Liverpool regain top spot

Liverpool spent part of Sunday afternoon in second place in the Premier League but ended the day as they started it, at the top of the table.

Manchester City had temporarily replaced them after they beat Crystal Palace 3-1 but, with the pressure back on Jurgen Klopp's team, they beat Chelsea 2-0 at Anfield and, having played a game more than City, are two points ahead of them thanks in part to a superb strike from Mohamed Salah.

Liverpool were the first to go close in the game, Sadio Mane crossing for Salah but his volley was saved by Kepa Arrizabalaga in the Chelsea goal.

Chelsea threatened on 20 minutes when Willian fed Eden Hazard but Joel Matip forced the Belgian out and his shot was comfortably saved by Alisson.

Liverpool were dominating possession and looking the more dangerous although Chelsea were threatening on the break.

However, the home side were pressing as the game meandered towards half-time, Roberto Firmino finding Salah whose pass was met by Sane but his smart shot went wide of the left post.

It was possibly a nervy Anfield with the match goalless at the break, but the home crowd erupted five minutes into the second half, Jordan Henderson getting a cross into the box and slack marking allowed Mane to head home.

Two minutes later Liverpool doubled their lead and this time it was a goal to savour, Salah letting fly from 25 yards out, a swerving shot going into the top corner, a goal worthy of winning any game.

Chelsea did respond to the double blow, going desperately close to getting a goal back shortly afterwards when Hazard found himself through on goal but hit the woodwork;, he got another shot in just a minute later but Alisson made a good save to keep the score 2-0.

However, those alarms aside Liverpool saw the remainder of the game out fairly comfortably to return to the top of the Premier League.

Liverpool are back in action in midweek when they hope to make it through to the semi-finals of the Champions League.

They have a 2-0 lead after the first-leg of their quarter-final against FC Porto and are 21/20 to win the match in Portugal with Porto 11/4 and the draw 9/4.

Liverpool are 7/2 to win the Champions League this year with Manchester City 10/3 and Barcelona 5/2.

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Liverpool back on top

Liverpool regained top spot in the Premier League though they found it far from straightforward at Craven Cottage.

Liverpool won 2-1 at relegation threatened Fulham, being pegged back at 1-1 only for James Milner to convert a late penalty.

Liverpool took the lead on 25 minutes Sadio Mane finding Roberto Firmino who found Mane and he tucked the ball home for his ninth goal in as many games.

Andy Robertson had a chance to extend the visitors lead but half-time came with Liverpool having suffered few alarms.

The Cottagers almost got back into the game midway through the second half, Aleksandar Mitrovic's header being disallowed for offside.

However they were level on 74 minutes courtesy of a defensive mix-up between Liverpool keeper Alisson and Virgil van Dijk, James Milner's attempted clearance putting the two in difficulties, the defender nodding towards his keeper but in the confusion between the pair Ryan Babel was able to take advantage and slot the ball home.

Just as the match entered its last 10 minutes Liverpool were awarded a penalty after Mohamed Salah's shot rebounded to Mane but he was fouled as he tried to get in a shot and the referee pointed to the spot.

Milner was tasked with the responsibility and made no mistake, sending his penalty hard down the middle and giving Liverpool a priceless lead.

They rarely looked like letting Fulham back into the game a second time but there was relief at the final whistle nonetheless.

Milner admitted his part in Fulham's equaliser when speaking to Sky Sports afterwards.

He said: "The gaffer told me to come on and calm it down and the first thing I do is slice it and put Virgil under pressure which wasn't ideal.

"The goal was important to put away. You have to go back to what you practise, be calm and do what you do."

Liverpool, having played a game more, are now two points clear of Manchester City at the top of the Premier League table.

They can enjoy the view from the top for a couple of weeks during the international break and are back in action on 31st March when they play host to Tottenham.

The Reds are 4/7 for the win with Spurs 19/4 and the draw 3/1. Liverpool are 8/1 to win the game 1-0.

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Liverpool frustrated in derby

Liverpool were held to a goalless draw at Goodison Park in the Merseyside derby and have lost their lead at the top of the Premier League.

Mohamed Salah had the best two chances for the visitors but his failure to convert at least one ensured Manchester City were much the happier of the two title rivals following the weekend's games.

