⁹Liverpool rode their luck in a 1-0 victory over West Ham United in the Premier League on Saturday to turn up the heat on leaders Manchester City, who face a derby showdown on Sunday.

Sadio Mane’s 12th league goal of the season, tucked away midway through the first half, proved just about enough to secure the win as Liverpool,

“We have to win the games we play. Those we do not play in we have no hand in it. We don’t think about it or talk about it, we just try to win our games.”

Earlier, Chelsea put aside their ownership issues to solidify their grip on third place with a 4-0 win at Burnley.

Liverpool’s seventh successive league victory and 12th in all competitions was hard-earned.

Mane poked in Trent Alexander-Arnold’s volleyed cross after 27 minutes and the hosts had plenty of chances to give themselves some breathing space.

But West Ham, who remain fifth, squandered gild-edged chances as Pablo Fornals messed up an attempted lob after being played through, Manuel Lanzini sliced over the bar and Michail Antonio failed to convert a clear chance.

Brentford dealt a hammer blow to bottom side Norwich City’s hopes of escaping the drop zone and eased their own fears as Ivan Toney scored a hat-trick in a 3-1 victory at Carrow Road.

Aston Villa’s Brazilian midfielder Philippe Coutinho scored one goal and made another as they thrashed visiting Southampton 4-0, while Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha created the opener and netted a penalty in a 2-0 win at Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Leeds United slipped further into trouble with a 1-0 loss at Leicester City under new manager Jesse Marsch, but Newcastle United’s resurgence continued with a 2-1 home win against Brighton & Hove Albion to move further away from trouble.

Ryan Fraser and Fabian Schar scored in the space of two minutes for Eddie Howe’s Newcastle side who then dug deep to extend their unbeaten run to eight games after Lewis Dunk pulled one back for Brighton in the 55th minute.

Chelsea, whose Russian owner Roman Abramovich put the club up for sale this week amid calls for sanctions against him following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, scored four times after the break at Turf Moor.

Burnley wasted a series of first half chances but fell to pieces after Reece James opened the scoring in the 47th minute.

German forward Kai Havertz headed home a Christian Pulisic cross and then converted a James cross for his second before American Pulisic completed the scoring.

“It shows the guys have what it takes to play for Chelsea, it shows obviously (they have) the environment to focus on football because we believe we are allowed to focus on football as good as possible,” manager Thomas Tuchel said.

Chelsea are third on 53 points, 13 behind Manchester City, while third-bottom Burnley remain on 21, a point off Everton in the safety zone but having played two more games.

Basement side Norwich have 17 points after a desperately disappointing defeat by Brentford. Watford, who host sixth-placed Arsenal on Sunday, are on 19 points.

Leeds, who sacked Marcelo Bielsa last week, suffered a fifth straight loss as Harvey Barnes won the game for Leicester. They are 16th, two points above the relegation zone but having played more games than all the teams below them except Norwich.

Arsenal climbed into the Champions League places with an entertaining victory over lowly Watford in a game with five quality goals.

The Hornets, who remain in the relegation zone, thought they had taken the lead within the first 20 seconds as Emmanuel Dennis slotted home but he was offside.

Martin Odegaard put Arsenal ahead not long afterwards after flicking the ball into the path of Bukayo Saka and then running into the centre to slot in Saka’s cross.

Watford levelled with the best individual goal of the game, Cucho Hernandez’s acrobatic flying volley from Kiko Femenia’s cross.

The visitors restored their lead when Saka won the ball off Tom Cleverley and found Alexandre Lacazette, who rolled the ball back into Saka’s path to fire into the top corner.

England star Saka was involved again in the third goal as his quick throw-in set up a move with Lacazette laying the ball off to Gabriel Martinelli to finish.

They looked as if they were cruising, and Eddie Nketiah hit the post, before Moussa Sissoko controlled the ball on his chest and beat Ben White before slotting in.

That set up a tense finale with Watford debutant Samuel Kalu forcing Aaron Ramsdale into a save with a long-range shot.

Arsenal move above Manchester United into fourth spot, with United losing 4-1 to Manchester City in the derby.

Watford, who blow hot and cold too often, remain three points off safety.

Manchester City outclassed Manchester United to maintain control of the Premier League title race with an outstanding display at Etihad Stadium.

City remain six points clear of Liverpool having played one game more after a victory that was arguably even more convincing than the scoreline suggests.

Ralf Rangnick’s side were without injured Cristiano Ronaldo and Edinson Cavani, as well as Raphael Varane and Luke Shaw, who have Covid-19, and found themselves overwhelmed by the quality and intensity of the reigning champions.

Kevin de Bruyne was at the heart of it all. He put City ahead with a crisp early finish then restored their lead before half-time after Jadon Sancho put United level with precise low strike, the Belgian’s second hammered home in a goalmouth scramble.

City turned up the tempo after the break and got the goal their vast superiority deserved after 68 minutes when Riyad Mahrez met De Bruyne’s corner on the half-volley to beat United keeper David de Gea. The goal came via a deflection off United captain Harry Maguire, who endured a nightmare afternoon.

It got even better for City in the closing moments when Mahrez raced clear to beat De Gea, the goal being given after a lengthy VAR check for offsid

Tottenham increased Everton’s growing relegation fears and maintained their own top-four aspirations as Frank Lampard’s side were outclassed and humiliated.

On an embarrassing night for Lampard and his players, Spurs ran riot as Everton capitulated in a fashion that raises genuine doubts about their ability to maintain Premier League status.

Everton defender Michael Keane set the tone for the night by firing Ryan Sessegnon’s into his own net after 14 minutes while goalkeeper Jordan Pickford was at fault for Son Heung-min’s second three minutes later.

Matt Doherty set Harry Kane free to put the game out of sight eight minutes before half-time, while any slim hopes of an Everton revival were snuffed out when substitute Sergio Reguilon scored with his first touch at the far post seconds after the restart.

As Everton simply fell apart, Kane added the fifth after 55 minutes, meeting Doherty’s perfect cross with a crisp left-footed volley.

Everton are just one point and one place above the relegation zone with a game in hand on Burnley below them.

Tottenham stay seventh, just three points behind fourth-placed Arsenal in the last of the Champions League qualifying spots.

 

 

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