Manchester City opened up a four-point lead at the top of the English Premier League with a 2-1 win against Leeds on Saturday as Liverpool beat Brentford 1-0 to close on the top four.
Just hours after the pomp and ceremony of the coronation of King Charles III in London’s Westminster Abbey, City underlined their desire to extend their own reign as they chase a fifth Premier League title in six seasons.
Ilkay Gundogan scored both goals for Pep Guardiola’s men inside the first 27 minutes, but the City boss was left annoyed after Erling Haaland handed the German the chance to secure a hat-trick from the penalty spot.
Gundogan hit the post and within a minute Leeds were back in the game when Rodrigo fired home.
“The game is not over. It shows how nice and generous Erling is. If it is 4-0 with 10 minutes left, OK. But at 2-0? Erling is the best penalty taker right now so he has to take it,” said Guardiola.
In tribute to the King, the national anthem was played before kick-off at all four afternoon Premier League games.
But it is City who lord it over the Premier League and are well on course for a third consecutive title.
Arsenal face a tricky trip to third-placed Newcastle on Sunday, but even if the Gunners revive their title bid, City need just three wins from their last four matches to be certain of retaining the title.
Relentless City have won their last 10 league games and are unbeaten in 20 matches in all competitions.
Defeat in Sam Allardyce’s first match in charge left Leeds one place above the relegation zone on goal difference.
Liverpool closed to within one point of fourth-placed Manchester United as Mohamed Salah’s solitary goal was enough for a sixth consecutive win for Jurgen Klopp’s men.
The controversy came before a ball was kicked at Anfield as boos and jeers from the Liverpool fans drowned out the national anthem to mark the coronation.
Once the action got underway, Liverpool’s goal king Salah fired home his 30th goal of the season from Virgil van Dijk’s header.
It was also Salah’s 100th goal at Anfield as he scored for a ninth consecutive home game to break another club record.
“It means a lot to me,” said the Egyptian. “I feel at home here, I’m happy. We need to finish the season the best possible way.”
United and Newcastle are still strong favourites to secure a place in the Champions League as they have two games in hand.
But Liverpool are at least applying the pressure thanks to their best run of form in a disappointing season.
Chelsea end losing streak
Chelsea ended a six-game losing streak since Frank Lampard’s return as caretaker manager by beating Bournemouth 3-1 to end any threat of being pulled into the relegation battle.
Conor Gallagher headed Chelsea into a ninth minute lead, diverting N’Golo Kante’s cross beyond Neto.
Matias Vina equalised with a 21st minute curler, but Benoit Badiashile volleyed in Hakim Ziyech’s free-kick for his first Chelsea goal in the 82nd minute.
Joao Felix’s 86th-minute strike wrapped up Chelsea’s first victory in 10 matches in all competitions.
“They should enjoy it and we’re happy because when you don’t have that feeling for a while, it gradually knocks you down,” said Lampard.
Harry Kane moved into second place in the Premier League’s all-time scoring list as his goal sealed a 1-0 win against Crystal Palace.
The England captain broke the deadlock in first half stoppage-time with a powerful header from Pedro Porro’s cross.
Kane climbed ahead of Wayne Rooney onto 209 Premier League goals, with Alan Shearer’s record of 260 in his sights next.
Sixth-placed Tottenham are six points adrift of the top four after winning for the first time in five games.
Aston Villa’s bid for a place in Europe next season was dented after Toti Gomes’ first goal for Wolves earned a 1-0 win that secured survival for Julen Lopetegui’s men.