Manchester City dropped two points despite erasing Jarrod Bowen’s first-half double in a gripping 2-2 draw at West Ham United on Sunday.
Lukasz Fabianski saved Riyad Mahrez’s 86th-minute penalty to deny City a remarkable comeback victory at the London Stadium after Jack Grealish and a Vladimir Coufal own goal restored parity in the second period.
Table-topping City are four points ahead of Liverpool with one match remaining in their season. Liverpool have two matches left.
Bowen exposed gaps in City’s makeshift rearguard for both of his goals. To open the scoring, Bowen arced his run to stay onside as he latched onto Pablo Fornals’ scoop before rounding Ederson and finishing into an open net.
Then, as the first half neared its conclusion, Bowen again timed his run to perfection when he met Michail Antonio’s lofted pass before finishing from the edge of the box.
City’s high line, shepherded by Aymeric Laporte and veteran midfielder Fernandinho, was caught out for both goals. Ruben Dias, John Stones, and Kyle Walker are all absent with injuries, while substitute Nathan Ake is dealing with his own fitness issues.
Through their 25 Premier League seasons, City had drawn once and lost 51 times when losing by two or more goals at halftime. Pep Guardiola’s side needed to upset the history books to re-establish a six-point lead atop the Premier League table.
But their pressure after the interval could only yield two goals. Grealish’s strong hit from 18 yards was deflected into the net in the 49th minute and Coufal headed the ball past his own goalkeeper 20 minutes later after Mahrez’s teasing delivery from a free-kick.
City had the win in sight when Craig Dawson felled Gabriel Jesus in the box. Mahrez stepped up for the spot kick but Fabianski denied a dramatic winner when he launched himself to his left to bat away the Algerian’s attempt.
Liverpool face Southampton on Tuesday before finishing their season next Sunday with a home match against Wolverhampton Wanderers. City welcome Aston Villa to the Etihad Stadium on the final day.