Premier League: Liverpool breathe down Manchester City neck
Brazilian Fabinho’s first-half goal earned Liverpool a 1-0 win at Burnley on Saturday, as Juergen Klopp’s side closed the gap on Premier League leaders Manchester City to nine points.
The hosts initially coped better with the awful Lancashire conditions, creating more chances than Liverpool, only for their wastefulness to prove costly as midfielder Fabinho bundled in what proved to be the winner five minutes before the break.
Chasing a goal that would have earned Burnley their fourth successive draw, they pumped plenty of long balls forward and crosses into the box in the second half, but failed to create a clearcut chance.
Liverpool, known as Reds to the fans, dug in defensively, with goalkeeper Alisson standing firm when called upon, to see out a sixth successive win in all competitions.
Victory moved Liverpool on to 54 points from 24 matches and if they win their game in hand on City the gap at the top would be just six points.
Burnley will see this as a missed opportunity and remain rooted to the bottom of the table, seven points from safety.
Tottenham Hotspur sank to a third successive league defeat as first-half goals by Raul Jimenez and Leander Dendoncker gave Wolverhampton Wanderers a 2-0 away win.
After losing 3-2 at home to Southampton in midweek, Tottenham desperately needed a response to boost their top-four ambitions, but defensive errors cost them dear.
Jimenez volleyed in after six minutes following a mistake by Tottenham keeper Hugo Lloris and the Frenchman hardly covered himself in glory when Dendoncker doubled Wolves’ lead 12 minutes later. Lloris redeemed himself a little to prevent Wolves adding to their advantage before the break. Tottenham improved in the second half but the closest they came was a deflected Harry Winks shot against the post.
Newcastle United’s Kieran Trippier scored for the second successive game as Eddie Howe’s side earned a 1-0 win over Aston Villa at home.
The win moved 17th-placed Newcastle four points clear of the relegation zone, with 21 points from 23 games. Villa are six points ahead in 11th. Newcastle had a penalty overturned by VAR in the 33rd minute when a Calum Chambers foul on Joe Willock was deemed to have taken placed outside the box, but Trippier blasted the resultant free-kick through the Villa wall to give the hosts a deserved lead.
Villa showed more adventure after the interval and Ollie Watkins had the ball in the net with a reaction header just after the hour-mark, only for the goal to be disallowed for offside following another VAR check.
On Saturday, Manchester City’s relentless pursuit of the title continued with a thumping 4-0 win at Norwich City.
Raheem Sterling scored a hat-trick with Phil Foden also on target. Sterling had failed to score in his last five appearances for City but curled home a fine finish to break Norwich’s resistance after 31 minutes at Carrow Road.
When Foden bundled in City’s second in the 48th minute the result was a formality but Sterling provided some gloss with a header and then converted a rebound after his penalty had been kept out by home keeper Angus Gunn. City have now won 14 of their last 15 Premier League games, drawing the other.