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EPL: Liverpool back to winning ways; Arsenal extend unbeaten run

Last updated on: March 08, 2020 00:11 IST
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Images from the EPL matches played on Saturday

Liverpool

IMAGE: Liverpool's James Milner celebrates after the match Liverpool's James Milner celebrates after the match. Photograph: Phil Noble/Reuters

Runaway Premier League leaders Liverpool resumed normal service with an unconvincing 2-1 win over relegation-threatened Bournemouth on Saturday after recovering from an early jolt at Anfield.

 

Goals in quick succession by Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane before halftime calmed the jitters after Callum Wilson had given Bournemouth a surprise ninth-minute lead.

It was far from vintage Liverpool, however, and they struggled to finish off a Bournemouth side who could have grabbed late equaliser through Wilson.

After Liverpool’s 44-match unbeaten league run ended in shocking fashion at Watford last week, victory restored their 25-point lead over Manchester City who have two games in hand.

Wilson stunned the hosts when he tapped home from close range, although it appeared he had fouled Liverpool defender Joe Gomez in the build-up.

Nathan Ake went close to making it 2-0 with a header but Bournemouth gifted Liverpool an equaliser when Jack Simpson’s poor touch gave the ball to Mane who picked out Salah to score his 70th Premier League goal on his 100th league appearance.

Eight minutes later Virgil van Dijk took advantage of more careless Bournemouth passing and played in Mane who ran through unopposed to slot home.

Lacazette strike extends Arsenal's unbeaten run

Arsenal

IMAGE: Arsenal's Alexandre Lacazette celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates. Photograph: John Sibley/Reuters

A goal from substitute Alexandre Lacazette earned Arsenal a hard-fought 1-0 win over a wasteful West Ham United side at the Emirates, extending the Gunners’ unbeaten Premier League run to eight matches.

Both sides struck the woodwork in the first half, but the visitors had the better chances and goalkeeper Bernd Leno came to Arsenal’s rescue with an excellent save from Michail Antonio after the break.

Mikel Arteta’s side found the breakthrough when Lacazette fired home from a Mesut Ozil knock-down, although the Frenchman’s celebrations were delayed after the goal was initially ruled out for offside before a VAR review overturned the decision.

The result moved Arsenal ahead of Burnley into ninth place, level on 40 points with eighth-placed north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur. West Ham remained 16th on 27 points, outside the relegation zone only on goal difference.

Sheffield United go sixth with 1-0 win over Norwich

Sheffield United

IMAGE: Sheffield United's Billy Sharp scores their first goal. Photograph: Dylan Martinez/Reuters

A bullet header from Billy Sharp gave Sheffield United a 1-0 win over bottom side Norwich City to lift the Blades to sixth place in the Premier League table and move them closer to their dream of European football next season.

With Manchester City facing a possible European ban over breaches of financial fair play rules, Sheffield United have their sights set on a top-six finish, a feat they haven’t managed since the 1974-75 season.

The hosts took the lead in the 36th minute when John Lundstram crossed for an unmarked Sharp to plant a firm header past Tim Krul, and they could have had a couple more before the break as Norwich struggled to match their intensity.

Norwich bolstered their attacking options at the break by sending on Josip Drmic to partner Teemo Pukki, and Drmic came close to scoring when his shot deflected off David McGoldrick and bounced off the crossbar in the 75th minute.

The visitors continued to throw everything forward in an effort to find an equaliser, but United keeper Dean Henderson pulled off a string of fine saves, prompting the home fans to chant for him to be made “England’s number one”.

The win lifts Sheffield United above Manchester United, who face Manchester City on Sunday, with 43 points from 28 games, while Norwich remain bottom on 21 points from 29 games.

Palace move up to 10th with 1-0 win over Watford

Crystal Palace

IMAGE: Crystal Palace's Jordan Ayew scores. Photograph: Andrew Couldridge/Reuters

Crystal Palace extended their winning run in the Premier League and moved into the top half of the standings with a 1-0 win over Watford, thanks to a first-half goal from Jordan Ayew at Selhurst Park on Saturday.

It was Palace’s third consecutive league win after a winless seven-game run and it moved Roy Hodgson’s side up to 10th in the standings.

Ayew gave Palace the lead with their first shot on goal when James McArthur created an opportunity for him to take a shot from the edge of the box, beating the outstretched arm of Ben Foster in Watford’s goal.

At the other end, Vicente Guaita denied Watford twice in the space of three minutes in the second half, first tipping a stinging long-range effort from Troy Deeney over the bar before keeping out Abdoulaye Doucoure’s looping header.

Christian Benteke also came close as he attempted one of his trademark bicycle kicks, but despite making good contact with the ball he could only find the side netting.

Watford came close in the dying stages when they won a corner in stoppage time but Palace were able to hold firm to leave the visitors in 17th place in the standings.

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