Three of Manchester City's five previous Premier League triumphs have gone right to the wire, where margins are so fine the title battle can be settled by a single man in a single moment.

Sergio Aguero of course set the standard in 2011-12 with surely the most iconic goal of the Premier League era, defeating QPR at the death and clinching a first City championship in 44 years.

Then, in 2018-19, it was Vincent Kompany's turn. Although the departing City captain made only 17 league appearances that year, he will forever be associated with the title win after his thunderous strike secured a vital late-season victory over Leicester City.

"Where do you want your statue, Vincent Kompany?" asked Sky Sports' Gary Neville. Both Aguero and Kompany – and those celebrations – have since been committed to steel structures outside the Etihad Stadium.

The City hero was perhaps not quite so clear-cut in 2013-14, when Liverpool's collapse took centre stage, but Yaya Toure's 20 goals from midfield kept his side in touch. While City spent only 15 days of the season at the summit, the win that put them there in the final week perhaps provided the defining image of the champions' campaign, as Toure charged through the Aston Villa defence to score a goal that BBC Sport's Alan Shearer considered "like watching a 15-year-old against under-12s".

Three City legends have had seasons to call their own. Kevin De Bruyne, until now, had not.

De Bruyne was the PFA Players' Player of the Year in consecutive years, but the 2019-20 campaign in which he equalled Thierry Henry's 20-assist, single-season record ended with Liverpool on top. The 2020-21 season played out largely without fans and ultimately without a serious challenge to City, robbing their leading man of his platform.

Consistent excellence had for so long characterised the midfielder's career rather than any particular peak.

Now, however, 2021-22 might be remembered as the De Bruyne season – a most unexpected conclusion given how the campaign started, as perhaps his worst in a City shirt.

'Difficult physically and mentally'

The player of the year he may have been, but De Bruyne's 2020-21 season did not finish in the manner he would have wished.

The former Chelsea man lasted only an hour of City's Champions League final defeat to the Blues last May, suffering facial fractures that impacted his preparation for Euro 2020. De Bruyne found form again at the finals, only to hobble out of Belgium's last-16 win over Portugal with an ankle issue.

Although De Bruyne played in the next round, as Belgium lost to Italy, he continued to be hampered by the injury at the start of this season, appearing in City's Premier League opener but then not again for almost four weeks.

"It's been a bit difficult physically and mentally," the 30-year-old told the MIDMID podcast in November, revealing he had played through "some serious pain".

"It's going to be a little more difficult this year than usual," De Bruyne suggested, and that seemed a fair prediction.

The City superstar, who also missed time with COVID-19, made his 10th league appearance of the season in a 1-0 home win over Wolves on December 11. At that stage, he had scored only twice in the competition and failed to provide a single assist – averaging a goal involvement every 246 minutes.

The only comparable De Bruyne season in a City shirt was in 2018-19, when two knee ligament injuries meant his 10th league appearance did not come until early February. Over 465 minutes up to that point, he scored once.

That is the sole other example of De Bruyne not contributing an assist through his first 10 league outings in a season for City; in fact, he had tallied at least four assists and six goal involvements by that point in each of his other five campaigns prior to 2021-22.

A week before De Bruyne's podcast appearance last year, Belgium coach Roberto Martinez was also asked to address his star man's form, acknowledging the "scrutiny" he faced while underperforming in a team as talented as City's.

"I'm not worried at all," Martinez said. "We feel that his best football is coming back."

De Bruyne added: "I just needed more time than expected."

'Now he scores a lot'

De Bruyne's 11th game of this campaign was very different. In a 7-0 City win over Leeds United, the team's talisman doubled his seasonal tally by scoring twice, including a thunderous 25-yard drive for his second.

"For the whole team, it's a booster," De Bruyne told NBC Sports – although that surely applied more to the two-goal star than his team-mates, with City moving four points clear at the top of the table with the victory.

"There's been a lot happening this year, a little bit out of my control, so the only thing I can do is try to work hard and come back as quick as possible," he said.

It was clearly a turning point for De Bruyne, who has scored 13 goals and provided seven assists in 19 matches from the Leeds game onwards. A goal involvement every 81 minutes over this period just beats his single-season best from 2019-20 (85 minutes per goal involvement).

Yet De Bruyne's role has altered in the past two years. He will not match his outstanding 33 goal involvements from the year Liverpool won the title, but 15 goals already represent a career high with one game still to play on Sunday.

The reason for that change perhaps has more to do with De Bruyne's City team-mates than the player himself.

In 2019-20, six of De Bruyne's 20 assists were for record goalscorer Aguero – more than for any other player. Of course, Aguero has since departed.

The retired striker was City's leading marksman in six of his 10 league campaigns in Manchester, including each of his first four playing alongside De Bruyne.

With Aguero gone and Erling Haaland not arriving until next term, City needed someone to fill the void in front of goal. De Bruyne, whether used in midfield or attack, has done that in the second half of the season.

Despite the slow start, City's top scorer has scored with 20.3 per cent of his shots in 2021-22; his previous high, in his debut 2015-16 season, saw a shot conversion rate of 14.3 per cent.

