A dramatic penalty save might have kept the Premier League title race alive.
When Riyad Mahrez stepped up to take an 86th-minute spot kick for Manchester City, he knew that converting it would virtually secure another league championship for his team.
It was saved, though, by West Ham goalkeeper Łukasz Fabiański and City had to settle for a 2–2 draw at the Olympic Stadium on Sunday—albeit from 2-0 down at halftime—to leave Liverpool still with hope.
City is now four points clear of Liverpool, which heads to Southampton on Tuesday needing at least a point to take the title race to the final round next Sunday.
A win is probably required at Southampton, though, given City has a superior goal difference of seven compared to Liverpool.
City finishes at home to Aston Villa, managed by Liverpool great Steven Gerrard, who was never able to win the league for Liverpool. He still could—but as a coach.
Liverpool hosts Wolverhampton in its last game.
City manager Pep Guardiola hardly flinched when Fabianski dived to his left and clawed away Mahrez’s penalty. After a few seconds, Guardiola scratched the side of his head and rubbed his face, and didn’t appear too disheartened at the final whistle as he shared an embrace with Mark Noble—West Ham’s long-serving midfielder who is retiring at the end of the season and was making his final home appearance for the club.
Mahrez had converted his previous seven penalties this season. His most high-profile miss from the spot was in the 2018-19 season—another City vs. Liverpool title race—when he skied a penalty late in the game in a 0–0 draw at Anfield.
It’s just as tense at the other end of the standings.