- Simon Stone
- BBC Sport
Manchester City lit up the Premier League summit after their thrilling 2-2 draw with West Ham at the London Olympic Stadium on Sunday, after trailing two goals in the first half.
Pep Guardiola got one point, which raised his score to 90 points, four points ahead of Liverpool, but the Reds still have a game in hand.
And the last City match in the league will be against Aston Villa, and winning it means crowning the title, and a tie or loss means that Liverpool can decide the championship if it wins the next two matches.
City entered the match tense, and West Ham players managed to tighten their grip on it, and scored two goals in the first half through Garrod Bowen, in the 23rd and 45th minutes.
With the beginning of the second half, the City players were more enthusiastic and pressured the hosts to equalize after being late with two goals in the first half, a situation that City had not faced since 2012.
Just three minutes after the start of the second half, Jack Grealish scored the goal to reduce the difference for City in the 48th minute.
The two teams exchanged control over the course of the game, and several chances appeared in front of West and Ham players, but City lucked out in the 69th minute, when West Ham player Vladimir Koval scored an own goal.
At the end of the match, the city had a golden opportunity to make a historic remontada and win the match and decided the title in a big way, when the referee awarded a penalty kick to the Brazilian Gabriel Jesus, after he was subjected to a violent intervention from Craig Dawson, in the 84th minute, but it was lost by the Algerian Riyad Mahrez, to be saved by the West Ham goalkeeper. Lukas Fabiansky.
Frustration and despair appeared on the face of Guardiola, who wanted to increase the difference with Liverpool to six points, and thus come close to resolving the title, but it is certainly a positive result instead of the loss that would have put him in a much worse position, especially if the Reds won the postponed match on Tuesday.
It was also a positive result for West Ham, who qualified for one of the European competitions for the second consecutive season, after raising his score to 56 points to occupy seventh place in the league table, and moved away from his closest rivals Wolves in eighth place with four points.
Coach David Moyes welcomed his team’s qualification to the Europa Conference (European Conference League) for the second consecutive season, and said it was an excellent season for him and his team.
The match also witnessed the brilliance of Bowen, who scored two West Ham goals, is nominated for the Best Player award in the English Premier League and is one of the prominent stars.
The match also saw the farewell of team star Mark Noble, who decided that his match against City would be the end of his long career at West Ham, which began when he was only 17 years old.
The stadium was decorated with pictures of Nobel, and at the beginning of the match a large shirt was placed on the field bearing the number 16, which was carried by Nobel for years, and the fans were keen to honor him and applaud warmly throughout the 16th minute of the match.
A cake bearing his portrait was cut and cut in his honor in the press room, and the journalists received a letter from Nobel thanking them for their support throughout his career.