Published: Thu, May 18, 2017
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Sanchez keeps Arsenal in race, City all but there

City, with 75 points, are in third place, two points ahead of Liverpool and three better than Arsenal.

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.

City will need to draw at Watford in their final match on Sunday to be absolutely sure of at least fourth place.

West Brom, who are usually sound on defence, found themselves trailing 0-2 just a half-hour into Tuesday's tie at the Etihad, conceding goals to Gabriel Jesus - in the 27th minute - and to Kevin de Bruyne, who scored just two minutes later.

If Manchester City and Liverpool were to battle it out for a third-place play-off to see who goes directly into the group stages of Europe's elite competition, Liverpool would need to beat 'Boro 3-0, and City would have to draw 3-3 away at Watford.

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Likely set for a campaign outside of the Champions League, although the Gunners could still sneak into the top-four courtesy of a win against Everton and a massive hand from already-relegated Middlesbrough, Arsenal are braced for major changes.

"A win on the final day, then, could boost a club's transfer kitty considerably before the summer", says The Times.

With a superior goal difference of five to that of Arsenal, who are three points behind, it would take a big turnaround to deny City.

An unprecedented playoff for the final Champions League qualification spot could be played between Arsenal and Liverpool.

Now you can qualify for the Champions League too [by winning it]'. They must hope that either Liverpool or City drop points in what appear to be relatively straightforward fixtures, and then do their job of beating Everton.

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This match will only be possible if City play a high-scoring draw in their last game and Liverpool register a thumping win.

The Reds now sit in fourth in the table, two points behind City and one point clear of the Gunners but face a potentially nervy curtain call at Anfield.

Liverpool, meanwhile, know that a victory is necessary against Middlesbrough, while a draw could see them fall below the Gunners if Arsenal defeat Everton at the Emirates Stadium.

"My favourite moments were when we beat Manchester United in the (FA Cup) semi-final at Wembley (in 2011) and the first Premier League we won with Sergio Aguero's goal (in 2012)", Zabaleta told fans in an on-pitch address.

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