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Liverpool close gap while relegation battle gets tighter in Premier League

Xinhua | Updated: 2022-03-14 14:09
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Liverpool's Luis Diaz in action during the Premier League match between Brighton and Liverpool at the American Express Community Stadium, Brighton, Britain, March 12, 2022. [Photo/Agencies]

LONDON - Liverpool closed Manchester City's lead at the top of the Premier League to three points after a comfortable win away to Brighton on Saturday.

The win puts the pressure on City, who play away at Crystal Palace on Monday night.

The impressive Luis Diaz opened the scoring with an 11th minute header and was caught late by Brighton keeper Robert Sanchez for his efforts. The Colombian was able to continue playing, while VAR decided Sanchez's challenge didn't deserve a red card.

Chelsea needed an 89th-minute goal from Kai Havertz to give them a 1-0 win at home to Newcastle United.

Havertz scored after an excellent control from Jorginho's cross, while Newcastle were unlucky not to be given a penalty after Trevoh Chalobah appeared to bring Jacob Murphy down in the area.

Arsenal enjoyed a 2-0 win at home to Leicester City thanks to Thomas Partey's header from a corner in the 11th minute and Alexander Lacazette's penalty just before the hour, after VAR deemed Caglar Soyuncu to have handballed.

Arsenal's win moved them back into fourth ahead of Manchester United, who on Saturday won a thrilling game 3-2 at home to Tottenham thanks to Cristiano Ronaldo's brilliant hat-trick.

The 37-year-old opened the scoring in the 12th minute with a powerful shot as Eric Dier backed off, and after Harry Kane had leveled from the penalty spot, Ronaldo restored United's lead with a close-range finish after good work from Jadon Sancho.

Harry Maguire's own goal leveled the scores again in the 72nd minute, but Ronaldo's 81st minute header sealed United's win.

West Ham maintain their top-four challenge with a 2-1 win at home to Aston Villa to end the visitors' winning run.

Ukrainian striker Andriy Yamolenko brought the house down with his 70th-minute opener, which swerved in off the outside of his boot and Pablo Fornals assured the win in the 82nd minute, before Jacob Ramsey thumped in a consolation for the visitors in the 90th minute.

In the battle against relegation, Brentford will breathe easier as two goals in the last five minutes from striker Ivan Toney saw them past Burnley.

Toney headed Christian Eriksen's cross home with five minutes left and then scored an 94th minute penalty to move them nine points clear of Saturday's rivals.

Leeds United claimed three points as Joe Gelhardt's 94th-minute winner broke Norwich's hearts after Kenny McLean's close-range finish in the 91st minute looked to have canceled out Rodrigo Moreno's 14th minute opener for the home side.

Watford also claimed three vital points thanks to two first-half goals from Cucho Hernandez, who scored in the 14th and 34th minutes of their 2-1 win away to Southampton.

Mohammed Elyounoussi pulled a goal back for Saints on the stroke of halftime, but despite the home side's pressure after the break, Watford held on for the win.

Things went from bad to worse for Everton, however, and Frank Lampard's side are in real danger of relegation after Connor Coady's 49th-minute header condemned them to a 1-0 defeat at home to Wolves.

To make matters worse, Jonjoe Kenny was sent off for two yellow cards in two minutes with 10 minutes left to play, and his side are now level on points with Watford.

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