Reds reduce City’s lead to three points

Sadio Mane

Liverpool (9/4 Premier League 2021-22 Outright) kept the pressure on Manchester City at the top of the Premier League table as they battled to a 1-0 win over West Ham in Saturday’s late game.

The Citizens host derby rivals Manchester United on Sunday (Match Betting – City 2/5, Draw 4/1, United 15/2) having seen their lead at the top of the standings reduced to three points after Sadio Mane’s first half strike made the difference at Anfield.

Both Manuel Lanzini and Pablo Fornals spurned fine opportunities for the Hammers but the Reds held on for their 12th successive win in all competitions and their 600th in the Premier League.

With Champions League action next up in midweek, defender Andy Robertson urged his side to maintain their relentless progress.

“It was never going to be easy but once we got the goal it was important to keep the clean sheet,” he told Sky Sports. “Now we need more. We need to keep going.

“We have a huge game against Inter Milan on Tuesday, but I’m sure the game [Manchester derby] is going to be on on the background.”

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Earlier in the day, Leeds produced an improved display as they lost 1-0 at Leicester, in new boss Jesse Marsch’s first game in charge.

The Whites arguably had the better chances but Harvey Barnes again proved a thorn in their side, netting for the fourth straight meeting between the pair to steal the spoils.

Saturday’s lunchtime result sealed a fifth Premier League defeat in a row for Leeds but the American coach says he was pleased with what he saw as he now turns his attention to Thursday’s visit of Aston Villa (Match Result – Leeds 9/5, Draw 13/5, Aston Villa 6/4).

“I’m not saying we were the better team but in general I am very pleased,” he is quoted as saying by the club’s official website.

“After four days and where we have changed a lot of tactical topics and changed a lot of what we are trying to accomplish, there was such clarity and we were able to put that into practice.

“For the most part, the basics were quite good, and for me if we had found the first goal it’s a different type of match.”

Elsewhere and the aforementioned Villa grabbed a second straight victory as they ended Southampton’s recent run with a 4-0 home win against the Saints.

Chelsea were also 4-0 winners, Kai Havertz scoring twice in their victory at Burnley, while Crystal Palace sealed an impressive 2-0 win at Wolves.

However, arguably the two biggest results of the day came at the bottom end of the Premier League.

Christian Eriksen made his first start for Brentford, completing the full 90 minutes as Ivan Toney inspired the Bees to a first league victory since January 2 as his hat-trick gave them a 3-1 win at bottom club Norwich.

Meanwhile, there was a fifth win in six games for Newcastle as they triumphed 2-1 over Brighton.

The result means the Magpies are now seven points above the relegation places but boss Eddie Howe insists they still have plenty of work to do before they can consider themselves safe.

“In terms of result, it’s absolutely fantastic for us,” he told the BBC. “We said pre-game nothing has changed and that we are still in a relegation fight. We still are.

“We have got a lot of work to do to be where we want to be. I am very realistic and I know how quickly football can change.”

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