A club-record signing for $80 million, Riyad Mahrez has struggled to make a significant impact in his first season at Manchester City.

Scoring a huge goal in the Premier League title race might just turn things round for the Algeria winger.

Mahrez came off the bench and poked in a scruffy goal as City beat Bournemouth 1-0 to climb to the top of the standings on Saturday. The defending champions are two points clear of Liverpool, whose game in hand is at cross-town rival Everton on Sunday.

Bournemouth's Chris Mepham tackles Manchester City's Raheem Sterling, during the English Premier League soccer match between Bournemouth and Manchester City,  at the Vitality Stadium, in  Bournemouth, England, Saturday March 2, 2019. (Adam Davy/PA via AP)
Bournemouth’s Chris Mepham tackles Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling, during the English Premier League soccer match between Bournemouth and Manchester City, at the Vitality Stadium, in Bournemouth, England, Saturday March 2, 2019. (Adam Davy/PA via AP)

Mahrez’s biggest previous intervention in this season’s title race came at Anfield in October, when he missed a late penalty in a 0-0 draw with Liverpool. He has only scored three league goals since then and has dropped to being the fourth-choice winger in recent weeks under Pep Guardiola, behind Raheem Sterling, Bernardo Silva and Leroy Sane.

This was a second 1-0 win of the week for City, after beating West Ham by the same score on Wednesday, and it came at the end of a grueling seven-day period that began with a penalty-shootout victory over Chelsea in the League Cup final.

Third-place Tottenham dropped further from title contention by drawing 1-1 with Arsenal in the north London derby. In the end, Tottenham was thankful for a point, with goalkeeper Hugo Lloris saving an injury-time penalty from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Tottenham players celebrate after Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang missing a penalty during the English Premier League soccer match between Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal at Wembley stadium in London, Saturday, March 2, 2019. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland)
Tottenham players celebrate after Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang missing a penalty during the English Premier League soccer match between Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal at Wembley stadium in London, Saturday, March 2, 2019. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland)

Manchester United moved above Arsenal into fourth place — and to within three points of Tottenham — by beating Southampton 3-2 thanks to an 88th-minute winner from Romelu Lukaku, his second goal of the game. Paul Pogba had a late penalty saved.

Wolverhampton Wanderers consolidated seventh place with a 2-0 win over Cardiff, which stayed in the relegation zone. Crystal Palace won 3-1 at Burnley, and last-place Huddersfield slipped closer to the drop by losing 1-0 at Brighton.

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Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang leaves the field at the end of the English Premier League soccer match between Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal at Wembley stadium in London, Saturday, March 2, 2019. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland)
Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang leaves the field at the end of the English Premier League soccer match between Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal at Wembley stadium in London, Saturday, March 2, 2019. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland)
Manchester United's Romelu Lukaku celebrates scoring his side's third goal of the game,  during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester United and Southampton at Old Trafford, in Manchester, England, Saturday, March 2, 2019. (Martin Rickett/PA via AP)
Manchester United’s Romelu Lukaku celebrates scoring his side’s third goal of the game, during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester United and Southampton at Old Trafford, in Manchester, England, Saturday, March 2, 2019. (Martin Rickett/PA via AP)

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