"I like it a lot," Pep Guardiola said in April after De Bruyne had netted four in four games – including two against Manchester United and one against Liverpool.

"He is not just a player to make assists – now he scores a lot of goals. I've said to him many times, 'I know you enjoy making a lot of assists, for you and your team-mates, but you have to score goals to reach another stage'. Now he is doing that, a lot of goals and chances."

'We have to move on'

De Bruyne has either scored or assisted in 13 of his past 19 games, but he saved his best performances for when it mattered most – at least in the league.

There were suspicions City's season might fall apart when Real Madrid's remarkable semi-final recovery eliminated Guardiola's side from the Champions League at the start of May. With Liverpool in hot pursuit in the Premier League, the leaders were afforded little time to regroup as they headed straight into matches against Newcastle United at home and Wolves away.

"We are going to play against Newcastle thinking about [the Madrid defeat], for sure," said Guardiola in an enthralling news conference, revealing two days before the Newcastle match: "We didn't speak. No words can help what all of us feel. It's just a question of time."

Time, and Tottenham drawing at Liverpool, as it turned out.

A rare slip-up at Anfield on the eve of City's game against Newcastle eased the pressure on the champions. Then De Bruyne got to work.

Briefly restored to his 2019-20 vintage, De Bruyne attempted only a single shot at the Etihad but created six chances in a 5-0 win – his most in a single game this season – including an assist for Rodri's goal.

That performance prompted Jamie Carragher in the Sky Sports studio to declare De Bruyne "the greatest player to ever play for Manchester City", "the best midfield player in the world right now" and "the best player in the Premier League for the past three or four years".

Yet better was still to come at Wolves, where City became the first team in English top-flight history to win five consecutive league games by a margin of at least three goals. De Bruyne alone outscored Wolves by three, netting four in a 5-1 victory.

The first hat-trick of his City career was completed inside 24 minutes – the third-fastest in Premier League history – to blow away a Wolves team who had briefly threatened to cause their visitors some problems.

"It should have been five, to be honest," De Bruyne told Sky Sports, before conversation turned back to the Madrid match.

"It's very difficult to explain because it was just a mad five minutes," he said. "It's not that we played bad or something, it was just five minutes that you can't explain as a player. I don't know what happened. I was out of control on the bench anyway, so you feel a little bit in shock. It's not nice and the feeling is still not nice.

"But you need to move on. We're trying now to win the title and whatever happened unfortunately happened. We have to move on."

The Wolves display would have been fresh in Carragher's mind on Monday when he named De Bruyne his personal player of the season. Whether established individual end-of-season honours beckon for De Bruyne is another matter, though. He was nominated for the official Premier League prize, but many such awards are voted on well in advance of the final weeks of the campaign – before De Bruyne had done his best work.

Mohamed Salah is the FWA Footballer of the Year; he has scored three goals in his past 10 games – fewer than De Bruyne managed on one night in Wolverhampton.

A Premier League title, defined by his clutch performances, would not be a bad consolation.

Manchester City's dramatic Champions League exit at the hands of Real Madrid this season is apparently cause for another raid on the transfer market.

After already wrapping up Erling Haaland's transfer from Borussia Dortmund, the midfield is the next area of business.

With veterans in the midfield likely on their way out at the Etihad Stadium at this end of this season, replacements could soon be on the way.

TOP STORY – CITY EYE PHILLIPS AS FERNANDINHO REPLACEMENT 

Manchester City have emerged as contenders for the signature of Leeds United and England midfielder Kalvin Phillips, according to the Mirror.

While Manchester United have also identified Phillips as a potential addition for their midfield, the 26-year-old has reportedly made it clear to his inner circle that he will not join Leeds' fierce rivals.

However, Phillips would appear likely to leave Leeds if they are relegated, with West Ham, Aston Villa and Newcastle United all also linked.

Fernandinho will depart City at the end of the season, while Ilkay Gundogan could follow, and the £50million-rated Phillips is a more attainable target than £100m international team-mate Declan Rice.

ROUND-UP

– According to Bild, Paris Saint-Germain are prepared to move on a deal for Liverpool's Sadio Mane amid reports he is stalling on a renewal of his contract, which expires in 2023.

– Incoming Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag has added Ajax's Lisandro Martinez to the list of players he wants to bring to Old Trafford, the Telegraph is reporting.

United have also shown renewed interest in Lazio and Serbia midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, per Calciomercato.

– Chelsea want to sign Milan captain Alessio Romagnoli on a free transfer when his contract expires at the end of this season, Mundo Deportivo reports.

Lionel Messi's much-publicised move to Paris Saint-Germain has not gone as planned.

Messi's departure from Barcelona to join Kylian Mbappe and Neymar has not translated into European silverware despite lofty expectations in the French capital.

While the 34-year-old's future at PSG might be in doubt, he reportedly appears to be setting himself up for life post-football.

TOP STORY – MESSI TO BUY INTO INTER MIAMI   

Messi will acquire 35 per cent of shares in Inter Miami and the join the MLS franchise when his contract expires at PSG, according to DIRECTV.

