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Erik ten Hag comments hint at new Premier League title reality for Liverpool

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Manchester United's narrow victory at Aston Villa on Sunday landed another damaging blow to the Midlanders' hopes of maintaining their surprise Premier League title challenge under Unai Emery.

With just two wins from their last seven games, Villa have fallen seven points behind Liverpool having been level with Jurgen Klopp's leaders at Christmas.

READ MORE: Liverpool injury may stop Jurgen Klopp from unleashing title race weapon just yet

READ MORE: Mohamed Salah returns as Jurgen Klopp considers five changes to Liverpool side

Two days earlier, Tottenham Hotspur's late winner at home to Brighton on Saturday prevented their gap to the top opening up to double figures.

And with six wins in their last nine Premier League games after a spell of one point from five outings, the Londoners will feel momentum is with them.

History, though, suggests Villa's latest reverse means the championship battle is now between Liverpool, Manchester City and Arsenal, the trio covered by just two points with City having the advantage of a game in hand at home to Brentford on Tuesday week.

Only once in the Premier League era has a team come from outside the top three to win the title with 14 games remaining.

Indeed, they were second by the time they reached the 25-game mark.

Of course, the destiny of the title will be significantly influenced next month when Liverpool entertain City and Arsenal visit the Etihad.

But the squabble for Champions League qualification is likely to have an even greater impact on who finishes top.

United have to travel to City before hosting Liverpool in April and, on the penultimate weekend of the season, Arsenal.

In successive weeks in April, Tottenham are at home to City and Arsenal before visiting Anfield, while Villa are at City and Arsenal and then finish their home campaign with a visit of Liverpool.

Certainly, United were in bullish mood after their win at Villa Park, with manager Erik ten Hag declaring: "I think we can beat any opponent, away or at home, but sometimes away we need to believe (in ourselves) more.

City's game in hand means they have eight home games left and seven away, with both Liverpool and Arsenal's remaining 14 games having an even split.

Liverpool have arguably the slightly easier ask, albeit with the significant caveat they have to still play their two most emotionally-charged away games of the season at Goodison and Old Trafford.
For more news relating to Manchester City, visit our sister site City Latest Live.

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