Sunday’s games in gameweek 17 of the Premier League produced crucial wins for Liverpool, Chelsea and Southampton. Here is what happened in those big Sunday games:
Xherdan Shaqiri brace beats United
Liverpool recorded a 3-1 win over north west neighbours Manchester United to return to the top of the table, as Swiss star Xherdan Shaqiri came off the bench to score a brace.
Liverpool took 24 minutes to take the lead, as Sadio Mane controlled a superb through ball from Fabinho in the area and fired past David De Gea. The visitors were back on level terms on 33 minutes, though.
Romelu Lukaku fired in what looked like a tame cross only for Reds goalkeeper Alisson to spill the ball, with Jesse Lingard on hand to score from close-range.
Liverpool struggled to break United’s resolute resistance until the introduction off the bench of Switzerland international Xherdan Shaqiri on 70 minutes. The former Stoke star took just three minutes to make a big impact.
Shaqiri powerful shot from 12 yards took a massive deflection off Ashley Young and went in via the crossbar. The Swiss star sealed the victory with ten minutes left on the clock, as this time an effort from 20 yards deflected past De Gea.
The victory moved Liverpool back to the top of the table, a point clear of reigning champions Manchester City. The Reds remain underdogs for the title, but belief is growing at Anfield that they may just end that elusive wait for a title victory this season. The defeat leaves the Red Devils a massive 11 points behind fourth-place.
Austin grabs a late winner to end Arsenal’s unbeaten run
Southampton marked new boss Ralph Hasenhuttl’s first home game in charge by recording a 3-2 victory over under-strength Arsenal at St Marys.
The home side took the lead on 20 minutes, as Danny Ings headed home from ten yards out after a pinpoint cross from full-back Matt Targett. However, the visitors were back on level terms on 28 minutes, as Henrikh Mkhitaryan guided home a left-wing cross from Nacho Monreal.
The Saints regained the lead just before half-time, as Ings scored a superb looping header from a Nathan Redmond cross. Arsenal once again levelled things up on 53 minutes, as Mkhitaryan effort from the edge of the Saints box deflected in off Jannik Vestergaard.
The home side’s winner arrived with just five minutes left on the clock. Lively substitute Shane Long found himself in space on the right and floated a cross towards Charlie Austin.
Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno rushed out, misjudged the flight of the ball, and allowed Austin a simple headed finish into an empty net.
The victory moves the Saints up to 17th place, but only above 18th place Burnley on goal difference. However, it seems things could be on the up for the Saints under their new boss. The defeat meant the end of a 22-match unbeaten run in all competitions for the Gunners, who are now three points behind fourth-place Chelsea.
Chelsea record narrow win at Brighton
Chelsea maintained enhanced their position in the top four with a 2-1 victory at Brighton, with Eden Hazard one of the stars of the show.
Hazard created the opening goal on 17 minutes finding Pedro with a superb ball across the face of the area and Spaniard made no mistake at the far post. The Belgian scored the second goal himself on 33 minutes, receiving the ball from Willian before wrong-footing Mat Ryan.
The Seagulls looked to be back in the game on 66 minutes, as Solly March scored from a nod down. However, that was as good as it got for Chris Hughton’s side and the Blues return to the capital with maximum points.
The victory means Chelsea move three points clear of Arsenal in the race for fourth spot. Meanwhile, Brighton remain 13th place in the table.
Should Liverpool still be underdogs for the Premier League title?