Premier League title race permutations: When the league can be won

Arsenal’s 1-0 win at Manchester United on Super Sunday means this season’s thrilling Premier League title race will now definitely go all the way down to the final day – and you can watch it all unfold live on Sky Sports.

Mikel Arteta’s side went back to the top of the table with victory at Old Trafford and now lead Man City by a point ahead of their final match against Everton at the Emirates next Sunday.

Tuesday 14th May 7:00pm

Kick off 8:00pm

And that means all eyes now switch to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Tuesday night when the champions take on Tottenham in what is their game in hand – live on Sky Sports – before concluding the campaign against West Ham United at the Etihad on May 19.

Josko Gvardiol celebrates after scoring his second goal of the game against Fulham
Josko Gvardiol scored a double at Craven Cottage – but was not immune from criticism from Pep Guardiola

So what do each side need to do to get their hands on the Premier League trophy next weekend and could the title really be decided by goal difference?

What do Man City need to win the title?

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Manchester City’s win against Fulham in the Premier League

City need to win their final two games at Spurs and at home to West Ham on the final day to be guaranteed becoming the first team in history to win four successive top-flight titles.

However, if Arsenal fail to beat Everton at home in their last game, then City would only need to win one of their final two games to be crowned champions.

Phil Foden wheels away to celebrate after scoring Man City's second goal at Fulham
Phil Foden scored his 25th goal of the season as Man City returned top of the Premier League table

And there is even the possibility of the title being decided by goal difference were both sides to end the campaign level on points!

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Sky Sports’ Ron Walker and Ben Ransom analyse Manchester City’s 4-0 win over Fulham to go top of the Premier League

What do Arsenal need to win the title?

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Leandro Trossard’s strike sinks Manchester United as Arsenal return to the top of the Premier League

Mikel Arteta’s team need to beat Everton on the final day and hope City do not win their last two matches.

The Gunners could also be crowned champions if they draw with the Toffees and the champions only picked up a point from their remaining two matches.

And as previously mentioned, the title could go down to goal difference were both sides to end the campaign level on points!

How goal difference could come into play

As discussed, this season’s epic title race could still finish with both Arsenal and City level on points.

For that scenario to unfold, either Arsenal must draw their last game with Everton and City draw their final two matches, or Arsenal lose their final game and City only pick up one point from their last two matches.

Has the Premier League title ever been decided on goal difference?

Remember Agueroooooo?! How could you forget?! Manchester City edged Manchester United to the 2011/12 Premier League crown on goal difference after Sergio Aguero’s 94th minute winner against QPR ensured they both finished level on 89 points.

And both could also be tied at the top if Arsenal beat Everton and City only collect four points from their last two games.

Arsenal currently have a +3 superior goal difference heading into the final week of the season.

What does the supercomputer say?

Arsenal have a 40.7 per cent chance of capitalising on City dropping points against Spurs or West Ham and lifting the title, according to Opta’s supercomputer.

That’s the Gunners’ highest probability this term, having peaked previously at around 30 per cent back in December.

Could we get a Premier League title play-off decider?

If the two teams do end up level on points after 38 games, then the side with the superior goal difference will be crowned champions.

The Premier League handbook rule on play-offs

C.17.3. if two Clubs cannot be separated by operation of Rule C.17.1 or C.17.2, a
play-off on a neutral ground, the format, timing and venue of which shall be
determined by the Board.

However, if they are tied on goal difference, then it will come down to goals scored, with City having currently scored 91 to Arsenal’s 89 goals.

How teams are separated if they finish on the same points

  • Goal difference
  • Goals scored
  • Head-to-head record
  • Most away goals in head-to-head meetings
  • Play-off at a neutral venue

And if the two rivals cannot be separated after that, then it comes down to results between the two, which would go in Arsenal’s favour after they beat City 1-0 at the Emirates in October, before drawing 0-0 at the Etihad in March.

As a result, we cannot get a playoff to decide this season’s title!

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