Manchester City needed an Erling Haaland penalty 12 minutes from time to see off Crystal Palace 1-0 on Saturday as Liverpool’s resurgence proved short-lived after a 1-0 defeat at Bournemouth.
Pep Guardiola’s men dominated for almost the entire 94 minutes at a sodden Selhurst Park but were headed for another major blow to their title defence until Ilkay Gundogan was chopped down inside the box by Michael Olise.
Haaland kept his cool to roll home his 34th goal of the season from the spot.
“I enjoy it, this is England, this is what I have watched my whole life,” said Haaland on challenging for his first Premier League title.
“I enjoy every single second being in it. It’s good to be in the middle of it.”
Earlier, Liverpool were brought back to earth with a bang after inflicting Manchester United’s record-equalling defeat in a 7-0 win last weekend.
Philip Billing scored the only goal for Bournemouth to lift the Cherries out of the bottom three as Mohamed Salah fired a second half penalty wide.
“The game was pretty much the opposite of what we wanted to show and to do today. I think we played for pretty much 95 minutes the game Bournemouth wanted to play,” said Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp.
“This game was a massive knock and how it is with knocks, you have to take them, you have to have a look how big the scars are and then you go from there.”
Fifth-placed Liverpool are now six points adrift of the Champions League places after Harry Kane ensured a tough week for Tottenham ended on a high by scoring twice in a 3-1 win over Nottingham Forest.
Kane lifts Tottenham
The England captain’s future has been a source of speculation after Spurs crashed out of both the FA Cup and Champions League in the space a week.
Antonio Conte’s men had failed to score in their previous three games, but Kane ended that drought by rising highest to head in Pedro Porro’s cross.
Kane then coolly slotted home his first penalty since missing a crucial spot-kick in England’s World Cup quarter-final exit to France.
Richarlison made amends for criticism of Conte this week by teeing up Son Heung-min to fire in Spurs’ third.
Joe Worrall pulled a goal back for Forest, who then also had a stoppage time penalty from Andre Ayew saved by Fraser Forster.
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