LONDON: Manchester City’s march to the Premier League title stalled on Saturday as 10-man Leeds beat the runaway leaders 2-1, while Liverpool climbed into fourth place after Trent Alexander-Arnold’s late strike sealed a 2-1 win against Aston Villa.
City are counting down to their third title in four seasons, but Stuart Dallas’s stoppage-time strike leaves them still needing 11 points from their last six games to clinch the crown.
Their first defeat in seven matches in all competitions came after Pep Guardiola made seven changes following their midweek Champions League quarterfinal first-leg win over Borussia Dortmund.
With Kevin De Bruyne on the bench at the Etihad Stadium, City were below their best against lively Leeds and now turn their attention to cup competitions next week.
They have a 2-1 lead to defend in the second leg at Dortmund on Wednesday before Saturday’s FA Cup semifinal against Chelsea at Wembley.
“We did not create enough for the forward. It is part of the game,” Guardiola said.
“When they defend in the way they were you have to stop them running and we did not do that. The best moment we had in the game we make a mistake behind and we tried but could not score.
“We are going to rest and prepare two days for the game in Dortmund and decide on how we are going to play.”
Liverpool are desperately trying to salvage their troubled campaign by qualifying for next season’s Champions League via a top-four finish. Beaten 3-1 by Real Madrid in the Champions League quarter-final first leg on Tuesday, Jurgen Klopp’s side knocked West Ham out of fourth place in the most dramatic fashion at Anfield.
Liverpool had lost their previous six home league matches, but Alexander-Arnold clinched their first success in front of the Kop since December as the Reds avenged their humiliating 7-2 defeat at Villa in October.
Villa striker Ollie Watkins scored a hat-trick in that rout and he was back on the scoresheet after 43 minutes.