i­ty weigh­ing them down was felt even from the out­side. In the first half, this was evi­dent in the exe­cu­tion of chances. With 16 shots in just the first 45 min­utes and a final xG of 3.98, the red and whites hit Mikel Arte­ta with miss­es from killer posi­tions. And after the break, the hosts’ actions includ­ed rare, but extreme­ly unpleas­ant mis­takes when leav­ing the defense. For exam­ple, after Trossard’s sawed-off shot and lunge, Solan­ka had to help out Rayet.

Arsenal players  Bukayo Saka, Declan Rice and William Saliba after the victory over Tottenham. Arse­nal came up with prob­lems out of the blue in the der­by with Tot­ten­ham. But remained in the race for the title

And yet, Arse­nal’s class showed, and Havertz, who again gave an excel­lent game, earned a penal­ty after catch­ing the goal­keep­er’s leg. The VAR sup­port­ed the ref­er­ee and Saka opened the scor­ing. And Rice and Trossard almost calmed the fans dur­ing the sec­ond half. The first one man­aged to find his bear­ings in a dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tion and made an ele­gant pass with the Swede. The sec­ond one threw the ball in the oppo­site direc­tion of the goal­keep­er. When Bournemouth scored, the ref­er­ees saw a foul on the Arse­nal goal­keep­er.

In terms of can­celed goals, they were even­tu­al­ly tied because Gabriel Mag­a­l­hães, who famous­ly volleyed into the top nine, was off­side. But the third goal from the lib­er­at­ed Gun­ners did not go away, and the lev­el of mutu­al under­stand­ing between Gabriel Jesus and Rice, who fin­ished off the vis­i­tors, was top-notch. Arse­nal did their job and went into wait­ing mode for the results of the Man­ches­ter City match that closed Saturday’s tour pro­gram.

Erling Haa­land cel­e­brates his fourth goal with Bernar­do Sil­va and Phil Foden.
Pho­to by Reuters

Stadium for hat-tricks

Eng­land. Pre­mier League. 36th round

May 04, 19:30. Eti­had Sta­di­um (Man­ches­ter)

Man­ches­ter city



City also took their toll and won the sixth match in a row, start­ing with a penal­ty con­vert­ed by Haa­land. But, unlike Arse­nal, the towns­peo­ple did not delay until the end of the first half. By the break, the enraged Nor­we­gian scored a hat-trick. Thir­ti­eth in the his­to­ry of the Eti­had, the most pro­duc­tive are­na in the Pre­mier League. Yes, two goals were scored from the penal­ty spot, but the sec­ond 11-meter Erling scored him­self. He is only the third play­er in the league — after Michael Owen and Andy Cole — to score three times in the first 45 min­utes.

But the for­mer Man­ches­ter City foot­ball play­er Gabriel Jesus could not be sur­passed. He sent the ball into the net four times by the 53rd minute. Haa­land need­ed 54, but it was def­i­nite­ly the most beau­ti­ful goal of the match. A minute after the scor­ing error, Eder­son began his scor­ing attack with a pass to the cen­ter of the field, from where Foden threw the ball to Haa­land, who, hav­ing caught the defend­er in the swing, exe­cut­ed a per­fect drib­bling shot under the far post.

Pep Guardiola, Mikel Arteta and Jurgen Klopp. The cham­pi­onship race in the Pre­mier League is in full swing. Will Liv­er­pool retire after the next round?

It smelled like pen­ta­tric. Already the sec­ond of the sea­son, because in Feb­ru­ary the Scan­di­na­vian scored five goals in a cup match against Luton. But two peo­ple pre­vent­ed this from hap­pen­ing. First — Wolver­hamp­ton goal­keep­er Vic­tor Sa, who pulled the most dif­fi­cult ball from under the cross­bar. Then there was Josep Guardi­o­la, who decid­ed to replace his sniper in the 82nd minute. Haa­land was unhap­py. He, of course, did not behave like Salah did in the last round, but he clear­ly said a few phras­es in unlit­er­ary Nor­we­gian before final­ly head­ing to the bench, where he also did not hide his dis­ap­point­ment. But after the game, answer­ing a ques­tion about the cham­pi­onship race on Sky, Erling, unable to con­tain his smile, said: “I don’t have the worst coach behind me.”

Per­haps a slight resent­ment remains in my soul, but this is def­i­nite­ly not a con­flict. And not even a hint of it. In addi­tion, Pep, hav­ing explained Erling’s dis­sat­is­fac­tion with the con­stant tack­les of defend­ers and the inac­tion of the ref­er­ees and added that Haa­land is now hap­py, knows what he is doing. Alvarez, who replaced the Nor­we­gian, scored almost instant­ly. And Erling will be angri­er in the final stretch, where City remain favorites with a game in hand. With City and Arse­nal like this, Liv­er­pool sim­ply have no chance, regard­less of the result of Sun­day’s game with Tot­ten­ham.