The Argentina international made a very public and emotional departure from Barcelona last year, before signing a two-year deal at PSG.

Despite six goals and 13 assists in 25 Ligue 1 appearances this season, the seven-time Ballon d'Or winner has not propelled PSG to European success.

While Messi has previously confirmed his desire to play in the MLS and live in the United States, it will reportedly eventuate after his deal expires at the end of the 2022-23 season.

However, Sport has disputed the report, saying Messi's camp insist "the player has not defined his future".

ROUND-UP

– The Mirror is reporting 20-year-old Ajax defender Jurrien Timber is a target for Manchester United, with talks already believed to have taken place over his transfer.

– Juventus have offered Paul Pogba, who will be available on a free transfer when his United deal expires, a three-year-deal and a €7.5million annual salary, according to Goal.

– In further anticipated player turnover at Old Trafford, Roma coach Jose Mourinho wants to bring in 33-year-old Nemanja Matic on a free transfer, per Calciomercato.

– Manchester City are preparing a £30m move for Brighton and Hove Albion's Marc Cucurella, the Daily Mail reports.

Jordan Henderson joked that he is ready to put a call in to Steven Gerrard as Liverpool eye a favour from Aston Villa on the final day of the Premier League season.

After coming from behind to beat Southampton 2-1 in their penultimate fixture of the campaign, Jurgen Klopp's side remain in with a shout of clinching the title on Sunday.

But, for that to happen, they must first win their Anfield clash with Wolves and then hope that Manchester City drop points at home to Villa.

Pep Guardiola's men came out on top in a similarly tight race in 2018-19, and Henderson says he is ready to call on his former Anfield teammate Steven Gerrard - now the manager of Villa - as he looks for a different outcome.

He told Sky Sports: "It's hard. We've had this before when they played Brighton [and went 1-0 down] and the crowd cheer and you know what's going on and it's hard to focus on the game. 

"Hopefully that experience, we've learned from it and we can just concentrate on the game and what we need to do. 

"Hopefully, Stevie and Villa can do us a favour at City. I might give him a call now, actually!"

That Liverpool have been able to take the title race to the last day owes much to the efforts of the heavily rotated team that clinched victory at St Mary's on Southampton.

Takumi Minamino was among nine alterations to the line-up, and scored just as he had done on his last Premier League start - a whopping 514 days ago.

That ability to come in from the cold and contribute pleased Henderson, who remarked: "I feel like we've done that really well all season.

"The lads who might not have played as much as they would have liked, they've got to come in and show what they're all about. 

"I felt as though all the lads did that tonight, took the opportunity, and in a Premier League season you need absolutely everyone."

James Milner echoed his captain's sentiments in urging Liverpool to simply focus on what they can control on the final day of the season.

However, he also insisted that Klopp's men have done themselves proud in pushing City so close regardless of Sunday's outcome.

He said: "Try and win our game, that's all we can do, and that's all we've been trying to do since we sort of had a reset in January. 

"We were so far behind and we went for it, had a mental reset, and since then we've really pushed. 

"They're an incredible team to go up against and, whatever happens this season, I think we've done ourselves proud. 

"But you're coming up against a top team like Manchester City so all we can do is try and win our games and try and keep the pressure on right until the end. 

"All we could do is take it to the last game."

Barcelona are reportedly in the box seat to land Leeds United winger Raphinha in the next transfer window.

Raphinha, 25, is believed to be finished with Leeds, regardless of if they remain in the Premier League for next season.

After a season where he has so far scored 10 goals and provided three assists in 34 Premier League appearances – including a goal away at Stamford Bridge – the Brazilian international is said to have his selection from some of the world's best clubs.

TOP STORY – BARCA LEAD RACE FOR LEEDS' RAPHINHA

According to 90min, Raphinha favours a move to Barcelona if all things are equal, but the Spanish giants will have plenty of competition for his services.

If Leeds are relegated to the Championship, a release clause in Raphinha's contract will mean he can be had for £25million, although it could be double that – or more – if the Whites retain their Premier League status.

Vying with Barca will reportedly be West Ham, who supposedly made a bid in the January window, as well as Newcastle United, Chelsea, Liverpool and Paris Saint-Germain.

ROUND-UP

– The Daily Mail is reporting Ilkay Gundogan will be allowed to leave Manchester City in the upcoming transfer window, with one year remaining on his deal.

– According to The Guardian, Chelsea have entered the Robert Lewandowski sweepstakes, although he is believed to be destined for Barcelona.

Newcastle will test the waters to see if Jose Mourinho could be lured away from Roma, according to Marca.

– Marca also reports that Kylian Mbappe has agreed to a five-year deal with Real Madrid, although The Athletic insists no paperwork has been signed and PSG still hope to retain the France star.

Bayern Munich are showing interest in Barcelona's Ousmane Dembele ahead of his contract expiring in a month's time, per Sky Sports.

Winning the Premier League is more difficult than lifting the Champions League, says Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl, who could have a decisive say in the title race when his side host Liverpool.

