Erling Haaland back, Kai Havertz won’t rest: Three Premier League talking points

Manchester City striker Erling Haaland attempts a spectacular effort against Wolverhampton Wanderers in their Premier League match. Picture: Darren Staples / AFP

Manchester City striker Erling Haaland attempts a spectacular effort against Wolverhampton Wanderers in their Premier League match. Picture: Darren Staples / AFP

Published May 6, 2024


Erling Haaland ran riot as Manchester City kept the destiny of the Premier League title in their hands.

Arsenal remain in first place for now after another influential display from Kai Havertz, while Tottenham's top four hopes are in tatters.

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

Haaland's title mission

Erling Haaland claimed Manchester City are "on a mission" after the Norway striker's goal blitz moved them to within three wins of the title.

Haaland scored four times as the reigning champions cruised to a 5-1 victory against Wolves at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday, leaving them one point behind Arsenal with a game in hand.

Pep Guardiola's side, who face Fulham, Tottenham and West Ham in their last three matches, remain on course for an unprecedented fourth successive Premier League crown.

And Haaland, who has now scored 36 goals in all competitions despite criticism of his form this term, said: "It was a great game. It was important win, obviously, and fantastic to score four goals.

"It was a difficult game. They can play football so it was not easy but we were solid and we're on a mission.

"Now focus on the next one. I'm confident but we have to keep going, we have to push and focus."

Havertz won't rest in title chase

Kai Havertz insisted he will not rest in pursuit of Arsenal's first Premier League crown in 20 years.

The Gunners' 3-0 win over Bournemouth on Saturday was sealed by goals from Bukayo Saka, Leandro Trossard and Declan Rice.

Havertz won the spot-kick which Saka slotted home to break the deadlock and the German forward is relishing the pressure of the run-in.

"I really enjoy every second," he said. "Sometimes I feel like I don't even want to have a day off because you're just so excited for the weekend and really want to work with the team.

"You want to try to get everything out of us to be better prepared and we do that every single day."

Arsenal blew an eight-point lead over City to gift the title to the Manchester club last season.

But they have shown few signs of nerves this time, winning four in a row to keep City at bay for now.

"It's going to be two tough games. We have a lot to play for, we have to win those games and then see where we're going to go," Havertz said.

Tottenham defence destroys Champions League dream

Tottenham are still mathematically alive in the battle for a top-four finish thanks to Aston Villa's 1-0 defeat against Brighton, but a 4-2 defeat at Liverpool realistically ended their hopes of Champions League qualification.

Ange Postecoglou's men have now conceded 13 goals in losing their last four matches and still have the might of Manchester City to face in one of their final three games.

The collapse is part of a wider worrying trend for the Australian manager after a brilliant start to his reign in north London.

Spurs picked up 26 points in the first 10 games of the season. But since then, they have won just 32 more in the following 24 matches.

Postecoglou has remained steadfast that he will not alter his attacking brand of football.

But his side have been easily picked off in recent weeks with the same defensive deficiencies exposed.

A poor season for Chelsea, Newcastle and Manchester United had opened the door for Tottenham to return to the Champions League stage.

Instead, it looks like Villa will snap up those riches despite suffering a late season stumble of their own with just two wins in their last six.