Manchester City back on top after second-half show against Brighton

Liverpool had displaced the champions from top spot in the Premier League 24 hours earlier.

By Press Association Published: 20 April 2022 - 9.18pm

Manchester City struck three times in the second half to reclaim top spot in the Premier League with an ultimately convincing 3-0 victory over Brighton.

The scoreline did not tell the full story of a nervy contest at the Etihad Stadium in which the champions were frustrated by Graham Potter’s resolute side before the break.

It took deflected strikes from Riyad Mahrez and Phil Foden for them to break through and the sense of relief that swept round the ground after an anxious opening period was tangible.

Bernardo Silva settled any nerves completely with a fine third goal for the hosts eight minutes from time.

Bukayo Saka banished his Euro 2020 final penalty shoot-out ghosts by converting a spot-kick as Arsenal toppled Chelsea 4-2 to reignite their bid for a top-four finish.

The England forward slotted his first-ever penalty for the Gunners to seal a vital win over the Blues, drawing Mikel Arteta’s men level with fourth-placed Tottenham in the league table.

Saka missed the last penalty in England’s 3-2 shoot-out defeat to Italy in the Euro 2020 final, but came good to seal a crucial three points.

Eddie Nketiah had twice seized upon poor defending to drive Arsenal into a 3-2 lead.

Timo Werner’s deflected effort had Chelsea level quickly after Nketiah’s first goal, with captain Cesar Azpilicueta then cancelling out a fine finish from Emile Smith Rowe before half-time.

Richarlison grabbed a crucial added-time equaliser against Leicester to give Everton a much-needed boost in their battle to avoid relegation.

An eighth home league defeat looked on the cards for the Toffees after they went behind in just the fifth minute to a goal from Harvey Barnes.

But in the second of five minutes additional-time, the Brazil international, who had already missed two much easier chances, forced home a shot to make it 1-1.

It was a goal which could yet have greater significance in the bid to avoid the drop as it extended the gap over 18th-placed Burnley to four points.

However, it may not be enough to stop them falling into the bottom three this weekend as by the time they arrive at Anfield on Sunday afternoon for the Merseyside derby against a red-hot Liverpool side, they could be two points adrift of safety as Burnley have home games against Southampton and Wolves.

Miguel Almiron’s stunning strike handed Newcastle a sixth successive home Premier League win for the first time since 2004 as they smashed through the 40-point barrier.

Almiron’s 32nd-minute goal, his first for the club since February last year, was enough to claim a 1-0 win over beaten FA Cup semi-finalists Crystal Palace and lift the Magpies into 11th place, 15 points clear of the relegation zone.

However, they were forced to scrap all the way to the final whistle as Patrick Vieira’s side belatedly mounted a concerted counter-offensive in front of a crowd of 51,938 at St James’ Park, among them Newcastle chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan in a classic game of two halves.

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