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Haaland Breaks Premier League Scoring Record As City Move Top

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Erling Haaland set a new record of 35 goals in a Premier League season as Manchester City overcame West Ham 3-0 to move back to the top of the table on Wednesday as Liverpool edged out Fulham 1-0.

City were made to work by an under-manned Hammers to edge one point clear of Arsenal in the title race, with a game in hand still to come.

The visitors were missing England international Declan Rice, Tomas Soucek and Nayef Aguerd through illness, while injuries meant David Moyes could only name five outfield substitutes.

But Moyes’ men held out for 50 minutes before succumbing at the Etihad to remain rooted in a relegation battle.

READ ALSO: EPL: Why I Dropped Haaland Against Liverpool – Guardiola

Nathan Ake was the unlikely figure to break the deadlock as the Dutch defender rose highest to power home Riyad Mahrez’s free-kick.

But there was no surprise over the scorer of City’s second as Haaland raced onto Jack Grealish’s pass and deftly dinked the ball over the advancing Lukasz Fabianski.

The Norwegian moved past Alan Shearer and Andy Cole’s mark of 34 set for Blackburn and Newcastle respectively in the 1990s.

Haaland was given a guard of honour by his teammates as he left the pitch after full-time.

However, he will still fall someway short of the all-time scoring record for a season in the English top flight of 60 set by Everton’s Dixie Dean in 1927/28.

READ ALSO: Man City Vs Leicester: Haaland Bags Another Brace To Equal Salah’s Record

Phil Foden came off the bench to add the final flourish as his sweetly-struck volley deflected off Emerson Palmieri to leave Fabianski wrong-footed five minutes from time.

City’s 13th consecutive home win in 2023 edges Pep Guardiola’s men ever closer to a fifth Premier League title in six seasons.

The champions need just four wins from their remaining five games to ensure Arsenal are denied their first title in 19 years.

Defeat leaves West Ham still four points above the relegation zone with four games to play.

At Anfield, Liverpool refused to give up the fight for a top-four finish by keeping the pressure on Newcastle and Manchester United for the final two places in next season’s Champions League behind City and Arsenal.

READ ALSO: EPL: Guardiola Gives Condition For Haaland To Play Against Liverpool

Jurgen Klopp’s men have now won five league consecutive league games for the first time this season.

Mohamed Salah’s 29th goal of the season was the difference between the sides as the Egyptian shrugged off his recent struggles from the penalty spot to convert after Darwin Nunez had been fouled by Issa Diop six minutes before half-time.

Liverpool close to within four points of fourth-placed Manchester United, who have two games in hand.

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EPL: Top Goal Scorers At Matchday 32

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After Sunday’s matches on matchday 32, here are the leading English Premier League,EPL, top scorers:

20: Haaland (Man City)

19: Watkins (Aston Villa)

17: Isak (Newcastle), Salah (Liverpool), Solanke (Bournemouth)

16: Palmer (Chelsea)

15: Bowen (West Ham), Son Heung-min (Tottenham)

14: Foden (Man City), Saka (Arsenal)

READ ALSO: Five-goal Haaland Crushes Luton As Man City Reach FA Cup Quarter-finals

12: Woods (Nottm Forest)

11: Cunha (Wolves), Nunez (Liverpool)

10: Gordon (Newcastle), Hwang (Wolves), Richarlison (Tottenham)

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Meet The Invincibles: See Three Football Teams Unbeaten In One Season

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Xabi Alonso’s Bayer Leverkusen of 2023-24 stand on the cusp of greatness, with just 11 matches theoretically between them and a record undefeated season for a top-five European league team.

Of the 42 matches they have so far played this campaign, they have won 37, drawn five and lost a grand total of zero.

Bayer could win the Bundesliga for the first time in their history this weekend when they take on Werder Bremen, while they won their Europa League quarter-final first leg against West Ham 2-0 and face second-division Kaiserslautern in the German Cup final on May 25.

Should their record stay unblemished across their remaining fixtures in all three competitions they will become the first side to go a full season undefeated both domestically and in European competition.

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It is a scenario few, if any, would have ever predicated at the start of the season, with German giants Bayern Munich having won the last 11 league titles and no Bundesliga team ever even completing a domestic league season without losing at least once.

In the history of the sport worldwide, many teams have gone an entire league season without losing, such as Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal “Invincibles” of 2003-04, but to do it across multiple competitions is rarified territory.

AFP Sport highlights three teams that completed a full season without tasting defeat across several competitions:

– Al Ahly –

Egyptian giants Al Ahly won the league and the CAF Champions League without any losses in 2004-05, but were denied from completing the treble only by a penalty shoot-out elimination in the Egypt Cup after their round of 16 tie ended in a draw.

READ ALSO: BREAKING: Lagos Court Grants Emefiele N50m Bail

That season in the league, they finished a staggering 31 points clear of second-placed Enppi SC and failed to win only two of 26 matches.

The dominant double was made all the sweeter by a CAF Champions League semi-final victory against bitter Cairo rivals Zamalek by an aggregate score of four goals to one.

– Preston North End –

One must go back to the 19th century to find such an example in the English game, indeed all the way back to the very advent of the English League in 1888.

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Preston North End won a league and cup double in the 1888-89 season, which saw them go undefeated through 22 league matches and claim the FA Cup final 3-0 against Wolverhampton Wanderers at London’s Kennington Oval.

– Johor Darul Ta’zim –

Malaysia’s Johor Darul Ta’zim completed an undefeated domestic quadruple in the 2023 Malaysian season.

With the domestic league and cup running from February to December 2023, Johor Darul Ta’zim won a staggering 37 out of 38 games on their way to claiming the country’s Super Cup, Piala Malaysia Cup, FA cup and league title.

Sadly, their domestic dominance didn’t translate to the bigger challenges of the Asian Champions League where they won three group games but lost three.
VANGUARD

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BREAKING: O.J. Simpson, Ex-football Star Acquitted Of Murder, Ries At 76

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O.J. Simpson, the star NFL football player whose 1995 acquittal in the so-called “trial of the century” for the brutal murders of his wife and a male friend gripped the world, has died at the age of 76, his family announced.

On April 10, our father, Orenthal James Simpson, succumbed to his battle with cancer,” a message signed by the family said on social media site X.

READ ALSO: BREAKING: Rivers Police Kill Gang Leader Who Murdered Rivers CDC Chairman

Details later…

AFP

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