Manchester City’s Premier League title celebrations have been put on hold after Chelsea came from behind to claim a 2-1 victory at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.
Both sides came into the match fresh from booking their places in the Champions League final (City 1/2 to win Champions League, Chelsea 13/8) at the end of the month and City knew a victory would see them wrap up a third league championship in the space of four years.
The match certainly appeared to be going to script for Pep Guardiola’s side, as Raheem Sterling put them in front on 44 minutes.
City were then handed a glorious opportunity to double their lead on the stroke of half time when Chelsea teenager Billy Gilmour upended Gabriel Jesus in the area and referee Anthony Taylor subsequently pointed to the spot.
Sergio Aguero stepped up to take the resulting spot kick, but City’s record goalscorer was made to look foolish, as Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy easily saved his Panenka attempt.
Both City and Aguero were made to rue that miss as Chelsea levelled midway through the second half when Hakim Ziyech, who scored the winner when the two sides met in last month’s FA Cup semi-final, fired home from just inside the area.
Then, in second-half stoppage time Marcos Alonso grabbed a winning goal for Chelsea, which was enough to move them up to third in the standings and perhaps more importantly they are now six points clear of West Ham in fifth.
For City, they can still clinch the title this weekend, but only if nearest rivals Manchester United lose at Aston Villa on Sunday (Aston Villa 7/2, Draw 11/4, Man United 4/5 – Match Betting).
In Saturday’s early kick-off, Tottenham saw their hopes of a top-four finish dealt a major blow, as they suffered a 3-1 defeat against Leeds United at Elland Road.
Stuart Dallas opened the scoring for the hosts, but Son Heung-Min soon drew Spurs level, only for Patrick Bamford, in front of the on watching England manager Gareth Southgate, to restore Leeds’ advantage before the break.
Rodrigo rounded off the scoring and an impressive performance by Leeds during the second half, but the defeat leaves Spurs sixth in the standings and seemingly out on contention to clinch a top-four finish.
In the three o’clock kick-off, Crystal Palace mathematically secured their Premier League status for another season with a 2-0 victory at already relegated Sheffield United.
A goal in either half from Christian Benteke and Eberechi Eze was enough for Palace to claim the victory at Bramall Lane, with the defeat all but confirming that the Blades will finish the campaign bottom of the standings.