Football NewsRiyad Mahrez Misses a Penalty to Squander The Chance to Place City on the Verge of Winning the PL
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When City was granted a late penalty, Riyad Mahrez failed from the spot, squandering a great opportunity to put the visitors on the verge of winning the Premier League.

It also went back to the previous day, when Mahrez had erred on this scale. That happened during the 2018-19 season. With the score poised 0-0 at Anfield, Manchester City got a late penalty. Mahrez took a shot, missed, and the ball went far into the stands. After that, City was a point ahead on the last day, and they may be again next Sunday.
Had Mahrez scored at Anfield, the game would have been finished. But City went on to win the title by a single point. They completed the task. In this campaign, it will have to be the same. It’s strange that with so much uncertainty, we could have a repeat.

Craig Dawson’s headed clearance from a set-piece only got as far as Oleksandr Zinchenko after barely four minutes. Joao Cancelo headed the ball back to Jack Grealish, whose shot went through the legs of Dawson and beyond Lukasz Fabianski in goal. It was all City now. Grealish, like Bernardo Silva, might have equalized shortly after.

Finally, a fortunate blunder saved City. Mahrez curled in a free-kick, which Vladimir Coufal bizarrely attempted to clear with a risky diving header back towards his own goal. The unavoidable occurred. Fabianski was unable to stop it. The city was level.

Of course, the lack of City comebacks is a reflection of how excellent they’ve become over the last decade; opponents no longer jump into leads versus City.

Yet they haven’t won from a two-goal deficit in 17 years, well before the Sheikh Mansour era. Norwich City defeated Manchester City 3 to 2 on February 28, 2005. City’s Robbie Fowler scored twice.

They would have equaled that comeback if Mahrez had been more composed. Dawson tripped Gabriel Jesus late in the game. He waved his finger as if to warn referee Anthony Taylor not to be fooled by histrionics, and the official fell for it. Fortunately, VAR John Brooks correctly cautioned him on the error for the interest of fairness. Fabianski produced a fantastic stop as Mahrez stepped up and fired right. So, on Tuesday, we’re going to St Mary’s. Everything is still up for grabs.

Nonetheless, West Ham deserved their point.

After 24 minutes, the opening goal came after Fabianski made a great clearing to the left, which Pablo Fornals hooked on with his first touch. Bowen vanished without warning. Laporte tried to keep him going. But he couldn’t stop him. Bowen’s initial contact pushed him away from Ederson. It appeared to be far too broad. He was looking for the net from an extremely tight angle. Then he absolutely nailed it.

Anthony Taylor was being spoken to by Oleksandr Zinchenko and Fernandinho. Any offside would be picked up by VAR. But VAR would remain silent. It was a well-thought-out and straightforward goal. Not really flashy, but superbly captured. West Ham in the Moyes era.
The second was the same. Tomas Soucek won another long kick from Fabianski in the air. The ball fell to Antonio who again flicked it swiftly to Bowen, tearing into a good position. This time it was Zinchenko who ensured he stayed legal. Bowen hit a sweet, low shot past Ederson. Guardiola turned to the bench, furiously scratching the side of his head. There was time for revival, of course, but after cruising past Wolves, here was a significant obstacle.

West Ham got a little fortunate too. In the 16th minute, Rodri won a header which he steered in the direction of Jesus. Kurt Zouma cleared but on closer inspection, first took Jesus’ legs with his kick. Referee Taylor missed it.

So on we go. If Liverpool wins at Southampton, there will be a point in it going to the last day. Again. And City is at home to Aston Villa. That’s Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa. Who writes these scripts? Can Gerrard, at last, win a title for Liverpool by proxy? Will Mahrez be redeemed a second time? Tune in next week. Everyone else does.