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Football Liverpool close on Man City, Chelsea beat Burnley

Premier League - Burnley vs Chelsea
Soccer Football – Premier League – Burnley v Chelsea – Turf Moor, Burnley, Britain – March 5, 2022 Chelsea’s Christian Pulisic celebrates scoring their fourth goal with team-mates Action Images via Reuters/Molly Darlington

March 5, 2022

By Simon Evans and Martyn Herman

BURNLEY, England (Reuters) – Liverpool rode their luck in a 1-0 win over West Ham United in the Premier League on Saturday to heat up leaders Manchester City, who face a derby showdown on Sunday.

Sadio Mane’s 12th league goal of the season, hidden midway through the first half, was just enough to secure victory as Liverpool reduced City’s lead to three points at the top, with both teams still having 11 games to play .

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, asked if he would have a keen interest in City’s game against fourth-placed Manchester United at the Etihad on Sunday, said: “Obviously we are interested but we have no control over it.

“We have to win the games we play. We don’t control the ones we don’t play in. We don’t think about it or talk about it, we’re just trying to win our games.”

Earlier, Chelsea had put their ownership woes aside to solidify their grip on third place with a 4-0 win at Burnley.

Leeds United continued to struggle with a 1-0 defeat at Leicester City under new manager Jesse Marsch, but Newcastle United continued their resurgence with a 2-1 home win over Brighton & Hove Albion to move further out of trouble .

Ryan Fraser and Fabian Schar scored within two minutes for Eddie Howe’s Newcastle side, who then dug deep to extend their unbeaten run to eight games after Lewis Dunk struck for Brighton in the 55th minute.

Brentford dealt a hammer blow to bottom Norwich City’s hopes of escaping the drop zone and allayed their own fears when Ivan Toney scored a hat-trick in a 3-1 win at Carrow Road.

Aston Villa’s Brazilian midfielder Philippe Coutinho scored a goal and another in the 4-0 win over Southampton, while Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha opened the scoring and took a penalty in the 2-0 win at Wolverhampton Wanderers.

HARD DESERVED WIN

Liverpool’s seventh consecutive league win and 12th in all competitions was hard-earned.

Mane poked Trent Alexander-Arnold’s volleyed cross after 27 minutes and the hosts had plenty of chances to gain some breathing room.

But West Ham, who remain fifth, squandered Goldrand chances when Pablo Fornals botched an attempted lob after it was played through, Manuel Lanzini clipped over the bar and Michail Antonio failed to convert a clear chance.

“In the end it was open, we needed a bit of luck, but without a bit of luck you can’t win as many games in a row as we did, you can’t do that by just winning when you fly,” Klopp said.

Chelsea, whose Russian owner Roman Abramovich put the club up for sale this week after sanctions were called for against him following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, scored four goals after the break at Turf Moor.

Burnley wasted a number of first-half chances but fell to pieces after Reece James opened the scoring in the 47th minute.

German striker Kai Havertz headed home a Christian Pulisic cross and then converted a James cross into his second before American Pulisic scored.

“It shows the lads have what it takes to play for Chelsea, it obviously shows (they have) the environment to focus on football because we think we’re allowed to focus on football as much as we can.” , said manager Thomas Tuchel.

Chelsea are third on 53 points, 13 behind Manchester City, while third from bottom Burnley remain on 21, a point behind Everton in the safety zone but playing two more games.

Basement team Norwich have 17 points after a bitterly disappointing defeat by Brentford. Watford, who host sixth-placed Arsenal on Sunday, has 19 points.

Leeds, who sacked Marcelo Bielsa last week, suffered a fifth straight defeat as Harvey Barnes won the game for Leicester. They are 16th, two points above the relegation zone but have played more games than any team below them except Norwich.

(Reporting by Simon Evans and Martyn Herman; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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