EPL round 30 Saturday results: Man City gets disappointing draw
The Saturday slate in round 30 of the Premier League was a little lighter than normal thanks to FA Cup action (more on that here). However, there was at least one result with a direct influence on the title race, as Manchester City slumped to a disappointing draw against Norwich City.
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Full recaps and results from Saturday of the EPL's round 30 is below:
Manchester City title hopes dented with 0-0 draw vs. Norwich
NORWICH, England (AP) — Title-chasing Manchester City and league-struggler Norwich drew 0-0 Saturday in a lackluster English Premier League match.
Manuel Pellegrini's side was unable to break down a stubborn Norwich defense, creating few clear chances in what it would have to be considered a must-win game if they are to challenge for the title.
The result leaves Man City nine points behind league-leaders Leicester City with nine games remaining. Just 2 points ahead of West Ham, which is in 5th place, the team now is in serious danger of missing out on Champions league football next season.
Host Norwich remains in the relegation zone on goal difference in 18th place but manager Alex Neil had to be pleased with his side's defensive display.
Man City on the other hand had to be disappointed it was unable to create more goal-scoring opportunities in a game that, for the most part, it dominated.
The first half was riddled with half-chances, largely from Man City's top scorer Sergio Aguero, who was denied by Norwich goalkeeper John Ruddy on several occasions. In a rare chance for Norwich, on-loan striker Patrick Bamford struck the crossbar with a fine effort from 25 yards out.
The second half continued much as the first, with Man City dominating possessions yet failing to fashion any clear chances.
"Sometimes it's not good enough. We needed more invention, more brilliance and that wasn't available," said Man City goalkeeper Joe Hart. "It chops and changes at the top and we have to stay consistent to our beliefs. We believe we can win the league."
Man City's Pellegrini had to be frustrated with the way his team seemed unable to find a way to score, only managing three shots on target from 15 attempts.
With Norwich remaining in real danger of relegation, Neil has to take encouragement from his team's defensive showing, hoping that it can build on this result for its remaining games.
Pelle scores swice as Southampton tops Stoke City
STOKE, England (AP) — Graziano Pelle scored twice as 10-man Southampton beat Stoke 2-1 in the English Premier League.
The Italian's first goal Saturday came in the 11th minute when he headed in a Steven Davis cross, followed by a fine finish into the bottom corner at 30 minutes. Marko Arnautiovic scored Stoke's goal in the 50th minute from close range.
Southampton's Sadio Mane was sent off late in the 2nd half in injury time for an elbow on Erik Pieters.
The win moves Southampton up to 7th place in the league with 44 points, leapfrogging Stoke.
Stoke will be disappointed at the abrupt end to their recent run of good form, dropping to 9th place with 43 points.
Bournemouth inches toward safety with 3-2 win over Swansea
BOURNEMOUTH, England (AP) — Bournemouth scored late in the second half to beat Swansea 3-2 in an entertaining game in the English Premier League on Saturday.
A 78th-minute header from Steve Cook proved to be the winner, with Max Gradel and Joshua King scoring the south-coast club's first and second goals respectively.
Swansea twice leveled the game with Modou Barrow — six minutes before the break — and Gylfi Sigurdsson scoring in the 62nd for the Welsh side.
Bournemouth is close to celebrating Premier League survival, as it is now 13 points above the relegation zone in 13th place with just 8 games to play.
Swansea has work to do in 16th place on 33 points.