Ilkay Gundogan helped himself to a superb double as Manchester City closed in on a fifth Premier League title in six seasons with a 3-0 win at Everton.
As a result of their victory in Merseyside and Arsenal’s 3-0 defeat at home against Brighton, a maximum of three more points in the three games they have left, the first of them at home against Chelsea next Sunday, will ensure the trophy once again.
Indeed, Pep Guardiola’s men could be crowned champions on Saturday night if the Gunners lose at Nottingham Forest, and even a draw at the City Ground would effectively end the run as a result of City’s superior goal difference after an afternoon. Simple at Goodison Park.
Gundogan raised his tally to four in two matches with an expertly executed over-the-shoulder volley and exquisite curling free kick.
In between, Erling Haaland scored his near-mandatory goal to make his 52nd of the season, with former Everton centre-forward Dixie Dean’s record 63 still within easy reach.
Arsenal, however, were unable to do the same in a game that boss Mikel Arteta admitted before kick-off was a must-win affair, as second-half goals from Julio Enciso, Deniz Undav and Pervis Estupinan left him they gave Brighton a shock victory at the Emirates Stadium.
After a hotly contested first half, Arsenal fell behind through Enciso’s header on 51 minutes and, desperately searching for a way to get back into the game, the hosts were intercepted by Undav and then Estupinan in a devastating display from the visitors, who are on the verge of qualifying for Europe for the first time.
Goals from Bryan Mbeumo and Yoane Wissa ensured West Ham are still not mathematically assured of their place in next season’s top flight after Brentford cruised to a 2-0 win.
David Moyes made nine changes ahead of Thursday night’s Europa Conference League semi-final second leg against AZ Alkmaar, but saw his team come up short against a Bees line-up deprived of the services of 20-goal striker Ivan Toney through injury, with Mbeumo and Wissa both scoring before halftime.
Danny Ings thought he had cut the deficit after the break, but Divin Mubama controversially disallowed his handball after a VAR review.