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Premier League weekend: Clinical Kane reignites title race

| 21.02.2022

Five things from the Premier League weekend

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.

City are now 2/9 in the Premier League title odds, while Liverpool have been cut to 10/3 asΒ we take 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, but the planned move never materialised. City manager Pep Guardiola saw the England captain as the final piece in his City jigsaw and Kane was keen to join the league champions only for his hopes to be frustrated.

Kane, 25/1 to finish top scorer in the Premier League this season, finally arrived at the Etihad Stadium only to dent City’s title hopes. The striker 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

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,Β  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

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 and they are now 1/4 in the Premier League relegation odds.

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, but are 4/7 to go down. Those results will have others above the dotted line looking nervously over their shoulder.

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All odds and markets correct as of date of publication

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Author

Warren Barner