MANCHESTER, UK (AP) – The Premier League title race really is back on.
And it’s all because of Harry Kane.
The striker Manchester City wanted to sign in the offseason last year consigned the leaders to their first league loss in nearly four months by scoring twice for Tottenham in a dramatic 3-2 win on Saturday.
His second — the winning goal — came in the fifth minute of stoppage time. Kane celebrating scoring goals at Etihad Stadium was something City fans thought they’d enjoy seeing this season.
They weren’t this time.
By Wednesday, City could find its lead over Liverpool down to just three points.
Liverpool trimmed the gap to six on Saturday courtesy of a come-from-behind 3-1 victory over Norwich and is also at home to Leeds in four days’ time.
And Liverpool still has to go to City, in April.
Tottenham completed an improbable double over City, having beaten the champions 1-0 in the opening round, and the London team continues to cause City pain.
It was Spurs, after all, who eliminated City from the Champions League three seasons ago following an even more dramatic game in the quarterfinal second legs, and also beat Pep Guardiola’s team last season.
City appeared to have done enough to earn a point when Riyad Mahrez converted a penalty in the second minute of stoppage time, canceling out Kane’s first goal. Earlier, Dejan Kulusevski scored in the fourth minute before Ilkay Gundogan’s equalizer.
Kulusevski was the provider for Kane’s winner, the England striker directing his header into the corner to cap a superb all-round performance that saw him cause City’s defense all sorts of problems, mainly by dropping deep and slipping balls through.
Having two forwards injured would have been a major problem for Liverpool not so long ago.
Now, it simply relieves manager Jürgen Klopp of a selection dilemma.
With Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino unavailable, Klopp was still able to pick a strikeforce of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and exciting January signing Luis Diaz, and all three scored in the comeback win over Norwich.
It was hard to choose the best goal, too.
Mane’s was an overhead kick to equalize in the 64th and Salah’s go-ahead goal three minutes later came after he brought down a long clearance by goalkeeper Alisson, tricked his way past outrushing Norwich ’keeper Angus Gunn before sliding home a finish. Diaz added a deft third in the 81st by running onto Jordan Henderson’s through ball and clipping the ball over Gunn.
Chelsea played its first league game in nearly a month — and as the newly crowned world champions of club football.
And manager Thomas Tuchel said his players were still feeling the effects of their exertions at last week’s Club World Cup in Abu Dhabi in the 1-0 win over Crystal Palace, secured by Hakim Ziyech’s 89th-minute volley.
“It was not the time to over-expect something from us,” Tuchel said. “We came from where we came, played 120 minutes in the FA Cup (on Feb. 5), 120 minutes in the Club World Cup (in the final against Palmeiras) in 30C (30 degrees Celsius) temperature difference, we had jet lag against a good opponent, a tough team to play.”
STILL NO ERIKSEN
Christian Eriksen still wasn’t ready to play for Brentford for its match at Arsenal. The team could have done with him.
Arsenal eased to a 2-1 win at Emirates Stadium thanks to goal by Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka, with Brentford’s consolation coming from virtually the last kick of the game from Christian Norgaard.
Brentford is winless in seven games and dropped to within six points of the relegation zone. Eriksen, who is close to a return to competitive action for the first time since collapsing during last year’s European Championship after suffering cardiac arrest, cannot be available soon enough.
Arsenal moved a point behind fourth-place Manchester United.
The relegation fight is heating up.
Norwich’s loss ended up sending the team to the bottom of the standings because of rare wins for Burnley, just its second of the season, and Watford, its first in three months in all competitions.
Burnley won 3-0 at Brighton to finally move out of last place, with January signing Wout Weghorst scoring his first goal for the club and setting up another.
Watford ended its four-match scoring drought as Emmanuel Dennis’ 78th-minute header earned a 1-0 win at Aston Villa, which has won just one of its last eight games under Steven Gerrard.