Liverpool wake up in time to log full points
Liverpool had to dig deep for a 3-1 victory against lowly Norwich City with goals by Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Luis Diaz securing the points after the visitors had threatened to pull off a massive shock at Anfield on Saturday.
In the end it looked relatively comfortable for Juergen Klopp’s side.
But when Milot Rashica’s shot deflected off Joel Matip to give Norwich the lead just after the break, Liverpool’s hopes of putting some pressure on City looked in peril.
They were eventually rewarded for their intense pressure when Mane’s overhead kick levelled it up in the 64th minute and less than three minutes later Salah made it 2-1 after latching on to a long clearance by keeper Alisson.
Diaz calmed Liverpool’s nerves with a delightful finish in the 81st minute, finally flooring a courageous Norwich side.
Liverpool’s fifth successive league win put them on 57 points from 25 games. For all their effort, defeat put Norwich back at the bottom of the table after wins for Burnley and Watford.
Dean Smith’s side have 17 points, five behind 17th-placed Newcastle United who have played a game less.
Chelsea snatched a 1-0 win at Crystal Palace courtesy of an 89th-minute strike by Moroccan winger Hakim Ziyech as the newly crowned world champions returned to winning ways in the league after nearly a month’s absence.
Ziyech kept his eye on a looping cross by substitute Marcos Alonso and calmly side-footed in the volley at the far post to give Chelsea the win that they had looked unlikely to claim for much of the match.
Palace limited the visitors to only a handful of opportunities including a 35-yard pile-driver shot by centre-half Antonio Rudiger in the 11th minute that Vicente Guaita palmed away acrobatically.
The hosts had their own chances with Wilfried Zaha and Michael Olise coming close to breaking the deadlock as Palace sought to catch the visitors on the counter-attack.
Chelsea have struggled to get the best out of record signing Romelu Lukaku and he mostly cut a lonely figure once again.
Second-half goals from Emile Smith-Rowe and Bukayo Saka helped Arsenal secure a 2-1 win over Brentford and keep pace in the top four race.
West Ham United’s top-four hopes suffered a further blow as they were held to a 1-1 draw at home by a resurgent Newcastle United.
Craig Dawson put West Ham in front in the 32nd minute, heading home a free kick from Aaron Cresswell.
But Newcastle pulled themselves level in added time of the first half with a classy finish from Joe Willock, which flummoxed West Ham goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski and bobbled over the line, the goal given by goalline technology after the ball was scrambled away.