Marco Silva made a change upfront for Everton, Bernard replacing Richarlison while Kurt Zouma returned in central defence in place of Phil Jagielka.

For Liverpool Roberto Firmino was back after an ankle problem but only on the bench with Divock Origi deputising while Jordan Henderson replaced James Milner in midfield.

The first half was frantic with both sides playing at speed but chances were few and far between.

However, Liverpool should have scored on the half hour mark when Salah had a good chance, put through by Fabinho but his shot was well saved by Jordan Pickford and Henderson's follow up effort was blocked.

That was the only meaningful chance of a lacklustre first half, lacking in quality from both sides.

The second period continued with lots of effort but few chances, though the home side forced Alisson to make a save, Dominic Calvert-Lewin getting a header in from a corner.

Salah had another chance shortly afterwards, the ball falling for him in the box but Michael Keane made a saving tackle to deny the Liverpool forward once again.

Jurgen Klopp made changes midway through the second half, Milner and Firmino replacing Origi and Georginio Wijnaldum.

However, it was the home side who next threatened to break the deadlock, Richarlison who was effective when introduced, put a great ball in but Bernard couldn't reach it.

Klopp made his final change, Adam Lallana replacing Sadio Mane but they couldn't find the breakthrough and were forced to settle for a point that keeps them second in the table, a point behind Manchester City who also have a superior goal difference.

The result at Goodison also made it three goalless draws in four games for Liverpool who play again in the Premier League next Sunday when they are back at Anfield to host Burnley.

They are 1/7 to win with the Clarets 16/1 and the draw is 13/2.

Liverpool are 11/5 to win the Premier League title at the end of the season with Manchester City 4/11.

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Spurs lose ground in title race

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino conceded that winning the title would be "difficult" after his side lost 2-1 at Burnley.

Harry Kane marked his comeback from injury with a goal but that was sandwiched between two for the home side at Turf Moor, Chris Wood and Ashley Barnes on target for Sean Dyche's side who move further clear of the relegation zone with this victory.

Wood headed the Clarets in front early in the second half, Kane, in his first appearance since 13th January, got Spurs back on level terms, but Burnley regained the lead late on through a Barnes tap-in to secure the three points.

The win moves Burnley up into mid-table, six points clear of the relegation zone. They haven't lost in the league this year going eight games unbeaten after a poor start to the campaign.

Meanwhile Spurs, at the other end of the table, would have moved to within two points of Manchester City and Liverpool with victory at Turf Moor.

As it is they remain five off the pace having played a game more than Liverpool who will regain top spot in the Premier League if they avoid defeat at Manchester United on Sunday.

Pochettino said after the Burnley defeat that mistakes had cost his side. He told Sky Sports: "We made a few mistakes and conceded two goals. There is nothing to say. Congratulations to Burnley. We don't deserve the defeat but that's football.

"I think it's important to understand that it was a game that is important for us. I believe before the game that if you want to be a contender you need three points."

Spurs are back in action in the Premier League on Wednesday night when they travel to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea in a London derby.

They are 11/5 for the win with Maurizio Sarri's side 5/4 and the draw 9/4.

As well as the league Spurs are also still involved in the Champions League, having a 3-0 advantage over Borussia Dortmund after the first-leg of their round of 16 clash.

Spurs are 16/1 to win the Champions League this season with Real Madrid 9/1.

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Mane travels in confidence

Sadio Mane says he is relishing the prospect of taking on Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday and is confident of coming away with three points.

The Reds will go back to the top of the Premier League table if they avoid defeat in the game, however they face a different United from the one they beat at Anfield in December.

Jurgen Klopp's side recorded a comfortable 3-1 victory that day; Jose Mourinho left United shortly afterwards and, under caretaker boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, United haven't been beaten in the league since.

It has been a run of form that has propelled them into the top four in the league, ahead of Chelsea.

Mane recognises that United will be playing with more confidence than the last time the teams met, but he is still aiming to come away from Old Trafford with a win that puts pressure back on Manchester City in the title race.

He told Liverpoolfc.com: "Everybody knows it is a derby and against United it is always tough, but we are confident and think we can do it. We are going to go there and try to do everything to win the game.

