Jonathan Cook’s World Game Wrap-Up

City made to wait

Jarrod Bowen and Lukasz Fabianski poked a stick into the spokes of Manchester City’s Premier League title charge last night.

Bowen’s two goals and Fabianski’s save to keep out Riyad Mahrez’s penalty earned West Ham a 2-2 draw and a place in Europe next season.

It also kept alive Liverpool’s slim chances of overhauling City at the top of the table.

Jurgen Klopp’s side take on Southampton on Wednesday morning (WA time) aiming for a big win to cut City’s lead to one point and narrow the +7 goal difference.

If Liverpool win handsomely, they will push the race for the title to the last game of the season.

City will face Aston Villa, managed by Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard, and the Reds will take on Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Battle at the bottom

Only one of Everton, who are on 36 points, Leeds United (35 points) or Burnley (34) will survive the drop into England’s Championship after all three failed to win at the weekend.

Leeds, who have only one game left, faired best with a last-gasp Pascal Struijk goal giving them a 1-1 draw against Brighton. Leeds are away to Brentford in their final game of the season.

Everton, who play Crystal Palace this week before a final day clash against Arsenal, were beaten 3-2 by Brentford.

Burnley lost 1-0 to Spurs and play Aston Villa and Newcastle in their remaining games.

Tsimikas hero for Liverpool

Kostas Tsimikas was Liverpool’s unlikely hero as they claimed their second piece of domestic silverware this season with an FA Cup final penalty shoot-out victory over Chelsea.

With one eye on the upcoming UEFA Champions League final, Liverpool were forced through a goalless 90 minutes and extra time before prevailing from the spot.

Injuries to Mohamed Salah and Virgil van Dijk, who were both forced off, will concern Jurgen Klopp with three important games to play.

Liverpool beat Chelsea on penalties to claim the League Cup three months ago, and they can make it a trophy hat-trick if they beat Real Madrid in the Champions League final in Paris on May 28.

Haaland makes big move

Even before Manchester City put the final touches on the current season, they have taken an important step towards the next campaign.

In announcing that Borussia Dortmund striker  Erling Haaland has agreed to join the club next season, City have sent a warning shot to Premier League and Champions League contenders in 2023.

There will inevitably be those who wonder whether Haaland, whose dad Alf-Inge also played for the club, can adapt to the weekly rigours of the Premier League.

But none of that will bother the 21-year-old who has scored 86 goals in 89 appearances for Dortmund, including one in his final game against Hertha Berlin on Saturday.

Lewandowski signs off

Robert Lewandowski appears to have played his last game for Bayern Munich, scoring his 35th goal of the season in a 2-2 draw with Wolfsburg.

Germany’s top goal scorer for the past five seasons has told Bayern officials he won’t be signing a new contract, which has only a year to run.

Bayern are now open to offers for Lewandowski, and Barcelona are early contenders to benefit from the 33-year-old’s services next season.

Scudetto chase to the end

The race for the scudetto will go down to the wire after Italy’s Serie A leaders AC Milan and second-placed Inter both won yesterday.

Inter, who beat Juventus last week to claim the Coppa Italia, earned a 3-1 win away over Cagliari thanks to a two-goal contribution from Lautaro Martinez.

Just hours earlier, second-half goals from Rafael Leo and Theo Hernandez gave Milan a 2-0 victory at home to Atalanta.

Inter must beat Sampdoria at the San Siro on Sunday and hope that Milan lose away to Sassuolo.

A draw will be enough for Milan to claim the title due to their far superior goal difference.

Chelsea women claim FA Cup

Two more goals from Sam Kerr; another Chelsea success.

This time Kerr’s double was the decisive contribution in a 3-2 Women’s FA Cup Final win over Manchester City.

Kerr scored two spectacular goals to help Chelsea win the Women’s Super League last weekend.

Forest in box seat

Nottingham Forest have one foot in the English Championship play-off final after a 2-1 win over Sheffield United in the first leg of their semi-final.

A 91st minute goal from Sander Berge earned the Blades a potential lifeline after Jack Colback and Brennan Johnson had given the visitors a handy lead at Bramall Lane.

Huddersfield Town and Luton Town drew their first leg contest 1-1 and will meet in the second leg at the John Smith’s Stadium tonight.

Forest host Sheffield United in their second leg match at the City Ground on Wednesday morning (WA time).

The semi-final winners will meet in the play-off final at Wembley on May 29 with a place in the English Premier League next season at stake.

Postecoglou never stops

Celtic lived up to their Australian manager’s mantra as they finished the season with a 6-0 thrashing of Motherwell.

A recording of one of former Socceroos boss Ange Postecoglou’s first training sessions featured his clear instruction to players that “we never stop” in pursuit of success.

And with the Scottish Premier League title sewn up after a midweek draw with Dundee United, there was no sign of complacency as Celtic raced to a 3-0 half-time lead.

There was an emotional send-off for Socceroos midfielder Tom Rogic, who played 272 games for Celtic after making his debut in 2013.

Benzema equals Raul haul

Only Cristiano Ronaldo has scored more Real Madrid goals than Karim Benzema.

The French striker scored in a 6-0 thrashing of Levante to equal the 323 goals Raul scored for Real. Ronaldo scored 450 goals for the club.

Vinicius Junior did most of the damage against Levante, scoring a hat-trick and setting up Benzema’s first-half header.

Defeat condemned Levante to relegation from Spain’s top tier.

United set-up up City semi

Adelaide United will meet Premiers Melbourne City in an A-League semi-final first leg match at AAMI Park on Wednesday after seeing off Central Coast Mariners yesterday.

Craig Goodwin got the ball rolling for the home side at Coopers Stadium with a first-half goal before Kusini Yengi doubled the advantage in the second half.

Storm Roux pulled one back for the Mariners, but Bernardo Oliveira made the game safe in stoppage time.

Western United will take on Melbourne Victory in the other two-leg semi-final after scraping through their elimination final against Wellington Phoenix.

A remarkable save by Jamie Young which denied James McGarry and a goal from Aleksandar Prijovic gave United a 1-0 victory that set-up tomorrow’s match against Victory.

Yorke to coach Macarthur

Former Manchester United star Dwight Yorke will lead Macarthur FC in the A-League next season.

Macarthur have taken a big gamble on Yorke, who lit up the first A-League season as a player with Sydney FC in 2005.

But while he had a great deal of success on the field, including winning the Champions League with United in 1999, he has never had a full-time head coaching position.

Glory out of Australia Cup

Perth Glory’s stay in the Australia Cup was brief.

Having already limped through the A-League season, Glory fielded a team largely made up of young players in a match of little significance last week.

A much more experienced Newcastle Jets side won 3-1 to earn a place in the round of 32 of the national knockout competition.