Liverpool could cut Manchester City's lead at the Premier League summit to just a point by winning at Southampton on Tuesday, after Pep Guardiola's team were held to a 2-2 draw at West Ham on Sunday.

Victory over Southampton, who have won just one of their last 10 league games, would keep Jurgen Klopp's side in the hunt for an unprecedented quadruple. A shock win for Southampton would hand the title to City.

Having already secured the EFL Cup and FA Cup, both on penalties against Chelsea in the final, Liverpool also have the Champions League final against Real Madrid on May 28 in Paris to contend with.

But Hasenhuttl, speaking at a pre-match news conference on Monday, labelled the Premier League as the most challenging of titles to win.

"We all know Jurgen and how strong he is and you can be sure that he doesn't give up the chance for winning the league, for sure," said Hasenhuttl.

"This is still the title that is the most countable for everybody because it's the hardest to get. For me it's even harder to be over 38 games in the Premier League consistently on the top than to win the Champions League sometimes.

"Even if he [Klopp] says it's tough for him to go for all four, I know he will do everything to win this game on Tuesday to give himself a chance on the last day."

Klopp has already suggested he does not envisage City dropping points at home to Aston Villa on the final day, but Liverpool first have to negotiate the hurdle presented by Southampton, who won this exact fixture 1-0 last season.

Southampton have also taken two points off City this campaign, with two stalemates in as many league games, but Hasenhuttl appreciates the sizeable task at hand when Liverpool visit.

"I think it is fantastic for the Premier League to have such a close title race," he added.

"Everybody is electrified from this battle and we are now part of this duel. We have done our job this season against Man City with two points. They lost four points against us in the title race.

"Against Liverpool, the first game we lost, so now it's up to us to show again that we can be competitive against a top team.

"For me, it's one of the most difficult games to prepare for because of the flexibility of the opponent and the unbelievable offensive qualities they have."

Southampton have taken home points against Manchester United and Tottenham as well as City this season, but have lost eight of their last nine league meetings with Liverpool.

Hasenhuttl was quick to add that Klopp's side may pose the toughest task yet for his side, who sit 15th in the Premier League.

"This is maybe the most difficult one at home," he continued.

"We have shown against the top teams that we can achieve something very big – and this is what we will need on Tuesday evening. They [the players] know what team we are facing, they know how tough it is, they know on what run of form they are.

"It's our Champions League final, if you want. And we are going for this with everything we have and the team that is on the pitch is the team that will do everything to make them [the fans] proud."

Jurgen Klopp predicts that Manchester City will not drop more points, but that does not stop Liverpool from keeping the Premier League title race alive by beating Southampton on Tuesday.

Pep Guardiola's City fought from two goals down at half-time to draw 2-2 at West Ham on Sunday, leaving them four points clear at the top.

Liverpool can cut that gap to just a point heading into the final matchday with a win at Southampton, who have won just one of their last 10 league games.

The Reds have also won eight of their last nine league games with Southampton, netting at least twice in each victory, which could be useful to slice City's goal difference advantage.

Guardiola's side boast a better goal difference by seven, but Klopp suggested it may not come down to that differential as he cannot predict City faltering against Aston Villa next Sunday.

"I don't know the last time City dropped points two games in a row," said Klopp, who became only the second manager to win the European Cup, EFL Cup, the top-flight title and the FA Cup with the same club after defeating Chelsea in the latter competition on Saturday.

"Villa have to play two games in a short space of time, they are professionals, but they are not used to it.

"I do not expect City to drop points there, but our game is tomorrow, and we want to go into the final matchday one point behind."

Nevertheless, Klopp insisted Liverpool will push City to the final day even as he contends with fitness issues, given the Reds played 120 minutes in the FA Cup just days ago.

Mohamed Salah limped off in the first half at Wembley Stadium but Klopp did not appear concerned after the game, while Fabinho remains out as he battles a muscular injury.

"This process is not finished yet, we only played 120 minutes two days ago so when the boys arrive I have to make a lot of decisions," he added.

"We line up a team to try and win the game at Southampton as difficult as it is, that is the job to do and we have to see who is able to help – the 30 extra minutes made a big difference but we have to see.

"This is game 60. When did Southampton have their last game, 10-12 days? They might lack rhythm, but we lose that advantage if we make changes. They are completely fresh.

"Imagine we go there with eight players who played 120 minutes, it makes no sense. We will make changes, I don't know how many. They thought the next day for us to play was Tuesday.

"We can't play Wednesday? UEFA [Europa League final on Wednesday between Rangers and Eintracht Frankfurt], my friends."

Regardless of whether City lift the title at Etihad Stadium or Liverpool complete an unlikely turnaround to keep an unprecedented quadruple on the cards, Klopp will see the season as a success.

"If we play a season like we play and we win the EFL Cup and fight for the title until the end, I think it's a good season," he continued.

"The FA Cup is a massive competition. It felt great to win it. It takes the pressure off and makes it more enjoyable."

