Saturday’s Premier League games produced some potentially vital results in the race for the top-four and also the title race. Here is what happened in those crucial clashes:
Nine-man Spurs suffer late defeat at Bournemouth
Tottenham’s chances of securing a top-four spot this season suffered a blow, as the team from north London suffered a late 1-0 defeat at Bournemouth after seeing both Juan Forth and Heung-Min Son dismissed at the Vitality Stadium.
Tottenham dominated the early proceedings and young Cherries debutant goalkeeper Mark Travers produced a string of brilliant saves to deny the visitors the opening goal. The 19-year-old pulled off acrobatic saves from Dele Alli and Lucas Moura.
The youngsters then kept out a close-range headed effort from Alli, before saving another Moura, this time with his feet. However, the game swung Spurs way just a few minutes before the break, as Son saw red for pushing Jefferson Lerma.
Things got even worse on 48 minutes for the visitors. Half-time substitute Forth overran the ball and then produced a tackle with his foot high on the Cherries Simpson. Despite the man advantage, Eddie Howe’s side struggled to properly test the visitors, until they scored the winning goal in stoppage-time. Centre-back Nathan Ake headed home from Ryan Fraser’s corner kick to break the home sides resistance.
The victory did very little for the Cherries in terms of league position. Tottenham remain third-place in the table, two points ahead of Chelsea and four ahead of Arsenal in fourth and fifth place respectively.
Spurs are still one of the favourites to seal a Champions League spot, despite having what now seems to be a tough final league game of the campaign against Everton on Sunday.
Late goal seals Liverpool victory at Newcastle
Liverpool took the lead on 13 minutes. Virgil van Dijk took advantage of a Jamaal Lascelles slip to head home from close-range. However, within seven minutes Newcastle were level.
Matt Ritchie found striker Salomon Rondon in the area and the striker’s effort was kept out by the arm of Reds full-back Trent Alexander-Arnold. However, fortunately for the youngster, Christian Atsu fired home the rebound. Alexander-Arnold was lucky to stay on the pitch.
The visitors restored the lead on 28 minutes. Ironically, Alexander-Arnold played an integral part in the goal digging out a cross to find Mohamed Salah, who produced a superb controlled effort past Martin Dubravka in the home goal. A lively opening to the second period saw the home side equalise on 54 minutes. Rondon, who had earlier in the half saw an effort saved by Alisson, then smashed a powerful effort past the Brazilian and low into the bottom corner of the net.
Liverpool experienced a big injury midway through the second period, as Salah collided with the hip of home goalkeeper Dubravka. The Egyptian received treatment on the pitch for a few minutes before leaving the pitch on a stretcher. The visitor’s title challenge looked set to take a potentially fatal blow. However, Jurgen Klopp’s side showed a typical determination to not to let their challenge end yet. Substitute Divock Origi got the better of Lascelles to head home and send the visitors fans in delirium.
Despite eight minutes of stoppage-time due to Salah’s injury, the Reds held on to move two points clear of reigning champions Manchester City at the top of the table. The Citizens now have to beat Leicester on Monday to return to the top of the table.
Saturday’s other Premier League results
West Ham 3-0 Southampton
Wolves 1-0 Fulham
Cardiff 2-3 Crystal Palace
Can Liverpool still win the Premier League title?