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  Sports   Football  18 May 2017  Premier league: Sanchez keeps Arsenal in race

Premier league: Sanchez keeps Arsenal in race

AFP
Published : May 18, 2017, 6:22 am IST
Updated : May 18, 2017, 6:22 am IST

Manchester City beat West Bromwich Albion to all but secure top-four place.

Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez (left) attempts to shoot past Sunderland’s John O'Shea in an English Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium in London on Tuesday. Arsenal won 2-0. (Photo: AP)
 Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez (left) attempts to shoot past Sunderland’s John O'Shea in an English Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium in London on Tuesday. Arsenal won 2-0. (Photo: AP)

London: Alexis Sanchez sank Sunderland to keep Arsenal in the hunt for Champions League qualification on Tuesday, while Manchester City all but secured a top-four place by beating West Bromwich Albion.

Sanchez scored two late close-range goals to earn Arsenal a 2-0 home victory over relegated Sunderland, while Kevin De Bruyne starred as City comfortably defeated West Brom 3-1 at the Etihad Stadium.

City climb to third in the Premier League, two points above Liverpool and three points clear of Arsenal, with only the teams finishing third and fourth assured to join Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League.

“We’ve got in on the final day many times,” Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger told BBC Sport at the Emirates Stadium. “We made 71 points and were second. We now have 72 and want to go to 75. After that you deal with what happens.”

Arsenal must win their final game at home to Everton on Sunday and hope Liverpool slip up at home to relegated Middlesbrough if they are to guarantee a 20th successive season of CL football.

As well as their points advantage over Arsenal, Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool also have a superior goal difference (+33 to +31). A point at Watford on Sunday will guarantee a top-four place for Pep Guardiola’s City, but they can secure third place — and, crucially, avoid the Champions League play-off round — if they win.

Pep Guardiola is now within touching distance of securing his minimum objective of CL qualification following a straightforward home win over West Brom. After Aleksandar Kolarov’s free-kick was pushed behind by goalkeeper Ben Foster and Leroy Sane had dragged wide, City went ahead in the 27th minute with a fine team goal.

Sergio Aguero’s artful back-heel released De Bruyne, whose deflected cross from the left was tapped in by Gabriel Jesus. De Bruyne doubled City’s lead within two minutes. Yaya Toure added a third shortly before the hour. Hal-Substitute Robson Kanu claimed a consolation goal for West Brom.    

Tags: alexis sanchez, manchester city, champions league qualification