As for the Champions League final on May 28 with Real Madrid in Paris, Klopp believes his side cannot be labelled as favourites after Carlo Ancelotti's team dominated LaLiga.

"It would be massive if we win in two weeks' time in the Champions League. But we play the most experienced Champions League team," the German said.

"We aren't massive favourites. They have won the league already but between now and then we still have two massive games."

Pep Guardiola described Liverpool as "one of the most perfect teams I have seen in my life" and is thrilled the Premier League title race is heading for a "fair" conclusion.

Guardiola's Manchester City side fought back to earn a 2-2 draw at West Ham on Sunday, with Riyad Mahrez missing a late penalty to clinch all three points.

It means City hold a four-point lead over the quadruple-chasing Reds, who still have two games to play and will ensure the race for the title goes to the wire as long as they avoid defeat against Southampton on Tuesday – albeit a draw would mean Jurgen Klopp's side would need a seven-goal swing to usurp their rivals.

For Guardiola, the scenario heading into a dramatic final week of the domestic season is perfect.

"I said to the players after the game that we could not expect any different against a team fighting to win the Premier League that is one of the most perfect teams I have seen in my life," said the City boss.

"Against this Liverpool you cannot win the league a month ago or two or three fixtures ago. You have to fight until the end.

"I said [to the players] today not to be said because you gave a really good performance and it is fair against this opponent to arrive on the final day to decide who is the best, because both teams are too good."

Jack Grealish was the man to spark City's second-half revival at the London Stadium and for the attacking midfielder there is an intriguing plot twist given the Citizens face Aston Villa on Sunday, the team he left for the Etihad Stadium in a £100million deal.

The England midfielder says there can be no time for sentiment as he aims to earn a first piece of major silverware with City.

"I can't wait and it's going to be a great day. It just had to be against Aston Villa, didn't it? It couldn't have been any other game," Grealish said.

"But that doesn't matter. It's not about me and it's not about who we're playing against. It's about the team and it's about the club. We are going to go out there and try to win and get all three points.

"It's going to be different for me. I've never had that before – I've never had a game on the last day to win a title."

Pep Guardiola saw Manchester City squander a glorious chance to all but make sure of the Premier League title, and their quest could go to the final day.

City rallied from two goals down to draw 2-2 at West Ham, but Riyad Mahrez's late penalty miss might yet be a telling moment in the race for silverware.

Tottenham piled pressure on Arsenal in the battle for fourth after a narrow win over a Burnley side who would have been devastated by Leeds United's late leveller against Brighton and Hove Albion, shaking up the relegation battle.

Everton might have seen the visit of Brentford as a chance to banish their own worries about dropping into the second tier, but a home defeat keeps the Toffees on unsteady ground, as Opta data tells the story of the day.

West Ham 2-2 Manchester City: Bowen's bullseye strikes and Mahrez's miss keep title race alive

Jarrod Bowen's double carried West Ham into a 2-0 interval lead, but Jack Grealish and Vladimir Coufal's own goal hauled City level.

This match almost produced a Premier League first for City; however, Mahrez's spot-kick was saved by Lukasz Fabianski in the closing stages to mean they could not complete the turnaround.

This was only the second time City had avoided defeat from two or more down at half-time (D2 L51), but that probably felt like scant consolation, given Liverpool are back in the hunt, providing the FA Cup winners collect three points at Southampton on Tuesday.

Mahrez has missed two penalties in all competitions for City – his first was against Liverpool in October 2018. Between that and the miss at the London Stadium, the Algerian had converted nine consecutive penalties.

Bowen has scored 12 times and provided 10 assists in the Premier League this season, with his 22 goal involvements the third most in a single campaign in the competition by a West Ham player, after Paolo Di Canio (29 in 1999-00) and John Hartson (23 in 1997-98).

Fabianski, the toast of east London and large parts of Liverpool, saved a penalty for the 10th time in the Premier League. Only David James (13) and Thomas Sorensen (12) have saved more in the competition.

Leeds United 1-1 Brighton and Hove Albion: Late Struijk lifts Marsch men

Pascal Struijk headed a last-gasp leveller to negate the impact of Danny Welbeck's opener as Leeds gave themselves a relegation lifeline, climbing above Burnley to reach 17th place.

This felt significant, with Leeds avoiding defeat in a Premier League home game after conceding the opening goal for the first time since October (1-1 v Wolves), having lost each of their last seven such games.

Former Manchester United man Welbeck was looking like delivering three points for Brighton, and his first-half goal means the ex-England international has scored in both of his two Premier League appearances against Leeds. Indeed, they are the only opponent he has scored in his first two Premier League games against.

The Leeds late show has become a habit. Only Manchester City (9) have scored more goals in the 90th minute or stoppage time than Leeds (7) in the Premier League this season, with all seven of their goals in this period being scored by different players (Luke Ayling, Patrick Bamford, Joe Gelhardt, Daniel James, Raphinha, Rodrigo and Struijk).

Tottenham 1-0 Burnley: Cool-eye Kane keeps Spurs in hunt for fourth

When Harry Kane stepped up for a penalty that would have ramifications at each end of the table, the outcome was entirely predictable. Of course Kane scored, just as he now has with each of the last 21 penalties he has taken in all competitions for Tottenham, excluding shoot-outs, and each of his last 15 in the Premier League.

