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5 things we learned from this weekend’s Premier League action

Raheem Sterling, second right, celebrates with his team-mates after scoring Manchester City’s fifth goal against Newcastle (Martin Rickett/PA)
Raheem Sterling, second right, celebrates with his team-mates after scoring Manchester City’s fifth goal against Newcastle (Martin Rickett/PA)

Manchester City bounced back from their Champions League disappointment by taking a big step towards another Premier League title.

City, who suffered Champions League heartbreak against Real Madrid on Wednesday, thrashed Newcastle 5-0 to open up a three-point gap between themselves and closest rivals Liverpool.

Arsenal made up ground in the race for a Champions League place, while at the other end of the table Watford were relegated and Leeds dropped into the bottom three.

Here, the PA news agency takes a look at some of this weekend’s major talking points.

City cash in on Liverpool slip

City responded to their latest Champions League exit by taking advantage of Liverpool’s slip to move three points clear at the top with three games to play. Liverpool were held 1-1 at Anfield by Tottenham on Saturday before City brushed aside Newcastle on Sunday in an emphatic 5-0 win at the Etihad. Pep Guardiola’s side, who now have a better goal difference than the Reds, face trips to Wolves and West Ham before closing the season at home against Aston Villa as they bid for a fourth domestic crown in five years.

Gunners steal a march

Eddie Nketiah, right, scores his second goal of the game in Arsenal's 2-1 win against Leeds
Eddie Nketiah, right, scores his second goal of the game in Arsenal’s 2-1 win against Leeds (Mike Egerton/PA)

The race for the last two Champions League spots is a three-horse affair between London rivals Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham. Chelsea dropped more points after being held at home by Wolves and sit one better off than Arsenal, who made hard work of a 2-1 home win against 10-man Leeds. Fifth-placed Tottenham sit four points behind the Gunners after securing a point at Liverpool. Manchester United face a fight for a top-six finish following their 4-0 thrashing at Brighton on Saturday.

Table looks sweeter for Toffees

Everton, one of six clubs never to have been relegated from the Premier League, gained more momentum in their bid to extend their 67-year stay in the English top flight by clinching their first away win since August with a 2-1 victory at Leicester.  It was just their second league win on the road this season and their first back-to-back since September. It also lifted them out of the bottom three, one point above both Burnley and Leeds, with a game in hand on both and four to play.

Leeds on the slide

Leeds slipped into the bottom three for the first time since September after a 2-1 defeat at Arsenal . The Yorkshire club imploded at the Emirates in a shambolic first-half display, which saw them go 2-0 down inside 10 minutes before skipper Luke Ayling was sent off. Jesse Marsch’s 10 men rallied in the second period, pulling a goal back through Diego Llorente, and with games against Chelsea, Brighton and Brentford to come they will be hoping there are more twists in the fight to beat the drop.

Watford follow Norwich through trapdoor

Watford’s swift return to the Sky Bet Championship was confirmed after their 1-0 defeat at boss Roy Hodgson’s former club Crystal Palace. It is the second time in three seasons the Hornets have been relegated from the Premier League and they must search for a new manager to lead their bid to bounce back, with Hodgson set to retire at the end of the season. Watford never looked like preserving their top-flight status during the run-in and a six-game losing streak has seen them join Norwich in the second tier.