4 May, 2024 07:12 PM5 mins to read

Manchester City's Erling Haaland is in action during the English Premier League match between Manchester City and Wolverhampton Wanderers at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester. Photo / AP

Arsenal - Figure 1
Photo New Zealand Herald

Four goals for Erling Haaland. Another win for Manchester City in their bid to capture an unprecedented fourth straight English Premier League crown.

Arsenal, though, isn’t going away in the title race.

Not this time.

Haaland has now at least a hat trick in six of his 63 matches in England’s top flight after converting two penalties, powering in a header and curling home a sublime finish in City’s 5-1 victory over Wolverhampton today. Julian Alvarez added a late fifth, moments after coming on as a substitute for Haaland.

That’s six straight wins for the defending champions in their five-month unbeaten streak in the league. Three more wins — away to Fulham and Tottenham and then at home to West Ham — and the title is theirs once again.

City might need to be perfect down the stretch to hold off Arsenal.

There’s no sign of an end-of-season collapse by Mikel Arteta’s team this time, with a 3-0 win over Bournemouth in the lunchtime kickoff keeping the pressure on City.

Arsenal has four straight wins and has retained their one-point lead. City, though, has three games left, one more than Arsenal.

Last season, Arsenal’s title challenge faded in the spring as a fast-finishing City clinched a third straight league championship with three games to spare.

Twelve months on and the title race is heading into the final week of the season. Indeed, given the form of the top two, it is likely to be decided in the last round of games on May 19.

Bukayo Saka converted a penalty in the 45th minute before second-half goals by Leandro Trossard and Declan Rice gave Arsenal victory at Emirates Stadium.

Burnley in trouble of Premier League relegation

Burnley slipped closer to the drop thanks to its 4-1 loss at home to Newcastle combined with relegation rival Nottingham Forest’s 3-1 win at last-place Sheffield United.

It left next-to-last Burnley five points adrift of Forest, which occupies the place directly above the relegation zone.

Burnley has to win both of their remaining games — away to Tottenham and then at home to Forest on the final day — to stand a chance of staying up. Even that won’t be enough if Forest avoids defeat at West Ham next weekend, given Burnley’s goal difference is so much worse than Forest’s.

Luton, which drew 1-1 with Everton on Friday, is third from bottom and now three points behind Forest. As it stands, the three teams that were promoted last season are going straight back down to the Championship.

Callum Wilson, Sean Longstaff, Bruno Guimaraes and Alexander Isak all scored for Newcastle, which climbed above Manchester United and into sixth place in its bid to qualify for Europe. Newcastle could even catch Tottenham, which is four points further ahead in fifth ahead of its trip to Liverpool tomorrow.

Man United visits Crystal Palace on Tuesday NZT.

Sheffield United was already sure of being relegated before playing Forest, which came from behind through a double from Callum Hudson-Odoi that came either side of Ryan Yates’ goal.

In the other match today, Brentford and Fulham drew 0-0.

Premier League top scorer race

Haaland’s four goals have left him in sight of the Golden Boot — awarded to the league’s top scorer — for the second straight season.

The Norway striker has 25 for the campaign, five more than Isak and Chelsea’s Cole Palmer. Ollie Watkins of Aston Villa is one goal further back.

Haaland scored 36 goals in the league last season.

Ipswich promoted to Premier League

There will be a refreshing name in the Premier League next season.

Ipswich sealed a return to England’s top division for the first time in 22 years after finishing as runner-up on the last day of the second-tier Championship’s regular season.

A 2-0 win over Huddersfield saw Ipswich beat Leeds to the second automatic qualification spot, behind Leicester.

Leeds joined Southampton, West Bromwich Albion and Norwich in the playoffs for the third promotion spot. Leeds will play Norwich over two legs and Southampton takes on West Brom.

The playoff final is at Wembley Stadium on May 26.

EPL race to the title - games remaining

Arsenal - 83 points

v Manchester Utd (a) - 7th

v Everton (h) - 15th

Manchester City - 82 points

v Fulham (a) - 12th

v Tottenham (a) - 5th

v West Ham (h) - 9th

EPL ladder

(Team, points)

1. Arsenal 83

2. Man City 82

3. Liverpool 75

4. Aston Villa 67

5. Tottenham 60

6. Newcastle 56

7. Man United 54

8. Chelsea 51

9. West Ham 49

10. Bournemouth 48

11. Wolves 46

12. Fulham 44

13. Brighton 44

14. Crystal Palace 40

15. Everton 37

16. Brentford 36

17. Nottingham Forest 29

18. Luton Town 26

19. Burnley 24

20. Sheffield United 16

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