"It is different [for United] now. They have made changes, changed the manager and he is doing very well, winning almost every game. They are confident and so are we, so it'll be a tough game and we will see what happens.

"Every single game now for us is very, very big. We know that, so let's focus and take it game by game."

Liverpool are 11/8 to win Sunday's game with United 21/10 and the draw 5/2.

The Reds will have Virgil van Dijk back in defence after he was suspended for the Champions League game against Bayern Munich in midweek.

United meanwhile hope to have both Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial available after injury.

Mane is 2/1 to score at any time in Sunday's game while Liverpool are 9/1 to win 1-0.

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Rashford hails Ole’s help

Striker Marcus Rashford says that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been a "massive help" in his improvement for Manchester United this season.

The 21-year-old was often a peripheral figure during Jose Mourinho's time in charge at Old Trafford.

However, caretaker boss Solskjaer moved Rashford into a central striker's role and has been rewarded with arguably the striker's best form for United so far, scoring six goals in 12 matches.

He says that Solskjaer, a forward himself in his career, scoring 126 goals for United, has been a huge help in rediscovering his best form.

Rashford said: "He has that know-how, the understanding, that's the kind of thing you just pick off naturally off these type of people.

"Even not just out on the pitch, having conversations about it, it all adds up. It's been a big turnaround. As long as we keep improving I don't see why [he shouldn't get the job permanently]."

Rashford is keen to dispel the thought that he is just a central striker, saying that he wants to develop his game generally, adding: "I think nowadays, the time I've been developing, I've never wanted to be just a centre-forward. I want to be able to adapt, play different positions, different systems, I don't want to be just a centre-forward."

Having been undefeated in the Premier League since his arrival back at Old Trafford, Solskjaer faces one of his biggest tests on Sunday when Liverpool are the visitors, needing just a point to go back to the top of the league table.

United are 21/10 to win the game and tighten their grip on a top-four place while Liverpool are 11/8 with the draw 5/2.

Rashford is 13/2 to score the first goal on Sunday while United are 12/1 to win the game 1-0.

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Kane close to return

Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino says that Harry Kane is back in full training and could be involved against Burnley at the weekend.

The England striker has missed his team's last seven matches with ankle ligament damage. However, he has recovered quicker than expected and could even feature at Turf Moor on Saturday.

At a press conference Pochettino said that Kane would be assessed closely over the next couple of days before a decision is made.

He told reporters: "He [Kane] is very good. I think we need to assess him in tomorrow's training session and then decide.

"But I think he's doing well, I'm happy with him and maybe he's going to be available to be part of the squad for Saturday."

Pochettino was also hopeful that Dele Alli would soon be involved with the first team though he couldn't say when Kane's England team-mate would be back.

The Argentine added: "His progression is good, we're happy. This muscle injury is different in how we assess it.

"He's in the last part of his recovery and we'll see as soon as possible if he can be available to be involved with the team."

Spurs are 4/6 to win on Saturday with Burnley 4/1 and the draw 11/4.

With Liverpool not in action until Sunday and Manchester City involved in the EFL Cup final, Spurs have the chance to close the gap on the top two on Saturday.

Burnley meanwhile are on a seven-match unbeaten run but are still too close to the bottom three for comfort, having just a three-point advantage over Southampton who sit in the last relegation place.

Spurs are 20/1 to win the title this year while Burnley are 10/3 to be relegated.

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City hit Chelsea for six

Manchester City moved back to the top of the Premier League table in emphatic fashion, beating Chelsea 6-0 at the Etihad Stadium.

City were 4-0 up before half an hour, exposing the visitors defensive frailties to move back above Liverpool on goal difference.

Chelsea began the game by attempting to press high up the pitch but their tactics were undermined within the first five minutes, City taking the lead.

It was the recalled Kevin De Bruyne who began the move with a quick free kick which found Bernardo Silva and, with the Chelsea defence failing to react, crossed for Raheem Sterling to pounce and turn the ball past Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Sergio Aguero should have scored shortly afterwards but, after being set up by Silva, shot wide with the goal gaping.

However, Aguero and City weren't denied for long and he doubled City's lead on 13 minutes, Oleksandr Zinchenko losing possession but the ball fell to the Argentine who shot into the top corner from about 25 yards out.

