Sunday’s Premier League games produced wins for Liverpool and Arsenal, in what could be vital in the title race and the battle for the top-four respectively. Here is what happened in Sunday’s action:
Mane and Firmino at the double for the Reds
Liverpool recorded a 4-2 win at Anfield against Burnley in the early kick-off, as Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane scored a brace each.
Burnley took the lead on six minutes in strange circumstances, as Ashley Westwood scored directly from a corner kick. Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson looked to have been impeded by two Clarets players, although the officials waved away appeals from the home team for a foul.
The home side equalised on 19 minutes. Tom Heaton and James Tarkowski failed to clear Mohamed Salah’s cross and Brazilian striker Firmino was on hand for a simple tap-in. Mane fired Jurgen Klopp’s team into the lead ten minutes later, as the Senegalese forward curled an effort beyond Heaton from inside the area after Salah had been dispossessed in the area.
The Merseysider’s scored their third on 69 minutes. Heaton produced a poor clearance straight to the feet of Salah. However, full-back Charlie Taylor tackled the Egyptian, only for the ball to fall to Firmino, who fired into an empty net. Burnley looked to be back in the game in the first minute of stoppage-time, as Johan Berg Gudmundsson finished at the near post. However, the revival was short-lived, as Daniel Sturridge put Mane through on goal and the forward went round Heaton before finding into the net.
The victory moved Liverpool back to within a point of league leaders Manchester City. The Reds are still second favourites to win the league title. Meanwhile, Burnley are now just two points clear of the relegation zone.
Gunners fire against the Red Devils
Arsenal recorded a 2-0 victory over top-six rivals Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium, in what may be a big win in the race for a top-four spot.
The Gunners had three early efforts on goal, but all were off target. It was United who came the closest early on though, as Romelu Lukaku hit the Arsenal bar from a Luke Shaw cross. Arsenal capitalised on the miss by taking the lead on 12 minutes.
Swiss midfielder Granit Xhaka hit a long-range effort that swerved past David De Gea in the visitor’s goal. The Spaniard should have done better with the effort, but it was a rare error from De Gea.
United responded by midfielder Fred clipping the outside of the post with Gunners goalkeeper Bernd Leno at full stretch. The Red Devils also had an excellent chance to equalise on 36 minutes, as Lukaku attempted to round Leno, but the German got a hand to the ball and the striker then fired across the face of the goal and out for a goal kick.
Leno thwarted Lukaku again early in the second half after Marcus Rashford had played the striker in on goal. Arsenal doubled their lead slightly against the run of play on 69 minutes. Fred was rather harshly adjudged to have pushed Alexandre Lacazette over in the penalty area and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang made no mistake with his spot-kick.
Lacazette could have made it three two minutes later, but the French striker dragged his effort wide of goal after pouncing on an error by United centre-back Victor Lindelof. A third goal was not needed though, as the Gunners recorded what could be a crucial win.
The win moved Arsenal above United into fourth place in the Premier League table. The Gunners are now just a point behind third-place arch-rivals Tottenham in the race for Champions League football for next season.
Sunday’s other Premier League result
Chelsea 1-1 Wolves
Are Arsenal now favourites to beat Manchester United to a Champions League spot?