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Manchester City beat Leicester City, Arsenal in top-4 hunt in Premier League

Manchester City rode their luck to defeat Leicester City 2-1 and be placed third in the Premier League with 72 points from 36 matches. Arsenal maintained their pursuit of a top-four finish with an impressive 4-1 victory at Stoke City.

football Updated: May 14, 2017 00:38 IST
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
Manchester City FC,Leicester City FC,Premier League
Manchester City's David Silva (centre) celebrates scoring during the Premier League match against Leicester City.(AP)

Manchester City benefited from two strokes of fortune as they beat Leicester City 2-1 in the Premier League on Saturday to close in on a Champions League qualifying berth.

David Silva’s opener was awarded despite an apparent offside against Raheem Sterling, while Riyad Mahrez had an equalising penalty disallowed after he slipped and struck the ball twice.

City climbed above Liverpool to third place and moved six points clear of fifth-place Arsenal, who visit Stoke City later on Saturday.

“We need one more game to be in the top four, but it’s in our hands,” said City manager Pep Guardiola, whose side host West Bromwich Albion on Tuesday.

“West Brom will be tough, but hopefully we can be better than today.”

Read | Title is beyond Manchester City after Everton loss, says Pep Guardiola

Swansea City win

At the other end of the table, Swansea City took a big step towards safety by winning 2-0 at relegated Sunderland.

Guardiola’s City took the lead in contentious circumstances in the 29th minute at the Etihad Stadium.

Sterling took a clear swipe at the ball as Silva’s mishit shot from Leroy Sane’s cut-back came past him, but despite Leicester protests, referee Robert Madley allowed the goal to stand.

The hosts doubled their lead seven minutes later, Gabriel Jesus sending Kasper Schmeichel the wrong way from the penalty spot after Sane was scythed down by Yohan Benalouane.

Leicester halved the deficit shortly before half-time when Shinji Okazaki hooked a stunning volley into the top-right corner from Marc Albrighton’s cross.

Leicester City's Riyad Mahrez scores from the penalty spot but it is disallowed for kicking the ball twice. ( REUTERS )

Mahrez won a 77th-minute penalty after luring Gael Clichy into a clumsy foul, but despite him sending the ball past Willy Caballero, the eagle-eyed Madley ruled it out.

Hull in danger

“To the letter of the law it’s a double touch, but he could bring it back for an encroachment from Manchester City, so there’s a bit of injustice,” complained Leicester manager Craig Shakespeare.

“It’s bad luck from our point of view. Two City players were in the penalty box.”

Swansea, revitalised since Paul Clement’s appointment as manager in January, moved four points clear of the bottom three after Fernando Llorente and Kyle Naughton scored in a precious win at Sunderland.

“It’s a huge result for us,” said Clement, whose side host West Brom on the season’s final day.

“We’ve got ourselves into a strong position, but the season is not over and we don’t think it is done.”

Third-bottom Hull City trail Swansea by four points and will be all but relegated if they do not win at Crystal Palace -- who are level on points with Swansea -- on Sunday.

Southampton beat Middlesborough

Southampton added to the doom and gloom at relegated Middlesbrough with a 2-1 win at the Riverside Stadium that lifted Claude Puel’s side up to ninth place.

Jay Rodriguez and Nathan Redmond netted superbly taken goals either side of half-time and the visitors could even afford for Shane Long to clip the bar with a second-half penalty.

Former Chelsea striker Patrick Bamford reduced the arrears for Boro with a 73rd-minute header.

Bournemouth climbed to 10th after Josh King’s 85th-minute goal -- his 16th of the campaign -- snatched a 2-1 home win over Burnley, who had levelled through Sam Vokes two minutes earlier.

Junior Stanislas put Bournemouth ahead in the first half.

Chelsea wrapped up the title by winning 1-0 at West Brom on Friday, which gave them an unassailable 10-point lead over second-placed Tottenham Hotspur.

Arsenal maintain top four hunt

Arsenal maintained their pursuit of a top-four finish with an impressive 4-1 victory at Stoke City but the Gunners still need other favourable results if they want to play in the Champions League for a 21st consecutive season.

Restored to the starting line up, Olivier Giroud opened the scoring from close range after 42 minutes and Mesut Ozil doubled the advantage after the break. He collected Alexis Sanchez’s defence-splitting pass before beautifully chipping Jack Butland.

Peter Crouch set up a potentially nervous finish with a 66th-minute goal -- though replays appeared to show the ball going in off the forward’s hand -- but Sanchez and Giroud, with his second, sealed an impressive victory with scores in the 76th and 80th minutes.

First Published: May 13, 2017 23:15 IST