Manchester City will go into the final weekend of Premier League action with their destiny in their own hands after Pep Guardiola’s reigning champions played out a dramatic 2-2 draw with West Ham at the London Stadium today.
Guardiola’s side predictably dominated possession during the opening exchanges, but West Ham are themselves pushing for sixth place and Europa League qualification. and it would be David Moyes men who opened the scoring. The impressive Jarrod Bowen latched onto a ball over the top, confidently rounded Ederson before dispatching a fine finish from a narrowing angle.
On the stroke of half-time Bowen would strike again much to the delight of the home crowd and the red side of Merseyside. The 25-year-old attacker once again found himself in behind from a Michail Antonio flick on and finished clinically into the bottom corner from 14 yards out.
Man City looked shell shocked as they trudged off at half-time but just four minutes into the second period £100 million man Jack Grealish scored with a deflected volley from the edge of the area to get his side back in the game.
With 20 minutes left on the clock City would draw level when Hammers right-back Vladmir Coufal unfortunately headed Riyad Mahrez’s dangerous free-kick into the back of his own net.
Then with five minutes left to play City would be handed a golden chance to essentially secure the Premier League title after Craig Dawson brought Gabriel Jesus down in the area. However, a spooked looking Mahrez stepped up and West Ham ‘keeper Lukasz Fabianski got down well to save the spot kick.
Today’s draw means City are four points ahead of Liverpool, with Guardiola’s men facing Aston Villa at the Etihad on the final day and Jurgen Klopp’s Reds set to face Southampton away and Wolves at home in their remaining two fixtures.
Speaking afterward Guardiola was delighted that his sides destiny is still in their own hands and praised Grealish for his impact.
“It was so difficult – they are an exceptional team with set pieces and transitions,” Guardiola told BBC Sport.
”In general we played really well, with who we are and we created enough chances. We had patience and while we would have preferred to win, a draw leaves it in our hands and we’ll try and win the title with our family.
“Jack Grealish’s goal was an incredible finish and that helped us a lot. He was more involved in the second half and he was perfect.”
FULL TIME | City fight back to snatch a vital point on the road! 💪
— Manchester City (@ManCity) May 15, 2022
Guardiola went on to praise title rivals Liverpool and admitted that regardless of next weeks outcome both sides have produced an exceptional level of performance this season.
“We couldn’t expect different with this Liverpool – they are almost the perfect team,” Guardiola said.
”We didn’t expect to win the title with three, four or five games to spare.
”We’ve both done an exceptional season. We won’t look at anyone else – we’ll just try and win our game. I’m pretty sure the Etihad Stadium will be full and they’ll be supporting us.”