That match-winning spot-kick for Tottenham, after 52 minutes and 36 seconds of play, was the second-latest first-half goal scored in a Premier League game since Opta has exact times available (from 2006-07), behind only Trincao’s strike for Wolves against Leeds in March this year (55mins 11secs).

Kane has scored more Premier League goals against Burnley than any other player, with his ninth strike against the Clarets seeing him overtake Mahrez and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (both eight). Burnley are the fourth side that Kane is the outright top Premier League goalscorer against, along with Arsenal (13 goals), Leicester (17) and West Brom (nine).

Burnley, who have games against Aston Villa and Newcastle United to come, need to find at least one point to stand hope of survival. Points at Tottenham have been hard to come by for Burnley, so this defeat came as little surprise. They have lost nine of their last 10 away league games at Spurs (D1).

Everton 2-3 Brentford: Red, red, whine

Everton had Jarrad Branthwaite and Salomon Rondon sent off in this one, with boss Frank Lampard complaining afterwards: "The reality is we're on the bad end of a lot of decisions this season."

Nineteen-year-old Branthwaite became the first teenager to receive a red card in a Premier League game for Everton since a 17-year-old Wayne Rooney in December 2002 against Birmingham City. Indeed, Everton have been shown more red cards than any other side in Premier League history (104).

There are more unwanted statistics starting to emerge in Everton's dismal season. They have conceded 59 goals now, their joint-most in a 38-game Premier League campaign alongside 2000-01.

Seamus Coleman, who put the ball into his own net for a first-half Brentford equaliser, has scored more Premier League own goals (5) than any other Everton player, while the Toffees have put through their own net the most often in Premier League history (58).

Brentford, who twice trailed after Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison scored either side of Coleman's own goal, have gained the most points from losing positions in the Premier League this term (15).

This was just the fourth match in Premier League history to see a first-half red card (Branthwaite), own goal (Coleman) and penalty (Richarlison), after Coventry v Wimbledon (November 1995), Charlton v Aston Villa (April 2001) and Tottenham v Fulham (February 2003).

Pep Guardiola has urged Manchester City fans to "go to the streets" ahead of the Premier League leaders' final game of the season against Aston Villa.

City found themselves 2-0 down to West Ham at half-time on Sunday but fought back to draw 2-2.

However, City missed a chance to win it late on when Riyad Mahrez saw a penalty saved by Lukasz Fabianski. It is only the second penalty the Algeria international has missed during his time with the club, having also squandered an opportunity from 12 yards against Liverpool in October 2018.

Fabianski, meanwhile, has saved 10 Premier League penalties, with only David James (13) and Thomas Sorensen (12) stopping more spot-kicks in the competition.

That draw lifts City four points above Liverpool, who won the FA Cup on Saturday by beating Chelsea on penalties, with one match left to play.

It comes next Sunday, against a Liverpool great, as Steven Gerrard takes his Aston Villa team to the Etihad Stadium. The Reds, meanwhile, face Southampton on Tuesday and then host Wolves in their final game.

Should Southampton claim an unlikely win, the title will be City's, but any other result means it is heading to the last day - something that Guardiola is relishing.

"Next week our stadium will be sold out, will give them our lives and they will give theirs, all together," he told a news conference.

"To do it is an incredible privilege, after many years, incredible. To have our chance with our people, to win one game to be champions. I'm looking forward to it.

"If they lose or win it depends on us, do the most perfect game we possibly can do, all the people, all blue people in Manchester, go to the streets and go to the stadium because they know we're going to give everything to win that game and they will be so proud."

City trailed by two or more goals at half-time for the 53rd time in the Premier League, with this only the second time they have avoided defeat from such a position (D2 L51), while they remain unbeaten away from home in the top flight since losing their opening match away to Tottenham.

Manchester City came from two goals to draw 2-2 with West Ham but Premier League title rivals Liverpool were handed hope thanks to Riyad Mahrez's late missed penalty.

The Reds celebrated an FA Cup triumph on Saturday and their chances of an unprecedented quadruple looked very much alive after Jarrod Bowen's double put West Ham 2-0 up at the break.

Yet Jack Grealish pulled one back for City who, despite more shaky defending, drew level when Vladimir Coufal headed into his own goal.

The stage looked set for Mahrez to seal a brilliant comeback win when Craig Dawson's foul on Gabriel Jesus was spotted by VAR, but Lukasz Fabianski made a strong save to keep Liverpool, who are four points back with a game in hand, in the title hunt.

City had control of possession early on but West Ham were dangerous on the counter and that tactic paid dividends in the 24th minute when Bowen beat the offside trap, rounded Ederson and coolly squeezed home.

A shocked City initially struggled to respond, though Jesus' dipping shot almost found the bottom-left corner in the 36th minute.

Yet West Ham struck again before the interval – Bowen engineering space on the edge of the box and drilling a crisp finish beyond Ederson.

