Manchester City finally tumbles but will still walk away with EPL

Wednesday, January 17th, 2018

By Andrew Ryan
betcris Soccer Premier League Manchester City

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As great as it was for fans of the other 19 teams to see Liverpool beat Manchester City on Sunday afternoon, that doesn't mean that much of anything is truly changing at the top of the Premier League.

It had been 30 matches since Manchester City had been beaten by an English team, but that streak is now over after a 4-1 loss at Anfield. Pep Guardiola's side should be praised for its fightback in this game after falling behind 4-1. The Citizens were easily the second-best team at Anfield on this day, but the goals that Liverpool scored were largely of the good fortune variety, particularly the last by Mohamed Salah that put the match on ice.

But here's the grim reality for the rest of England: Manchester City still has 62 points in 23 matches. It still has scored 67 times, an average of just shy of three strikes per match, and even after conceding four times to Liverpool, it still has just 17 goals allowed. Its +50 goal differential is 21 goals better than anyone else, and there are still 15 points between Manchester City and Manchester United.

Granted, the Red Devils can trim that margin to a dozen with a win on Monday over Stoke City, but the bottom line is that it's still all over at this point.

The real question is whether Tottenham or Arsenal will ultimately be able to climb back into the top-4 with United, Liverpool and Chelsea all sitting on 47 points. The Spurs are on 44 points and will certainly have a shot at some success, but Arsenal is really starting to fall out of the equation.

The Gunners have allowed 30 goals already this year, and with Alexis Sanchez likely on his way out of town, there isn't a great case to be made for the North Londoners to even finish better than sixth.

Things at the bottom of the table in the Premier League are far more muddied. The relegation scrap will easily be the most-intriguing story the rest of the way in England with 12 teams separated by 10 points at the bottom of the table.

Everton feels like it has done enough to stay safe in ninth position and with 13 positive results in 23 matches, but beyond that, we've seen all 11 teams from tenth on down sitting right near the relegation zone at some point. These matches between these teams are all tremendously crucial, and you could make the argument for any of these 11 teams ultimately going down at the end of the year.

The team that feels like it's starting to fall apart just a bit is Swansea City. We've seen the Swans make great escapes before, but this one is starting to feel a bit beyond them. They only have 17 points this term and are sitting at the foot of the table. They had a chance to snare three points at Newcastle but ended up managing just a draw after blowing the late lead.

Now, the Magpies are three clear of the drop zone instead of just two, and instead of keeping WBA at the bottom of the table with 19 points, the Swans are still four back of safety.

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