Premier League: Manchester City win crucial title battle

Manchester City defeated Liverpool 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium on Thursday to close the gap to the league leaders to just four points with seventeen matches left in the season. The Citizens opened the scoring in the first half thanks to a surprising finish from Sergio Aguero, then Liverpool fought back after the break and made it all square through Roberto Firmino, but then Leroy Sane scored to put Manchester City ahead for good. That was the first Premier League defeat of the season for Liverpool, but the Reds remain at the top of the table. Tottenham are now in third place, six points behind Liverpool.

"We knew that if we won we would be in contention to fight for the Premier League, if we lose it is over," Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said. "I don't remember a league so tough. There are so many huge contenders fighting for the title. It is closer, every game is a final. They are leaders, it is four points but we have reduced the gap. I respect what Tottenham are doing, in the last games Manchester United are coming back, and of course Chelsea and Arsenal with new managers. Jurgen Klopp will not agree but for the Premier League it is a good result."

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp did have something to recriminate after the match, he complained about a rough challenge by Vincent Kompany on Mohamed Salah. "I really like Vincent Kompany but how on Earth is that not a red card?" Klopp said. "He is last man and he goes in. If he hits Mo more he is out for the season." The Liverpool manager did not want to admit that Manchester City were the better side: "Our expectations are high. We can play better. You have to take the game how it is. You can't always dominate it. We were unlucky in our finishing moments. Unluckier than City I would say."

Liverpool are now 5/6 at Bet365 to win the Premier League title this season, while Manchester City are 5/4.

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