City's response came inside four minutes of the restart, Grealish's volley deflecting in off Dawson.

Grealish brilliantly teed up a chance for Bernardo Silva that drew a superb stop from Fabianski, though shambolic defending might have cost City had Bowen or Michail Antonio being more clinical.

West Ham were made to pay with 21 minutes left – Coufal heading Mahrez's free-kick beyond Fabianski.

Aymeric Laporte diverted a goal-bound Bowen shot wide before City were awarded a golden opportunity to win it when Dawson brought down Jesus.

Mahrez stepped up but Fabianski guessed the right way, much to Pep Guardiola's frustration.


What does it mean? Going down to the wire

City would have moved six points clear with a win, and though Liverpool have two games remaining, they would have required a significant swing in goal difference.

As it is, Liverpool – who face Southampton on Tuesday – might well be relying on an old Anfield hero, as Steven Gerrard takes his Aston Villa side to the Etihad Stadium on the final day of the season.

West Ham, who said goodbye to Mark Noble as he came on for his final home appearance in the second half, are now sure of seventh place and European football next season and could still pip Manchester United to sixth.

Brilliant Bowen forever blowing bubbles

Bowen is the fourth West Ham player to score 10+ home goals in a single Premier League campaign after Tony Cottee in 1994-95, John Hartson in 1997-98, and Paolo Di Canio in 1999-00, while only Harry Kane (26) has scored more goals in all competitions amongst Englishmen in the Premier League this season than the Hammers' winger (18).

Mahrez fluffs his lines

Mahrez has been reliable from the penalty spot this season and is enjoying a fine campaign, but in a clutch moment the Algeria winger failed to deliver. His penalty was struck hard, but too close to Fabianski, who did react well to make the save to his left.

What's next?

City round off their season against Villa, while West Ham visit Brighton and Hove Albion in their final game.

Borussia Dortmund bade farewell to several players on an emotional day at Signal Iduna Park, with Erling Haaland signing off in style.

Haaland is moving to Manchester City ahead of the 2022-23 season, with that move confirmed this week.

The 21-year-old – who joined Dortmund from Salzburg in 2019-20 – was presented with a wreath prior to kick-off on Saturday, as Dortmund faced Hertha Berlin in their final Bundesliga game of the season.

He was not the only player given an ovation before the match, with Axel Witsel and Dan-Axel Zagadou, who are leaving the club following the expiration of their contracts, and departing loanees Marin Pongracic and Reinier Jesus also paraded on the pitch, along with Marcel Schmelzer, who has retired.

Long-time sporting director Michael Zorc is also retiring, and was given a huge send-off by the Dortmund crowd.

The enthusiasm in the stands was not initially matched on the pitch, as relegation-threatened Hertha took an 18th-minute lead through Ishak Belfodil's penalty.

However, Haaland got his farewell goal with 22 minutes of normal time remaining, coolly slamming in an 86th Dortmund strike from the spot, in what was his 89th appearance for the club.

Zagadou and Witsel were both subbed off with the game winding down and, fittingly, it was the latter's replacement who netted Dortmund's winner.

Marco Rose insisted Dortmund would "not stop playing football" in the wake of Haaland's departure and 17-year-old Youssoufa Moukoko showed the future is bright as he converted from Jude Bellingham's sublime pass.

Haaland was able to enjoy a standing ovation as he made way, with Dortmund's 2-1 victory also ensuring Hertha will be in the relegation play-off.

Dortmund's place in second was already sealed, but below them, Freiburg's attempt to get into the Champions League fell just short as they lost 2-1 to Bayer Leverkusen, who took third, while RB Leipzig finished fourth.

Freiburg still have the DFB-Pokal final against Leipzig to look forward to but ultimately slipped down to sixth, with Taiwo Awoniyi's late penalty sending Union Berlin into fifth with a 3-2 win over VfL Bochum.

Toni Kroos had a friendly prod at Manchester City and Sergio Aguero after the Premier League club unveiled a statue in honour of their former striker.

Aguero, who left City last year and has since retired due to a heart condition, is the club's record goalscorer. 

On the 10th anniversary of Aguero's last-gasp, title-clinching winner against QPR back in 2012, City unveiled a statue of Aguero's famous celebration.

However, the statue arguably looks more like Real Madrid midfielder Kroos, who picked up on that resemblance.

"Sure?" Kroos tweeted in response to a tweet from BBC Sport journalist Simon Stone, which included a photo of the statue.

It would not be the first time a statue of a player has drawn some ridicule – Cristiano Ronaldo, anyone? – but it may be the first time it has looked so similar to another star name.

Pep Guardiola insisted Manchester City are not experiencing a personality crisis as he aimed a startling put-down at former Manchester United stars Patrice Evra and Dimitar Berbatov.

The City manager was riled by criticism from Evra and Berbatov, now both working as pundits, after City surrendered a winning position to go out at Real Madrid's hands in the Champions League semi-finals.

Evra claimed Guardiola "can’t train people with personality", while Berbatov offered a response that was not far from Guardiola's own assessment, albeit saying City "had to be more concentrated and focused" in the closing moments.

