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Liverpool bounce back, Arsenal close gap on top 4

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London: Liverpool moved to within nine points of claiming the Premier League title by coming from behind to beat Bournemouth 2-1 as Tottenham and Wolves missed the chance to put pressure on Chelsea for a top-four finish.


Sheffield United were the big winners in the race for a place in the Champions League next season with a 1-0 win over Norwich to move up to sixth, while Arsenal moved to within five points of the top four by beating West Ham 1-0.


Liverpool had suffered three defeats in four games in all competitions, including their first in the Premier League for 45 matches at Watford last weekend.


Callum Wilson’s controversial early opener threatened another major upset. But all of Liverpool’s setbacks of late have come away from Anfield and they set an English top-flight record for 22 consecutive home league wins as two quickfire goals from Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane turned the game around.


The runaway league leaders still needed a miraculous goal-line clearance from James Milner to deny Ryan Fraser an equaliser, but defeat keeps Bournemouth marooned in the bottom three.


“There’s nothing good in losing football games but it makes you aware of how special it is to win football games. That’s what we had in the last 10 days or two weeks when we lost games,” said Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp.


“I was absolutely happy about the result, the three points and the performance because I knew it would be tricky for different reasons.”


Mesut Ozil was originally flagged offside as he latched onto Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s deflected shot and headed down for Lacazette to sweep home.


But the goal was finally given after a delay of several minutes to move Arsenal to within five points of the top four.


Spurs halted a run of four straight defeats in all competitions with a 1-1 draw at Burnley to stay a point ahead of their north London rivals.


Wolves missed the chance to move into the top four as a disappointing 0-0 draw at home to Brighton left them still two points adrift of Chelsea in fifth.


Sheffield United moved above Manchester United and Tottenham to further their dreams of Champions League football next season thanks to captain Billy Sharp’s winner to beat bottom-of-the-table Norwich 1-0.


Roy Hodgson celebrated his new contract as Crystal Palace boss with a 1-0 win over Watford as the Eagles moved into the top half of the table.


Newcastle also secured the win that should guarantee their survival courtesy of Allan Saint-Maximin’s strike to beat 10-man Southampton 1-0. — AFP


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