EPL: Arsenal Back On Top, De Bruyne Impresses For Man City

Arsenal kept their pursuit of the Premier League title on pace with a win over Brighton on Saturday which moved them into the top spot in the standings. They are now one point ahead of Liverpool who have played one less game.  

Arsenal's Bukayo Saka celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal during the English Premier League soccer match

Liverpool will have a tough matchup against Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday. If United pull off the upset it could leave Arsenal in pole position to take home this year’s championship.

Brighton didn’t stand much of a chance against Arsenal, who were clinical in their 3-0 victory. They looked in control throughout the whole match against the 10th place Brighton and in the end won rather easily.

Saka was back from a minor injury after being absent for Wednesday’s 2-0 victory over Luton.  He opened the scoring for Arsenal in the 33rd minute through a penalty awarded for Tariq Lamptey’s foul on Gabriel Jesus.

Brighton had a great chance later in the first half when Julio Enciso drilled a long-range shot but David Raya was able to leap across his goal to keep it out. It was Brighton’s only shot on target in the first half which showed how much Arsenal had dominated the ball.

After the break, Kai Havertz doubled Arsenal’s lead with a beautiful goal after cutting-back into a Jorginho pass. Leandro Trossard then added the exclamation point on the night, calmly striking over the Brighton goalkeeper to put the match well out of reach.

Brighton haven’t been at their best as of late, only winning three of their past 12 league games. The main issue seems to be their inability to score, with just three goals in their past eight fixtures. They went goalless against Brentford earlier in the week, ending in a draw which they would dearly have liked to turn into a W.

Brighton have dropped to 10th with the defeat and now face an uphill battle to qualify for European football for a second successive season. Next up for them will be Burnley, a match they will be expected to win if they should have any chance of advancing.

Manchester City Beat Crystal Palace 4-2

Meanwhile Manchester City were able to maintain their position behind Arsenal with a 4-2 victory over Crystal Palace on Saturday night. Kevin de Bruyne was the man of the match, claiming his 100th goal for the club and helping his team comeback at Selhurst Park.

It was Crystal Palace that started the scoring, stunning City with a quick goal from Jean-Philippe Mateta in just the 4th minute of the encounter. Mateta was able to put the speed on and race past Adam Wharton and push the ball into the far corner of the goal.

The lead didn’t last very long however with De Bruyne curling one in just 10 minutes later. The two teams went into halftime with the score tied at 1-1.

It didn’t take long for the deadlock to break after the halftime break, as goalkeeper Dean Henderson was unable to block Rico Lewis’ strike in the 47th minute. 

From there the defending champs took control of the match as De Bruyne set up Haaland for an easy goal in the 66th minute. De Bruyne then got himself his second goal of the match with a brilliant first-time shot.

Substitute Odsonne Edouard got a late consolation goal for Palace to bring the score to 4-2 but there wasn’t much of a chance of mounting any sort of comeback.

With the win Manchester City is now on 70 points, tied with Liverpool for second place. With one less game played by Liverpool, they are still in the best position to take down this year’s title. 

Crystal Palace are still discovering themselves with their new boss Glasner but have plenty of positives at the moment. They were able to find a number of chances against Man City which proved their offense has the ability to score on the best of teams. 

It should be noted that Palace has been a tough opponent for City in the past. They were able to comeback from 2-0 down last December at the Etihad to secure a 2-2 tie. This win for Man City was far from easy but very vital for their title chances.