City edge closer to Arsenal; Man Utd salvage draw against Chelsea
Sports Desk, Oct 22 (EFE).- Erling Haaland powered Manchester City to a 3-1 victory Saturday over Brighton & Hove Albion that left the defending champions just a point behind Premier League leaders Arsenal, though the Gunners have a game in hand.
Two other clubs hoping to factor in the title race, Chelsea and Manchester United, battled to a 1-1 result and remain fourth and fifth in the table, respectively.
Still mired in seventh are Liverpool, who lost 1-0 away to Nottingham Forest less than a week after besting City by the same score at Anfield.
Brighton came into the contest at the Etihad still looking for their first-ever win at the home of Manchester City, who led 2-0 at the break on a brace from Haaland.
The Norwegian opened the scoring in the 22nd minute, firing into the empty net after Seagulls goalkeeper Robert Sanchez came off his line to deal with a deep ball into the box from his City counterpart, Ederson.
As the teams entered the final five minutes of the first half, a VAR review resulted in the awarding of a penalty to City for Lewis Dunk’s tackle of Bernardo Silva.
Haaland stepped to the spot and converted. With 17 goals in his first 11 Premier League matches, the striker is on pace to score a record-shattering 58 goals in his inaugural campaign in the English top-flight.
Sanchez stopped Riyad Mahrez from making it 3-0 in the 52nd minute, seconds before Brighton’s Leandro Trossard cut the deficit in half.
Solly March robbed the ball from City defender Manuel Akanji and then cut it back to Trossard on the edge of the area. Alexis Mac Allister fired over the cross-bar in the 67th minute on a chance to equalize for the visitors after another City giveaway.
With 15 minutes left in regulation, a Silva pass from Kevin de Bruyne in scoring position and the Belgian international sent the ball sailing over Sanchez into the Brighton net to restore the two-goal margin for the hosts.
City improve to 26 points, 1 behind Arsenal, who will be away Sunday to 15th-place Southampton. With 15 points, Brighton are eighth.
United had more of the ball and outshot Chelsea 13-6 at Stamford Bridge in Saturday’s marquee match, but Blues keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga denied Marcus Rashford – twice – and Antony in the first half.
The visitors slowed down a little in the second half and Chelsea tightened up at the back, yet Bruno Fernandes forced a stop from Kepa in the 76th minute and United looked the likelier side until the referee pointed to the spot in the 84th after Scott McTominay brought down the Blues’ Armando Broja in the box.
Jorginho fooled United keeper David de Gea into going the wrong way and put the hosts ahead 1-0.
The Red Devils flew forward in pursuit of the equalizer, which materialized deep into stoppage time courtesy of Casemiro, whose header managed to roll just over the line even though Kepa got a hand to it.
Casemiro’s first goal since coming over from Real Madrid was enough for United to come away with a point. EFE apa/dr