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Jesus scores 4 points and Man City lead EPL by 4 points

LONDON (AP) — Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus scored more goals in 53 minutes on Saturday than he had scored in the previous eight months in the English Premier League.

Becoming the first player in the league to score four goals in one game this season, Jesus led City to a 5-1 thrashing of Watford to open a four-point lead over second-placed Liverpool in the title chase.

Liverpool can take that point down to one with five games to go by beating Everton in the Merseyside derby on Sunday.

Jesus has been something of an afterthought at City this season, scoring just three league goals before penultimate Watford arrived for a game that ended up looking like a training exercise.

The Brazil international scored twice in the first half and twice more in the first eight minutes of the second half, one of which was a penalty to complete his hat-trick.

Rodri scored the other goal – a diving long-range shot after collecting a pass from Jesus – for City, who used the game to give key players a rest ahead of Real Madrid’s visit in the League semi-finals champions on Tuesday.

While City remained on course for the title, fierce rivals Manchester United have likely dropped out of the Champions League qualification race.

In losing to Arsenal 3-1, United fell six points behind rivals and manager Ralf Rangnick, who nearly ended his side’s season.

“I don’t think it’s very realistic to dream and think about the top four,” Rangnick said at the end of a week when United also lost 4-0 to Liverpool and hired a new manager, Erik ten. Hag from Ajax, for the start. of next season.

Arsenal moved up to fourth and were two points behind north London rivals Tottenham, who drew 0-0 at Brentford to drop to fifth.

In other games, bottom-placed Norwich moved closer to relegation with a 3-0 home loss to Newcastle. He left Norwich eight points from safety with just five games left.

Mid-table sides Leicester and Aston Villa drew 0-0.

THE RETURN OF RONALDO

An emotional comeback from Cristiano Ronaldo was not enough for United.

The Portuguese star missed the midweek loss to Liverpool while mourning the death of his newborn son, but was back in the starting lineup against Arsenal.

Ronaldo raised his left arm and pointed to the sky after scoring in the 34th minute to make it 2-1, with Nuno Tavares and Bukayo Saka having already scored for Arsenal.

Ronaldo turned down the chance to take a penalty which his compatriot Bruno Fernandes missed, with United manager Ralf Rangnick saying: “He just didn’t feel like he had to take it.”

Granit Xhaka secured victory for Arsenal with a 70th-minute long shot, capping off a great week for Mikel Arteta’s side following their 4-2 win at Chelsea on Wednesday.

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More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports




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