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Three talking points from the Premier League

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Manchester United’s English defender Luke Shaw (right) vies with Leeds United’s English midfielder Kalvin Phillips during the English Premier League football match on Sunday. AFP

Three talking points from the Premier League

Manchester City edged closer to the Premier League title on Sunday even as they were focusing on winning a fourth straight League Cup final at Wembley.

Pep Guardiola's men could be crowned English champions for a third time in four years as early as next weekend if results go their way.

Deposed champions Liverpool are now outsiders to finish in the top four after dropping more points while, off the pitch, fans showed they will not forgive and forget the European Super League plans in a hurry.

AFP Sport looks at three talking points from the Premier League weekend.

City slickers

Manchester United's 0-0 stalemate with Leeds on Sunday means they trail City by 10 points with just five games to go.

A race that once looked as though it might go to the wire has instead turned into a procession, with Guardiola's team proving themselves a class apart.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has talked a good game and suggested after the result at Elland Road that he had wanted to put pressure on his cross-town rivals.

United last week closed the gap to eight points with six games remaining -- the same gap that City themselves faced when they won their first Premier League crown in 2012.

But the champions-elect have too much class and nous to let such a lead slip as they chase their own treble of League Cup, Premier League and Champions League.

If they beat Crystal Palace next Saturday and United lose to Liverpool the following day it is all over, and they will be able to focus entirely on their quest for European glory.

Liverpool lose spark

Liverpool dragged themselves back into the race for the top four with three straight Premier League victories but two draws have hurt them badly.

Jurgen Klopp's men have conceded late equalisers twice in the past week, against Leeds and Newcastle, and are now four points behind fourth-placed Chelsea with five games to play.

With the exception of next week's match at Old Trafford, Liverpool's run-in does not look too arduous but they have lost the spark that made them so dangerous.

Klopp admits there is no "miracle formula" he can apply.

"We have to become again a very tricky team to play against, an angry team in a positive football way," said the German.

"Now, definitely we have nothing to lose any more. We (next) play Man United away. They are in a good moment, it all (the top four) doesn't look likely."

Super League fury

If the Premier League's "big six" who signed up to the ill-fated European Super League thought fans' anger would rapidly abate, they were sorely mistaken.

Thousands of Arsenal supporters marched on the Emirates on Friday to protest against the club's owners.

Manchester United fans demonstrated at Old Trafford on Saturday and a banner reading "£2bn stolen #Glazers out" was flown over Elland Road before kick-off on Sunday -- a reference to the club's unpopular American bosses.

At Anfield, where Klopp and his players, led by skipper Jordan Henderson, had been vociferous in their opposition to the Super League proposal, the reaction was more muted, but the disdain for owners just as clear.

A message on one flag read: "We won't forget, we won't forgive, FSG (Fenway Sports Group) out".

In his programme notes for Sunday's game against Manchester United, Leeds director Angus Kinnear described the Super League plans as "deeply cynical" and "a betrayal of every true football supporter".

It is difficult to predict what will happen next after the drama of the past week but club owners must be wondering if they have lost the trust of fans for good.


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