Saturday’s Premier League games saw wins for Liverpool, West Ham and Chelsea. Here is what happened in those potentially crucial Premier League matches:
Hammers beat the Gunners
Arsenal’s chances of clinching a Champions League spot for next season took a blow, as the Gunners suffered a 1-0 defeat at West Ham.
The visitors produced a lacklustre display and chances were in short supply at the London Stadium. The decisive moment came just after the break. Former Arsenal star Samir Nasri teed-up young midfielder Declan Rice, who curled an effort past Bernd Leno from 12 yards out. The goal was the first of the midfielder’s senior career.
Arguably the most significant moment in the game came with 20 minutes left on the clock, as West Ham’s Austrian forward Marko Arnautovic appeared to wave goodbye to the Hammers fans when substituted, with rumours abound that the striker is set for a move to the Chinese Super League in the January transfer window.
The victory moves up to ninth place in the league. Meanwhile, Arsenal are fifth place in the table, six points behind fourth-place Chelsea. The Gunners are now major outsiders to make the Champions League spots this season.
Salah penalty wins defeats Brighton
Liverpool dominated the first half with Roberto Firmino and Xherdan Shaqiri missing good chances. Glenn Murray headed over the bar with the Seagulls only real chance of the opening period.
The only goal of the game arrived five minutes into the second period. Pascal Gross brought down Mohamed Salah in the penalty area and the Egyptian dusted himself down to score with the resulting spot-kick.
Brighton’s best effort of the second half came from a long-range Jurgen Locadia, but Reds goalkeeper Alisson was alive to parry the effort wide. Salah fired wide of goal late on from close-range.
Jurgen Klopp’s team will now be waiting to see if title rivals Manchester City can make up ground at the top of the table. Brighton remain 13th place, three outside the top half of the table.
Blues get the better of Newcastle
Chelsea recorded a tough 2-1 win at Stamford Bridge against Newcastle to consolidate their position in the Premier League’s top four.
Chelsea took just nine minutes to take the lead, as Pedro beat the offside trap and brilliantly controlled a long ball forward by David Luiz before lobbing the ball over the outrushing Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dubravka.
The visitors began to work their way into the game during the latter stages of the second half and got their reward five minutes before the break. Centre-back Ciaran Clark got the better of Luiz to head home from a Matt Ritchie corner kick.
Chelsea missed chances through Pedro and Willian before the latter scored just before the hour mark. Eden Hazard enjoyed a quiet afternoon but had a big hand in the goal running at the Magpies defence and finding the Brazilian, who cut inside and curled an effort past Dubravka.
The victory moves the Blues to within three points of second place Manchester City and one point behind third-place Tottenham, who have both yet to play their gameweek 22 fixtures.
Saturday’s other Premier League results
Burnley 2-1 Fulham
Cardiff 0-0 Huddersfield
Crystal Palace v Watford 1-2 Watford
Leicester 1-2 Southampton
Will Liverpool finish gameweek 22 with a seven-point lead?