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Premier League weekend: Five things we learned

Following the latest round of Premier League action we look at five things we learned from the weekend fixtures.

Three is the magic number for Guardiola

Manchester City are champions of England once again as the division’s dominant force wrapped up another Premier League title this weekend.

City have won 12 consecutive Premier League games to overhaul Arsenal and win a fifth title in six seasons, with the club – so relentless across the run-in – once again anointed the league’s finest.

City have become just the fifth English team to win three consecutive top-flight titles and only the second club to do so in the Premier League era. Incredibly, it is the third of Europe’s top five leagues in which Guardiola has won three in a row, having achieved the feat with Barcelona (2009-2011) and Bayern Munich (2014-2016).

The Spaniard – who is celebrating his 11th league title in just 14 seasons as a manager – is now targeting another form of triple success. City are on the brink of history with FA Cup and Champions League finals to come before the end of the season and closing in on immortality.

Guardiola already boasts a strong argument as the greatest coach of all time. It could be about to get strengthened further in what will be a defining few weeks.

Passports packed at Brighton

Brighton will compete in continental competition for the first time in the club’s history next season, after the Seagulls swatted aside Southampton to qualify for Europe.

Evan Ferguson was on target twice for Roberto De Zerbi’s side, who secured a 3-1 over their south coast rivals to ensure European football at the Amex Stadium next season.

This season is already confirmed as the best top-flight campaign in Brighton’s history and the club are guaranteed at least a Europa Conference League place. The Seagulls need just one point from their final two fixtures to secure a top-six finish in the Premier League and Europa League football.

It’s rich reward for a fantastic season at Brighton, one which has seen one of the best-ran clubs in the division earn European football with a brilliant brand of football. Onwards and upwards for the Seagulls, who will take flight into Europe next season.

Awoniyi finds feet to save Forest

Nottingham Forest signed Taiwo Awoniyi for a then-club record fee from Union Berlin last summer, with the forward arriving with a growing reputation after 15 goals in the Bundesliga last season.

The Nigerian marked his home debut with a winner against West Ham, but took time to settle in the Premier League this season. Awoniyi has, however, found form at a crucial time in the season and five goals in three games has led Forest to safety.

The 25-year-old scored the winner against Arsenal as Forest confirmed their Premier League status for another season, earning his good fortune as Gabriel Magalhaes’ challenge bounced off the Forest forward and in.

It was the third consecutive game that Awoniyi has scored in and continued his welcome habit of scoring important goals. Awoniyi has scored nine Premier League goals in 16 starts this season, of which four have come in 1-0 wins alone. Without his goals this season, Forest would be 16 points worse off and rooted to the bottom of the division.

Losing leads has Leeds close to drop

Leeds are in real trouble after the club’s 3-1 defeat at West Ham this weekend, with the fate of Sam Allardyce’s side out of their hands going into the final day.

Leeds are two points from safety and will require favours from elsewhere to have any chance of survival, after the struggling side squandered a lead to lose at West Ham. It continued a wretched record of dropping points from winning positions in the Premier League this season, with Leeds having lost 25 points from such situations during the current campaign.

No side in the Premier League has lost more points when leading and Leeds have now failed to win in seven of the last nine games in which the club have scored first.

The appointment of Sam Allardyce has failed to galvanise the squad as hoped, a desperate roll of the dice that, barring a dramatic turnaround next weekend, has failed.

Relegation would be a devastating blow for a club who spent 16 years outside the top flight before returning under Marcelo Bielsa ahead of the 2020/21 campaign. Much has gone wrong at Elland Road since Bielsa was sacked last season.

It’s time for Harry Kane to move on

Tottenham’s defeat to Brentford was perhaps a microcosm of the club’s challenging campaign, as the north Londoners underwhelmed and underperformed with one exception.

Harry Kane scored a wonderful goal to open the scoring, but defensive fragility saw Brentford bounce back to inflict a win that leaves Spurs’ hopes of European football in danger.

Kane has had a magnificent individual season despite the mediocrity around him, with his 28 league goals just two short of his best-ever Premier League season. A brace on the final weekend would see the 29-year-old become just the second player in the division’s history, after Alan Shearer, to score 30+ league goals in multiple campaigns.

His goal against Brentford also saw Kane set a new record for the most games scored in during a single Premier League season, having found the back of the net in 25 different games in 2022/23.

Kane’s future remains uncertain as the forward enters the final 12 months of his deal this summer and all roads appear to lead to an exit. Kane has given the best seasons of his career to Spurs, but time is running out to win the silverware that has eluded him to date.

Spurs are set for a rebuild, but who oversees that change remains undecided. Kane will turn 30 this summer and must feel now is the time to move on and chase the game’s biggest prizes.

Spurs will be devastated to see the club’s record goalscorer leave, but even the most diehard of Spurs supporter must reluctantly acknowledge that the current version of the side is not ready to compete for trophies.

Read – Five players Pochettino can build his Chelsea side around

Read Also – Ranking the five best right-backs in world football right now

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