Manchester: Riyad Mahrez had a bizarre penalty ruled out as Manchester City survived a stirring Leicester City fightback to claim a 2-1 victory and climb above Liverpool into third place in the Premier League on Saturday.
After dominating before the interval the hosts were hanging on at times in the second half and Mahrez had the chance to rescue a deserved point for last season's champions.
But his 77th-minute penalty, despite beating Willy Caballero, was correctly ruled out after City's players realised Mahrez had slipped while striking the ball and inadvertently made an illegal double contact.
It was the second lucky break for Pep Guardiola's side whose opening goal, scored by David Silva after 29 minutes, incensed Leicester's players because Raheem Sterling appeared to be offside when he swung a leg at the ball.
"The first goal was offside," Leicester keeper Kasper Schmeichel, who argued he was distracted by Sterling, told Sky Sports. "He (Sterling) was blocking my view. He's in the six-yard box and he is interfering because I can't see ball."
There was no doubt about City's second in the 36th minute. Leroy Sane was sent sprawling in the area by Yohan Benalouane and Gabriel Jesus fired the resulting spot kick into the corner.
Leicester were back in the match four minutes before halftime though when Shinji Okazaki smashed a sensational volley past Caballero from Marc Albrighton's cross.
City, who surprisingly left top scorer Sergio Aguero on the bench, were not clinical enough in front of goal and Leicester became increasingly dangerous in the second half.
Craig Shakespeare's side looked set to equalise when Gael Clichy tripped Mahrez in the area and referee Robert Madley had no hesitation in pointing to the penalty spot.
But Mahrez's scuffed effort was correctly ruled out as he kicked the ball against his standing leg and past Caballero.
Jamie Vardy also had a late chance for Leicester who sensed City's nervousness, but the hosts hung on to stay on course for a top-four finish with two games left.
"Well done. It's the first or second time I've seen that in my life," Guardiola said. "We have to look after our boots!
"We need one more game to be in the top four but it's in our hands. West Brom will be tough but hopefully we can be better than today. And we go to Watford."
Alexis Sanchez shone and then succumbed to injury as Arsenal won 4-1 at Stoke City on Saturday to close in on the Premier League top four.
Sanchez teed up Mesut Ozil for Arsenal's second goal and scored their third -- his 50th Premier League goal -- after Peter Crouch had brought Stoke back into the game with a controversial handball goal.
Arsene Wenger's side are now a point behind Liverpool, who occupy the fourth and final Champions League spot, and three points below third-place Manchester City.
Liverpool have played the same number of games as Arsenal and look the team the most susceptible to be overtaken by Wenger's men, who now have the same goal difference of +29.
Liverpool visit West Ham United on Sunday and host relegated Middlesbrough on the final day, while Arsenal entertain relegated Sunderland on Tuesday and finish the campaign at home to Everton.
Swansea close on safety
Swansea City took a big step towards safety after goals from Fernando Llorente and Kyle Naughton secured a 2-0 win at Sunderland that moved them four points clear of the bottom three.
"It's a huge result for us," said Swansea manager Paul Clement.
"We've got ourselves into a strong position, but the season is not over and we don't think it is done."
Third-bottom Hull City trail Swansea by four points and will be all but relegated if they do not win at Crystal Palace -- who are level on points with Swansea -- on Sunday.
Southampton added to the doom and gloom at Middlesbrough with a 2-1 win at the Riverside Stadium that lifted Claude Puel's side up to ninth place.
Jay Rodriguez and Nathan Redmond netted superbly taken goals for Saints, with Patrick Bamford replying.
Bournemouth climbed to 10th after Josh King's 85th-minute goal -- his 16th of the campaign -- snatched a 2-1 home win over Burnley.
With inputs from AFP and Reuters
Published Date: May 14, 2017 11:58 am | Updated Date: May 14, 2017 11:58 am