Manchester City regains lead thanks to Aké and record goal Haaland

Manchester City regains lead thanks to Aké and record goal Haaland
Nathan Aké has given Manchester City the lead

NOS Football

Thanks in part to Nathan Aké, Manchester City is back in the lead in the Premier League. The Oranje international was of value in Wednesday night’s home match against West Ham United. Early in the second half, Aké scored the opening goal before Erling Haaland and Phil Foden made it 3-0.

That win gave City another point more than title rival Arsenal. ‘The Gunners’ won against Chelsea on Tuesday to briefly return to first place, which they held for months, but had to cede to City last weekend. Coach Pep Guardiola’s team has played one less game.

Aké is back

At Manchester City, against West Ham, it was not only about the title race, but also about Erling Haaland. If he scored, the Norwegian super striker became the first player with 35 goals in a single Premier League season.

In the first half, however, Haaland was hardly reached. Only sporadically did City, with Aké as a base player, create danger. The biggest chance was for Rodri, who slid the ball past the goalkeeper after a combination with Haaland, but hit the post.

The standings in the Premier League

The first opportunity after the break, however, was an immediate hit. Riyad Mahrez swung a free kick in front of the goal and Aké, who had been missing for the past few weeks because of a hamstring injury, headed in at the far post in freedom.

It was the 28-year-old defender’s first league goal of the season.

Haaland grabs record

Twenty minutes later, the inevitable happened: Haaland was put in position by Jack Grealish and passed goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski with a fine marker. With that goal, he broke the Premier League record of Alan Shearer and Andy Cole, who scored 34 goals in a season in the 1990s.

West Ham United, which takes on AZ next week in the Conference League semifinals, then scored one more goal. A dropped ball landed at the feet of Foden, whose volley from the edge of the penalty area flew into the goal: 3-0.

Liverpool wins again

Liverpool, meanwhile, recorded its fifth league victory in a row. Coach Jürgen Klopp’s team was 1-0 too strong for Fulham at Anfield. Mo Salah provided the only goal from the penalty spot shortly before halftime: 1-0.

Mo Salah (center) celebrates his goal against Fulham

The occasion for that penalty kick was somewhat questionable: Darwin Núñez was lying down when he was hit by Issa Diop in the 16-yard area. The replay showed that there had been hardly any contact, but the video referee did not intervene.

Fulham gets chances

In the second half, Liverpool, where Virgil van Dijk played 90 minutes and Cody Gakpo came into the lines after more than an hour, escaped losing points several more times. Among others, former PSV player Carlos Vinícius could not pass Alisson Becker.

Liverpool keeps the minuscule chance of qualifying for Champions League soccer alive through the narrow win. ‘The Reds’ have four points less than Manchester United, who are fourth. However, Erik ten Hag’s team still has two games remaining.

Kayleigh Williams