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Premier League: Liverpool extend lead at the top, Manchester United win

Big guns Liverpool and Manchester United won their matches in the Premier League on Saturday to keep pressure on their opponents. While Liverpool extended their lead at the top, Man United mounted pressure on fourth-placed Chelsea with a 2-1 victory over Brighton & Hove Albion.

Liverpool recovered from a poor first-half display as they came from behind to beat battling Crystal Palace 4-3 in a thrilling goalfest at Anfield.

The win, secured by late goals from Mo Salah and Sadio Mane, moves Juergen Klopp’s side seven points clear of Manchester City, who face bottom club Huddersfield Town on Sunday.

Palace took a shock 34th minute lead, against the run of play, when Andros Townsend slotted home a fine pull-back from Wilfried Zaha.

Liverpool equalised 47 seconds after the interval when the ball looped high into the area where Salah skilfully converted with the outside of his left foot after Virgil van Dijk’s long-range effort was blocked.

Suddenly Liverpool were buzzing and it was no surprise when Brazilian Roberto Firmino put them ahead, collecting a pass from Naby Keita and beating veteran Palace keeper Julian Speroni with a slightly deflected low shot.

But Palace were not about to roll over and they fought back to level at 2-2 in the 65th when James Tomkins was left unattended to head in a Luka Milivojevic corner.

Speroni, Palace’s 39-year-old third-choice, then gifted Liverpool a goal when his one-handed waft at a harmless-looking James Milner cross fell for Salah to tap in after 75 minutes.

Milner was sent off in the 89th for a second yellow card after a late challenge on Zaha before Mane added the fourth for the hosts with a solo strike in stoppage time.

There was still time for Palace to strike again with Max Meyer beating Alisson Becker with a low shot which the Brazilian keeper would have expected to save.

MAN UNITED WIN 2-1

Manchester United stretched their perfect run under caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to seven wins from as many games in all competitions with a 2-1 home defeat of Brighton & Hove Albion.

The result provisionally lifted United one place up to fifth on 44 points from 23 games, three more than sixth-placed Arsenal who were playing fourth-placed Chelsea in the 1730 GMT fixture.

United stormed into a two-goal lead through Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford in the first half but faded in the second and served up a nervy finish to their fans after Pascal Gross pulled one back for battling Brighton.

Pogba opened the scoring with a 27th-minute penalty and Rashford made it 2-0 in the 42nd with a superb individual goal, beating his marker with dazzling footwork before hitting the top corner from a tight angle on his 150th appearance for United.

Gross reduced the arrears out of the blue in the 72nd minute, drilling in a close-range shot off the underside of the bar after Davy Propper floated in an inch-perfect cross with the outside of his foot.

United, who missed several chances to increase their lead in the opening hour, were forced to hang on in the closing stages as the visitors pounded a flurry of crosses into the penalty area.

NEWCASTLE BEAT CARDIFF

Newcastle United moved out of the relegation zone and dropped Cardiff City into it as an unlikely double by Fabian Schar earned them a crucial 3-0 victory at St James’ Park.

An afternoon that began with unpopular club owner Mike Ashley being booed by disgruntled home fans ended on a brighter note as Rafa Benitez’s side took maximum points at home for only the third time this season.

After five games without a league win the visit of Cardiff had the feel of a key relegation battle and Schar’s 24th-minute opener eased the tension around the ground.

Finding himself in an advanced position the Swiss international centre back drove in from near the touchline and curled a superb shot past Cardiff keeper Neil Etheridge.

It was Schar’s first goal for Newcastle since joining from Spanish club Deportivo La Coruna and having got the taste for it he doubled his side’s lead when bundling the ball into the net from a Matt Ritchie corner just past the hour mark.

Cardiff offered little in response apart from the odd flurry and Schar was not far away from claiming a hat-trick when he headed off target from another Ritchie corner.

Ayoze Perez added some late gloss, tapping in Newcastle’s third in stoppage time from Salomon Rondon’s cross.

Newcastle climbed to 17th with 21 points, one place above the drop zone while Cardiff are in 18th spot, with 19 points.

BURNLEY-WATFORD DRAW

Lowly Burnley made it four games unbeaten in the Premier League with a 0-0 draw at seventh-placed Watford.

But the Clarets were left frustrated after a stoppage-time effort by striker Chris Wood was deemed narrowly offside.

Watford came out of the blocks strongest and Gerard Deulofeu twice went closely early on, with one effort superbly saved by Tom Heaton before James Tarkowski cleared a shot off the line.

Burnley had several chances to win but Ashley Barnes and Dwight McNeil missed great opportunities for Sean Dyche’s side, who had won their last three games.

SOUTHAMPTON STUN EVERTON

Southampton earned a crucial 2-1 win over Everton at St Mary’s on Saturday but had to endure a nervy finish as they boosted their battle against relegation under galvanising new manager Ralph Hasenhuettl.

James Ward-Prowse scored a superb individual goal just after the break before a Lucas Digne own goal looked to have comfortably sealed a deserved win for the Saints in the 64th minute.

Yet a goal at the start of stoppage time from Gylfi Sigurdsson gave the home fans a nervous finish as eight minutes was added on, much to Hasenhuettl’s consternation, while Everton pushed for the equaliser.

The win pushed Southampton into 15th place on 22 points, three clear of the relegation zone, as they won only their second home match of the season — both coming under their new Austrian boss’ stewardship.

Southampton deserved the win after dominating the first half and twice striking the woodwork — first, as Nathan Redmond hit the post and then as Andre Gomes hit his own side’s upright while trying to defend another attack from Danny Ings.

Saints got the reward for their enterprise when Ward-Prowse was given too much freedom to maraud towards the Everton goal and smashed a 50th-minute shot past goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.

The hapless Digne then toe-poked the ball past Pickford while desperately trying to quell an attack from the ever-dangerous Redmond in the 64th minute before Everton’s late attacks came to nothing.

WILSON WONDER VOLLEY IN BOURNEMOUTH’S WIN

Bournemouth’s Callum Wilson smashed home a wonderful second-half volley and his strike partner Joshua King added a second to give their side a much-needed 2-0 home win over West Ham United.

With Bournemouth desperate to secure their first league victory in almost a month, Artur Boruc started in goal ahead of Asmir Begovic while West Ham left unsettled striker Marko Arnautovic, who has been linked with a big-money move to China, out of their squad.

Both sides struggled to hit the target in the first half, but West Ham’s Lukasz Fabianski made two superb saves early in the second and moments later striker Andy Carroll, in for Arnautovic, blazed over from close range as the game opened up.

Wilson gave the home side the lead with a thunderous volley in the 54th minute, catching the ball perfectly and leaving Fabianski rooted to the spot as it flew into the top right-hand corner for his 10th league goal of the season.

With West Ham attacking and Bournemouth content to play on the counter, Wilson almost got a second in the 71st minute but this time his first-time shot came off the foot of the far post and rolled to safety.

The visitors continued to leave space at the back as they desperately chased an equaliser, and King was able to slot the ball into an empty net after a superb counter-attack to secure all three points for Bournemouth.

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