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Sunday, July 14, 2024

Liverpool fight back against Arsenal to keep Premier League title race alive

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London: The race for the Premier League title got closer on Sunday as league leaders Arsenal surrendered a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 away to Liverpool.

The draw reduced Arsenal’s lead at the top of the table to six points over Manchester City, who have nine games left to play, while Arsenal have eight.

After half an hour, Arsenal looked to be cruising to end a wait of over 10 years for a win at Anfield at halftime when they led through goals from Gabriel Martinelli and Gabriel Jesus, but Mohamed Salah pulled a goal back for Liverpool in the 42nd minute.

Salah then missed a penalty, but Roberto Firmino’s 87th-minute penalty saved a point for Liverpool and further opened up the title race.

Erling Haaland returned to fitness with two goals as Manchester City kept up their challenge with a 4-1 win away to bottom-of-the-table Southampton on Saturday evening.

Jack Grealish and a penalty from Julian Alvarez sealed the win, while Sekou Mara scored a consolation goal for the home side.

The battle for third and fourth remains intense with Manchester United, Newcastle United and Tottenham all winning, with Newcastle coming behind from Ivan Toney’s penalty in first half injury time to win 2-1 away to Brentford.

David Raya’s own goal and a smart finish from Alexander Isak saw Newcastle turn the game around in an excellent second half.

Scott MacTominay and Anthony Martial both scored in Manchester United’s routine win at home to Everton, which also saw Christian Eriksen return after injury, although Marcus Rashford limped off with an apparent groin injury in the 80th minute.

Son Hueng-Min scored his 100th goal for Tottenham and Harry Kane scored in a controversial 2-1 win for Tottenham against Brighton. Lewis Dunk scored for the visitors, who were angered after three VAR calls all went against them, with coach Roberto Di Zerbi was sent off after protests from the Brighton dugout.

Aston Villa moved up to sixth after goals from Leon Bailey and Ollie Watkins gave them a 2-0 win at home to Nottingham Forest, whose coach Steve Cooper is in danger of the sack as his team slip into the bottom three.

Frank Lampard’s return to Chelsea failed to spark a reaction after Matheus Nunes’ first half volley gave Wolverhampton three vital points.

Crystal Palace also took three big points, which lift them clear of the danger zone after an incredible 5-1 win away to Leeds United, which gave them two wins from two games since Roy Hodgson returned to replace Patrick Viera as coach.

Leeds were the better side in the first half and deservedly opened the scoring through Patrick Bamford’s header only for Marc Guehi to level in first half injury time.

Leeds then fell apart in the second half after Jonathan Ayew and Eberechi Eze scored goals in the 53rd and 55th minutes. Odsonne Edouard and a second goal from Ayew ended the game, which leaves Palace six points clear of the bottom three.

West Ham also claimed an important win as Harrison Reed’s own goal gave them a vital 1-0 win away to Fulham, but managerless Leicester City slip deeper into trouble after losing 1-0 at home to Bournemouth, who escape the bottom three thanks to Phillip Billing’s 40th minute goal.

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