The ESPN FC crew reacts to Manchester City’s 3-2 loss to Tottenham. (2:53)
A few weeks ago it looked like Manchester City‘s lead at the top of the Premier League was unassailable as Pep Guardiola’s side looked to be masterminding a dominant defence of their title.
Less than 14 days ago, City’s straightforward 2-0 win over Brentford propelled them 12 points clear at the summit above Liverpool in second, though the latter did have two games in hand at the time.
Skip forward two rounds of matches and, following Sunday’s shock 3-2 home defeat to Tottenham Hotspur, City’s once-commanding advantage has been chopped down to just six points with Liverpool still possessing a game in hand over their rivals.
After City slipped up against Spurs, the Reds can reduce the margin between the top two spots down to three precarious points should they win against Leeds United at Anfield on Wednesday.
What seemed like an insurmountable lead at the top for City just two weeks ago has now taken on an altogether more perilous complexion, with Jurgen Klopp’s challengers quickly closing the gap thanks to an imposing run of five straight league victories.
With three months of the campaign left, the Premier League title race is far from the foregone conclusion it looked to be until so very recently — and similarly exciting scenes are unfolding across the continent, too.
Barring the French top flight, all of Europe’s top five leagues have at most six points between the teams in first and second place. We take a look at the title races, which are shaping up nicely as we enter the final stretch.
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Just six points now separate Man City and Liverpool at the top of the Premier League pile, with the likelihood being that divide will be shorn down by a further three points come the final whistle at Anfield on Wednesday. It remains to be seen if City and Liverpool are still so close when they meet at the Etihad in early April in what could well be a bona fide title decider. Looking forward, there are still plenty of choice clashes to come that could play a significant part in the championship involving many of the teams jostling for position in the top four, bitter local rivals, or both.
Big games on the horizon for the remainder of 2021-22
March 6: Manchester City vs. Manchester United
March 16: Arsenal vs. Liverpool
March 20: Liverpool vs. Manchester United
April 9: Manchester City vs. Liverpool
April 23: Liverpool vs. Everton
With usual suspects Barcelona and defending champions Atletico Madrid falling off the pace in LaLiga this season, leaders Real Madrid are fending off plucky Andalusian upstarts Sevilla and Real Betis as the Spanish top flight moves gradually toward its conclusion. Chasing their 35th LaLiga crown, Real are six points clear of Sevilla, who have conceded just 17 goals so far this term. Nestled in behind are bitter local rivals Betis, who have risen to third in the table after winning four of their last five league games. The teams in second and third meet in the fiercely contested Gran Derbi this coming weekend, with both hoping to pull further clear of Spain‘s struggling giants.
Big games on the horizon for the remainder of 2021-22
Feb. 27: Sevilla vs. Real Betis
March 6: Real Betis vs. Atletico Madrid
March 20: Real Madrid vs. Barcelona
April 3: Barcelona vs. Sevilla
April 17: Sevilla vs. Real Madrid
May 8: Atletico Madrid vs. Real Madrid
May 15: Atletico Madrid vs. Sevilla
May 22: Real Madrid vs. Real Betis
LaLiga on ESPN+: Stream LIVE games and replays (U.S. only)
No prizes for guessing who is leading the way in the Bundesliga this season as Bayern Munich are in pole position to bring home their 10th consecutive championship, which would be the record title-winning streak in Europe’s top five leagues by some margin. However, a recent shock 4-2 defeat against Bochum has reduced Bayern’s lead as Dortmund have clawed back to within six points of their rivals at the summit of the table. Still, with 11 fixtures left to play, it’s difficult to imagine that big silver shield being hoisted aloft anywhere other than the Allianz Arena come May.
Big games on the horizon for the remainder of 2021-22
March 5: Bayern Munich vs Bayer Leverkusen
April 2: Borussia Dortmund vs RB Leipzig
April 23: Bayern Munich vs Borussia Dortmund
Bundesliga on ESPN+: Stream LIVE games and replays (U.S. only)
The Milan giants are now two points apart at the top of Serie A, although both AC Milan and Inter Milan have endured a mixed bag of league results since the turn of the year. Third-placed Napoli are level on points with the Nerazzurri and also very much in the mix despite having played a game more than the team directly above them in a three-way fight for the Scudetto. However, it must be said that the Partenopei are arguably in the richest vein of form at the moment and are unbeaten in their last six Serie A games, including a 1-1 draw against Inter on Feb. 12.
Big games on the horizon for the remainder of 2021-22
March 6: Napoli vs. AC Milan
April 3: Juventus vs. Inter Milan
A shock 3-1 pummelling dished out by Nantes on Saturday represented Paris Saint-Germain‘s first league defeat since Oct. 3, when they fell to an equally surprising 2-0 loss at Rennes before promptly embarking upon a 15-game unbeaten streak in retaliation. Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe, Neymar & Co. are sitting pretty at the top of Ligue 1 having amassed a 13-point gap between themselves and Marseille and the wider chasing pack beyond. There are 13 games left of the season for PSG to make an almighty mess of the situation, but sooner rather than later the Parisian giants will be recapturing the title they let slip last year to Lille.
Big games on the horizon for the remainder of 2021-22
Feb. 6: Strasbourg vs Nice
March 5: Nice vs Paris Saint-Germain
April 17: Paris Saint-Germain vs Marseille

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By faress

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