The Premier League top two continued to outdo each other on Saturday as both Manchester City and Liverpool earned crucial wins in their bids for the title, while bottom side Norwich City had their relegation confirmed after losing 2-0 at Aston Villa.

Elsewhere down the bottom, Burnley’s revival under caretaker boss Mike Jackson continued as a thrilling 2-1 win at Watford pulled them five points clear of the relegation zone, a result that ensured Norwich will play Championship football next term.

All eyes were on St James’ Park in the day’s early kickoff, less than 72 hours on from Liverpool’s Champions League semi-final first leg win over Villarreal, where victory over Newcastle United would send Juergen Klopp’s side top.

Klopp rung the changes to freshen things up, and one of those players coming in, Naby Keita, struck what proved to be the winner in the first half to send Liverpool above City temporarily.

The win continued a relentless run of form that has dragged Liverpool back into the title race. Klopp’s men have picked up 40 points from the last 42 on offer, only dropping points away to City.

Newcastle, looking for their fifth-straight league win, never gave in, but could not break through a near-impenetrable Liverpool rearguard.

Liverpool have kept 21 clean sheets in the league this season – more than any other side. Only in 2005-06 (22) have they kept more shutouts in a single campaign in the division.

“It’s a win in the most difficult of circumstances,” Klopp told BT Sport. “A team in form, a crowd waiting for ages for proper success. Coming here with five changes and building pretty much a new setup is really difficult, so the performance was absolutely outstanding.”

With Liverpool’s task complete, it was City’s turn to continue their impressive form at Leeds United, who are battling to stay in the Premier League.

City boss Pep Guardiola also made plenty of changes to his side with Wednesday’s Champions League semi-final second leg clash with Real Madrid in mind, leading to the visitors looked a little disjointed from the off.

However, they soon found their feet with Spanish midfielder Rodri heading them into a 13th-minute lead, before another goal from a corner, this time stabbed home by Nathan Ake early in the second half, putting them in control.

A raucous Elland Road crowd did their best to put City off, and the hosts had their chances, but further goals from Gabriel Jesus and substitute Fernandinho restored them to top spot on 83 points from 34 matches played, one point clear of Liverpool.

“We knew coming here the way they play, we suffered a lot in the first half,” Guardiola said. “But in the end we had control and could have scored more. An incredible result for us.

“They are so fast up front. We defended well and sometimes these type of games set-pieces become so important. Today was so important to make our chances to be champions again.”

For Leeds, they are five points clear of the relegation zone after a first defeat in six league games. However, they have played two more games than Everton in 18th.

Burnley are on the up after their spirited comeback win at Watford which edged the hosts closer to the drop.

Late goals from Jack Cork and Josh Brownhill earned the visitors their first come-from-behind away win in the Premier League.

A third league win in a row under caretaker Jackson lifts Burnley to 16th on 34 points from 34 matches, five clear of Everton but having played two games more. Watford remain in 19th place on 22 points, seven behind Everton.

Norwich, however, limped out of the Premier League with a whimper following a goal and assist by Villa substitute Danny Ings. They are 13 points from the safety zone, with only 12 points still left to play for.

Elsewhere, Crystal Palace earned a 2-1 win at Southampton, while Brighton & Hove Albion beat Wolverhampton Wanderers 3-0.

Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur both posted victories as the race for fourth place in the Premier League intensified on Sunday.

Tottenham returned to form as Son Heung-min scored twice and Harry Kane once in a 3-1 victory over Leicester City.

That briefly elevated Tottenham into fourth place, above Arsenal who responded impressively to win 2-1 at West Ham United with goals by defenders Rob Holding and Gabriel.

Arsenal’s third successive league win after three straight defeats moved them to 63 points from 34 games with Tottenham’s first win in three leaving them on 61 from 34.

Third-placed Chelsea are not totally assured of a top-four finish after they lost 1-0 at Everton — a vital result for the hosts in their bid to stave off relegation.

Striker Richarlison sealed victory at a rocking Goodison Park a minute into the second half after Cesar Azpilicueta gave up possession under pressure from the Brazilian forward.

Everton remain third from bottom but are only two points behind 17th-placed Leeds United having played a game less.

Chelsea have 66 points from 34 games.

Everton manager Frank Lampard, Chelsea’s record scorer and former manager, knew how big the win against his old club was.

“Today was a huge game for us and when you see the fans turn up before this game and what they did to this game — they were people of the match,” he said.

“Men, women and youngsters, all Everton crazy, they love this club and they pushed us over the line.

“We are still in the relegation zone, we have the extra game but we have to go with that same spirit in every match.”

Tottenham knew that only a win at home to Leicester would be good enough after losing to Brighton & Hove Albion and drawing with Brentford in their last two games — two dismal displays that put a huge dent in their top-four hopes.

They responded with a vibrant display capped by two goals for Son who is in the race for the Golden Boot award.

Son has scored 19 league goals this season, three fewer than top scorer Mohamed Salah of Liverpool.

Son’s corner allowed Kane to put Spurs ahead with a thumping header and he then made sure of the points with two quality finishes after the break, both assisted by Dejan Kulusevski.

“We got three points in an important moment of the season especially as in the next games we are going to face Liverpool and Arsenal,” Tottenham manager Antonio Conte said.

Arsenal are now sensing a first top-four finish since 2015-16 and manager Mikel Arteta praised his side’s ability to win ugly after grinding out the points at West Ham.

Holding headed in Bukayo Saka’s corner to break the deadlock in a tame first half but Jarrod Bowen’s deflected shot levelled it up before the break at the London Stadium.

Gabriel’s diving header earned Arsenal the win though.

“Massive win because we put ourselves in lots of problems with our decisions in possession,” Arteta said.

“But the team showed huge character not to give up and to do the right things. The way we defended it was phenomenal. From my point of view today we won ugly but I’m extremely happy.”

West Ham can no longer finish in the top four but all their focus is now on next week’s Europa League semi-final second leg away to Eintracht Frankfurt, having lost the opener 2-1.

Defender Raphael Varane scored his first Premier League goal as Manchester United returned to winning ways with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Brentford on a night of potential farewells at Old Trafford.

Bruno Fernandes and Cristiano Ronaldo, the latter with a penalty, also netted on Monday, which is the last home fixture of a difficult campaign for United.

Juan Mata and Nemanja Matic were given starts by departing coach Ralf Rangnick in what is likely their final season with the club, while Edinson Cavani, who is also expected to leave, came off the bench.

Leave a Reply