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Epic Premier League title race goes down to final day

Epic Premier League title race goes down to final day
Soccer Football - Premier League - Manchester City v Leicester City - Etihad Stadium, Manchester, Britain - May 6, 2019 Leicester City's Ben Chilwell and Harry Maguire in action with Manchester City's Vincent Kompany REUTERS/Phil Noble   -   Copyright  PHIL NOBLE(Reuters)
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By Simon Evans

MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) – For the only eighth time in Premier League history, the title will be decided on the final day of the season with Manchester City well poised to win their second straight championship.

A one point advantage over Liverpool means that City will collect their club’s sixth English domestic top flight title if they win at Brighton and Hove Albion on Sunday — even if Juergen Klopp’s men beat Wolverhampton Wanderers at Anfield.

Although the lead at the top of the table has changed hands 32 times this season, the bulk of those swaps have been due to the timing of their fixtures.

That ends on Sunday with all games kicking off at 1400 GMT as the final blast of tension is packed into 90 minutes.

Nothing during the title run-in suggests that either side is about to slip-up.

City have won 13 successive Premier League matches and Liverpool their last eight games and both survived real tests of nerves in their penultimate matches.

Liverpool grabbed a 3-2 win at Newcastle only thanks to an 86th minute header from substitute Divock Origi whilst City beat Leicester on Monday after a thundering 70th minute long-range drive from captain Vincent Kompany.

City enjoyed a lap of honour in front of their fans after their last home game of the campaign but their minds quickly turned to Sunday’s challenge against 17th placed Brighton – who showed their resilience in a 1-1 draw at Arsenal on Sunday.

“One game left and it will be so tough like today, we are away and we saw Brighton had a good game at Arsenal,” said City manager Pep Guardiola.

“But it is in our hands, don’t forget but we could have been 10 points behind if we lost to Liverpool here. We were seven points behind, but here we are in the last game and it is in our hands. We are going to prepare well,” he added.

“We’ll see if Brighton defend deep or will be more offensive. It will be tough, but hopefully we will have the performance to be champions.”

If City do clinch the title, Liverpool, on 94 points having lost only once all season, will end with the highest points title by a second-placed team in Premier League history.

City have now scored 100 goals in all competitions at the Etihad this season — the record for most home goals by an English top-flight team in a single campaign.

(Reporting by Simon Evans, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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