Three talking points from the Premier League

<a class="link " href="" data-ylk="slk:Manchester City;elm:context_link;itc:0">Manchester City</a> are back on top of the Premier League table
Manchester City are back on top of the Premier League table

Manchester City look unstoppable as they hunt a fifth Premier League title in six years while Liverpool are refusing to give up the chase for a top-four berth.

Bottom-club Southampton appear doomed but the teams above them are braced for a nerve-wracking survival fight in the final weeks of the season.

AFP Sport looks at three talking points from the Premier League this weekend:

Man City survive title test

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Manchester City survived a tricky test of their title defence with a vital 2-1 win against Fulham to return to the top of the table for the first time in two months.

After crushing Arsenal 4-1 in midweek, Pep Guardiola's men knew a win at Craven Cottage on Sunday would take them above the Gunners into first place.

Erling Haaland converted an early penalty to become the first top-flight player to score 50 goals in all competitions in a single English season since 1931.

But that was not the trigger for a swaggering City display, with Carlos Vinicius punishing poor defending to equalise.

It was reminiscent of City's 1-1 draw against Nottingham Forest, immediately after they beat Arsenal to go top of the table in February.


But there was to be no repeat of that stumble as Julian Alvarez's superb long-range strike sealed City's eighth successive league victory.

City are a point ahead of Arsenal with a game in hand and it would be a huge shock if they did not win the title now.

Liverpool dare to dream of top four

Newcastle beat Southampton 3-1 on Sunday to stay third in the Premier League while Manchester United edged past in-form Aston Villa 1-0.

The two teams are strong favourites to seal Champions League places for next season behind Manchester City and Arsenal.

But neither Newcastle boss Eddie Howe nor United manager Erik ten Hag will be comfortable about seeing Liverpool in their rear-view mirror.


Jurgen Klopp's men beat Spurs 4-3 in a thriller at Anfield, with Diogo Jota scoring a last-gasp winner.

They have won their past four league games to climb to fifth in the table -- seven points behind United, having played a game more.

Liverpool's run-in does not look unduly taxing while Newcastle and United have some tricky games still to play.

Klopp will seek to infuse his team with the belief that they can rescue a disappointing season.

Relegation race hots up

There appears to be no escape for Southampton -- six points from safety with just four games remaining -- but the four teams above them are locked in a tense fight for survival.


Either Leicester or Everton, who meet on Monday, will climb out of the bottom three, with Nottingham Forest dropping into the relegation zone.

Leeds are perilously placed, just one point above 18th-placed Leicester after their 4-1 defeat by Bournemouth -- a fourth loss in their past five matches.

Bournemouth, 10 points clear of Leicester, appear safe and Wolves look likely to survive despite their 6-0 humbling by Brighton on Saturday.

But West Ham are not yet assured of top-flight survival after a 4-3 defeat by Crystal Palace left them five points clear of the drop zone, with a trip to Manchester City looming on Wednesday.