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Manchester City are boring their way to the title as Premier League also-rans struggle to keep up

Manchester City moved back ahead of Liverpool thanks to a brace from Raheem Sterling and a goal from Gabriel Jesus.
English Premier League: Gabriel Jesus (90') Crystal Palace 1-3 Manchester City

If Manchester City retain the Premier League title, the signs are they will have done it the boring way.

Sunday's win at Crystal Palace -- beyond a nine-minute spell after Luka Milivojevic's clever free kick to make it 2-1 -- was not a contest. And that has become a consistent theme.

If you seek drama and tension, or perhaps simply to be moved by football, City's Premier League games are probably not for you. They are exhibitions of control and it is difficult, when they perform with this kind of...

By the numbers: Messi's 51st hat-trick, Salah's long scoreless streak

Lionel Messi celebrates after putting Barcelona ahead 1-0 in their Champions League tie with Lyon.
Lionel Messi scored his 33rd La Liga hat-trick in the course of Barcelona's 4-1 win away to Real Betis.

There's Lionel Messi, and then there's the rest. The weekend's football in Europe seemed to suggest so, although one must put this helpful caveat: Juventus gave Cristiano Ronaldo the weekend off.

Here are the best numbers from the weekend:


33

Lionel Messi scored his 33rd La Liga hat-trick in the course of Barcelona's 4-1 win away to Real Betis, also his 45th hat-trick for Barcelona across all competitions. He also has six hat-tricks for the Argentina national team, taking his overall tally in competitive...

Numbers: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer tastes first league defeat, Lionel Messi scores in 800th game

Luuk De Jong scored his 21st league goal of the season as PSV Eindhoven remain in control of top spot in the Dutch Eredivisie.

While Liverpool kept pace with Manchester City, Arsenal beat Manchester United to keep the top four race alive. In La Liga, Barcelona continued their dominance, while Kareem Benzema helped Real Madrid get back to winning ways after their humiliating Champions League defeat. Elsewhere, Juventus remained unbeaten in the league, while Bayern Munich scored six against Wolfsburg to leapfrog Dortmund to the top of the Bundesliga. Here are the best numbers from the weekend's action.


0

Juventus are still...

By the numbers: Barcelona move ahead of Real Madrid for the first time in 87 years

It was a weekend of derbies and fierce cross-country rivalries. The North-London derby was feisty, controversial and ended 1-1, the Merseyside one was tamer and ended 0-0, while the Rome edition saw Lazio absolutely smash Roma 3-0. Across in Spain, the Clasico saw Barcelona run out 1-0 winners at Real Madrid, while in a brilliantly-manic edition of the great Italian north-south rivalry, Juventus clung onto a 2-1 win at Napoli.

Here are the best stats from the weekend action:


4

This is the first...

LIVE Transfer Talk: Arsenal eye move for Palace defender Wan-Bissaka

The Exploding Heads bring you all the best bits from an action-packed Premier League and Carabao Cup weekend in a convenient 90-second (plus stoppages) package.

The transfer window for Europe's biggest clubs is closed, but click here for all the deals and keep track of who has joined the big boys. Transfer Talk will continue to scour the world's media and set correspondents loose to see what's on the agenda for the summer.

TOP STORY: Arsenal eye move for Wan-Bissaka

Crystal Palace right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka has had quite an impressive rise of late. Nobody had heard too much of the 21-year-old a year ago, but now he's a mainstay in the Palace team, worth...

Premier League managers: Can you name the oldest and youngest to take charge of the 'Big Six'?

This weekend, the venerable Roy Hodgson will become the oldest manager to ever take charge of a Premier League match when he steps into the away dugout for Crystal Palace's trip to Leicester City.

Hodgson will be aged 71 years and 198 days come kick-off on Saturday, thus making him one day older than previous record-holder Sir Bobby Robson was when he took charge of Newcastle United against Aston Villa in 2004 (before being sacked two days later).

By a quirk of fate, Palace also boast the Premier...