LONDON (AP) — Manchester City kept up the pressure on Arsenal after Erling Haaland converted a second-half penalty to secure a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace on Saturday in the English Premier League.
Haaland spurned a great chance in the first half but calmly converted from the spot in the 78th minute after Michael Olise clumsily clattered into Ilkay Gundogan in the area.
The win brought City within two points of leader Arsenal ahead of the Gunners’ visit to Fulham on Sunday. Palace was still looking for a first victory of 2023.
Haaland’s 28th goal in 27 league games came after a cleverly taken corner by City. With Palace players switching off, City played a short corner to Gundogan, who was wide open inside the area. Olise rushed in to challenge the midfielder, only to kick his leg as he tried to get to the ball.
Until then, it looked like Palace manager Patrick Vieira — the former Arsenal captain who finished his playing career at City and started his coaching career at its sister club New York City FC — may do the Gunners a big favor in the title race between his two former clubs.
But Palace again looked toothless in attack and finished without a single shot on target for the third league game in a row.
CHELSEA SOARS, LIVERPOOL FALLS
Chelsea might finally be finding its stride under Graham Potter while Liverpool’s up-and-down season took another nosedive in the English Premier League on Saturday.
Chelsea made it three straight wins in all competitions for the first time since October by beating Leicester 3-1 away, another sign that the expensively assembled team is starting to gel under Potter.
Liverpool, though, followed its record 7-0 win over archrival Manchester United by losing 1-0 at relegation-threatened Bournemouth — a team it beat 9-0 at home in August.
That threw away much of the momentum Liverpool generated recently after a woeful first half of the season, and Jurgen Klopp’s team is six points behind fourth-placed Tottenham in the fight for the final Champions League place, albeit with a game in hand.
Tottenham beat Nottingham Forest 3-1 at home after Harry Kane scored twice in the first half.
Bournemouth began the day in last place but climbed up to 17th, with Everton also leaving the relegation zone after Dwight McNeil scored just 35 seconds into a 1-0 win over Brentford.
Leeds fell to 19th place despite rallying for a 2-2 home draw against Brighton.
The battle against the drop is exceedingly tight, though, with only four points separating Leeds from 12th-placed Crystal Palace.
LINEKER OFF AIR, IN THE STANDS
Taken off the air, Gary Lineker went into the stands.
Lineker attended the Leicester-Chelsea game amid a growing crisis at the BBC after the popular presenter of the highlights show “Match of the Day” was suspended by the broadcaster for comments criticizing the British government’s new asylum policy.
Lineker, the former England captain who began his professional playing career at Leicester, watched his former team in the stands and posed for photos with fans while the BBC scrambled to stem the fallout from the decision to take him off the air.
The broadcaster said it would air only “limited sport programming” over the weekend after hosts of many of its popular sports shows declined to appear, in solidarity with Lineker. The BBC’s Premier League coverage was especially affected as lunchtime TV program “Football Focus” and the early evening “Final Score” were both replaced with other programs, and Saturday’s edition of “Match of the Day” — the late-night soccer show that has been a British institution for 60 years — was set to feature only match footage with no studio punditry and no player or manager interviews.