There was also criticism from former Milan and Madrid star Clarence Seedorf, who said City lacked the necessary "mentality" to come through such a test, comparing them to Paris Saint-Germain.

City were 5-3 ahead on aggregate going into the closing minutes against Madrid on May 4, only to concede a quickfire double to Rodrygo, before Karim Benzema hit a penalty winner in extra time.

It was a dizzying turnaround at the Santiago Bernabeu, but City have responded by thrashing Newcastle United 5-0 and picking apart Wolves 5-1 to reassert their Premier League supremacy over Champions League finalists Liverpool.

Guardiola denies City have any issues with their attitude, saying the approach that brought the back-to-back heavy league wins was "the same character that lost to Madrid in the last two or three minutes".

"The former players like Dimitar Berbatov, Clarence Seedorf, Patrice Evra... these type of people they were there," Guardiola told a news conference ahead of City's clash with West Ham on Sunday.

"I played against them and I didn't see this kind of personality when we destroyed them in the Champions League final against United."

That was an apparent reference to Guardiola's Barcelona beating United 2-0 in the 2009 Champions League final, when Evra and Berbatov both featured on the losing team at the Stadio Olimpico as the Catalan giants sealed a treble. The teams also met at the same stage in 2011, but Berbatov was not involved in that game, which the Blaugrana won 3-1.

"[They say] we don't have personality because we concede in the last minutes, and after the last two games we have personality," Guardiola added.

"Personality is what we have done in the last five years. Maybe Liverpool is going to win all four titles or just one. Am I going to say they don't have personality or that they had a bad season?

"Of course they have and of course they are good, but sometimes in football, it happens.

"It is football, you cannot control it. When you always arrive in the latter stages, semi-finals, finals, it is incredible. This for me, because we arrive until the end, playing a lot of games, this is the most important thing."

Pep Guardiola acknowledged a win over West Ham would put Manchester City on the brink of the Premier League title, telling his team not to be distracted by speculation over his future.

City need just four points from a trip to West Ham and a home encounter with Aston Villa to win their fourth league title under the former Barcelona boss, while three points could be enough after Guardiola's men opened up a significant goal-difference advantage over Liverpool with a 5-1 win at Wolves.

The defending champions became the first team in English top-flight history to win five successive games by three goals or more with that victory, in which Kevin De Bruyne became the fourth different City player to hit four goals in a Premier League game, after Edin Dzeko, Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus.

Speaking on the day City revealed a statue of Aguero at the Etihad Stadium on the 10th anniversary of his famous title-winning goal against QPR, Guardiola said he would not mind a repeat of that incredible 2011-12 triumph, but he said nothing could compare to City's first Premier League title win.

He also described Sunday's trip to West Ham as a "final", where a win would put his side on the brink of the title.

"It can happen if it finishes that way, why not?" Guardiola said. "But it will be incomparable. The first time is always the first time; even if we score in the 93rd minute and 20 seconds, it will be the second time.

"The first time is always special in everything we do in our lives. Arriving in this moment, it's important to finish well and try to win.

"We need four points, six points to finish as champion, and I think everybody knows with a win in West Ham it will be almost, almost done, with the goal difference and many things.

"It's absolutely a final, as it was at Wolves, where we performed incredibly well, and we have to try to do it again."

City are unbeaten in their last 10 Premier League games, winning eight and drawing two, and have not lost on any of their last 12 Premier League meetings with the Hammers (10 wins, two draws).

Guardiola's team have suffered several injuries to key defenders in recent weeks, with John Stones, Kyle Walker and Ruben Dias ruled out for the rest of the campaign, while Aymeric Laporte was substituted during the second half at Molineux.

Although the City boss said his team were lucky not to have suffered these injuries earlier in the season, he said he trusted his players to cope in two vital end-of-season contests.

"I said many times if we'd had to handle with these absences for many, many games, months, we'd be in big trouble, with a big problem," he added.

"For one or two games, the players will do their best, even players not playing in their [normal] position. The concentration, the focus when you play in that position is higher, and like we saw against Wolves, they can do it."

Guardiola's own future has been the subject of much speculation of late, with the Spaniard telling Sky Sports on Thursday that it was "not time" to discuss a new contract with City.

With Liverpool extending Jurgen Klopp's contract to run until 2026 last month, speculation abounded over whether Guardiola would follow suit, but he stressed he is only focused on ending the season well.

"If I don't know what's going to happen in the next two games, imagine trying to figure out what's going to happen in the future!" he told a news conference.

"All of you when you ask me that question – 'What's going to happen?' – my answer is always the same: 'I don't know.' I'd love to say we're going to do well in the next years, but I don't know.

"Things in football change so quickly. When you believe or think it's sorted, it's good, it's in control, it gives you a good punch in your face. At the same time, when everything looks like a disaster, it's drama, a nightmare, one win can change everything.

"Before it was just Wolves, now it's just West Ham in my mind. It's 11 months of work to arrive in this moment. We cannot be distracted by anything else but trying to win the games."

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