All Chelsea's plans were in tatters and City continued to pour forward to test a stretched defence and were rewarded on 19 minutes, Aguero getting a rather more scruffy goal but again Chelsea failed to clear the ball from their own area.

With less than half an hour of the game gone it was 4-0 when Ilkay Gundogan took advantage of a poor clearance from Antonio Rudiger and shot home.

City made it five about 10 minutes into the second half, Aguero completing his hat-trick from the penalty spot. Cesar Azpilicueta was ruled to have brought Sterling down in the area and the striker made no mistake from the spot to compound Chelsea's misery.

City have a heavy fixture list in coming weeks, taking on Newport in the FA Cup, Schalke in the Champions League and Chelsea again in the EFL Cup final and Pep Guardiola made changes with those games in mind.

The game already won he took off Aguero and De Bruyne, replaced by Gabriel Jesus and Riyad Mahrez.

It looked as if City were winding down but Guardiola recently suggested the Premier League title race could come down to goal difference and City scored another before the end to be nine goals ahead of Liverpool, Sterling getting on the end of another excellent moving involving David Silva and Zinchenko.

That completed the scoring and City, having played a game more than Liverpool, are back above them at the top of the Premier League.

City are 8/11 to win the Premier League with Liverpool 6/5.

City are 13/8 to reach the final of the Champions League this season with Liverpool 4/1 and Manchester United 14/1.

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Wilson would improve Chelsea

Bournemouth striker Callum Wilson would make Chelsea a better side, should they secure his signature, according to Dion Dublin.

The 26-year-old Cherries forward has scored nine league goals this season and has been linked with a move to Stamford Bridge in the January transfer window.

Dublin says he's a tougher prospect when compared to the likes of Alvaro Morata, but the pundit has warned Chelsea they'll have to pay a hefty fee in order to see Eddie Howe release the frontman.

Morata has struggled under new boss Maurizio Sarri this season, scoring just five times in the Premier League and has been linked with a return to his native Spain.

Frenchman Olivier Giroud has been vying with Morata for game-time and, so far, Sarri has been unable to find a line-up that pleases him – resulting in Eden Hazard being deployed further forward than had normally been the case.

Wilson, who earned his England debut last year, would improve Chelsea's fortunes if they can attract him to west London, according to former Aston Villa and Manchester United forward Dublin.

"Wilson has all the attributes to make them a better side going forward, he is a more out-and-out forward than what they have at present," he told BBC Sport.

"Morata seems to have a soft underbelly, he likes a tap-in but does not really like to go through the pain barrier to score goals.

"I do like Giroud, he is a very good centre-forward. He does not get the number that people expect but as a centre-forward, and as a team player, I have a lot of admiration for him."

Wilson is 50/1 to finish as the Premier League's leading goalscorer this season, while Harry Kane is 9/4 having scored 14 goals so far and Manchester City's Sergio Aguero is 7/1, with 10 to his name already.

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Klopp says City the best

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has claimed that Manchester City are the best team in the world ahead of the teams meeting in the Premier League on Thursday.

Just two days after his opposite number Pep Guardiola said that Liverpool may be the best in world football at the moment, Klopp has responded by saying that title should be City's.

The teams meet at the Etihad Stadium with Klopp's side seven points ahead, City falling to third in the table after Tottenham's win over Cardiff on New Year's Day.

City will go back second with a draw or victory on Thursday night and Klopp claimed they were his team's main challengers in the race for the title.

He said in a press conference ahead of the game: "It is a normal game against Manchester City but a very difficult one, one of the most difficult you can play in modern football.

"They are a really strong football team with an outstanding manager. Before you play them, you never know.

"We have to be prepared as good as possible, be brave, full of desire and angry again like in all the other games. The opponent is, for me, still the best in the world."

City are 21/20 to win Thursday's game with Liverpool 5/2 and the draw 29/10. City are 10/1 to win the game 1-0.

Guardiola says Thursday's game is a must-win for his side but Klopp disagrees saying, though it's a crucial game, City have the quality to close the gap at the top whatever happens at the Etihad.

Klopp also revealed that James Milner may be fit enough to play against his old side. He missed the recent wins over Newcastle and Arsenal due to a hamstring problem but has resumed training and may come back into the squad.

City are 7/4 to win the Premier League title this season with Liverpool 8/15.

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