LONDON, United
– Liverpool’s lead at the top of the table extended to 22 points as
their procession towards the title continued thanks to a 4-0 win over
Southampton and Manchester City’s latest defeat at Tottenham.

Victory for Spurs edged them ahead as the closest
challengers to Chelsea for a place in the top four, on another weekend when the
rest of the chasing pack stumbled.

Here, AFP Sport looks at three things we learned from the
Premier League weekend:

Guardiola must prove greatness with wasteful City

Manchester City had 18 shots to Tottenham’s three, 67
percent possession, were awarded a penalty by VAR and still contrived to lose

In isolation, Pep Guardiola could write off this defeat as a
freak, but it has been a consistent tale of City’s season.

Guardiola now must prove his status as one of the greatest
coaches in the game by finding solutions before another Champions League
campaign is ended by the same failings.

City travel to a revitalised Real Madrid in 24 days’ time
for the first leg of their last-16 tie.

Guardiola admitted this weekend that despite two Premier
League titles, his time at City will be judged a failure without winning the
Champions League.

On current form it is hard to imagine City being crowned
European champions for the first time in Istanbul on May 30.

Top-four contenders consistently inconsistent

As Frank Lampard bemoaned Chelsea’s lack of transfer window
activity and defended his decision to drop the world’s most expensive
goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, it was easy to imagine the Blues were adrift in
mid-table rather than holding onto a prized place in the top four.

Chelsea’s 2-2 draw at third-placed Leicester ensured they
retained a small cushion over their rivals, but Lampard’s angst was born from
the knowledge that his team’s erratic form makes it far from certain they will
hold onto fourth.

It has been that kind of season for the teams hoping to join
Liverpool and City in next season’s Champions League.

Manchester United, held to a 0-0 draw by Wolves, have spent
most of the campaign lurching from one crisis to another, while Arsenal remain
10 points behind Chelsea after a 13th draw in 25 league games at Burnley.

Into the void stepped Tottenham as their victory over City
moved them within four points of Chelsea.

Twenty’s plenty for Liverpool

Liverpool equalled a Premier League record with a 20th
straight home win at Anfield as they overcame some stiff resistence from
Southampton with four second-half goals.

That is one of just many records that seem set to tumble as
Jurgen Klopp’s men charge towards a first top-flight title in 30 years.

Liverpool’s 22-point lead is the biggest any side has ever
enjoyed at the top of the Premier League and they have now taken a remarkable
100 points from the last possible 102.

Win their next six games and the title will be won even
before they visit City on April 4 and given the defending champions’ struggles,
it is likely the crowning of the new champions will come in mid-March.


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