Reds stretch lead as Man City, Chelsea stumble

London: Liverpool extended their lead at the top of the Premier League to 11 points with a nervy 2-1 win over Brighton as Manchester City slipped up once more in a draw at Newcastle on Saturday.
Chelsea missed the chance to go level on points with second-placed City as Frank Lampard’s men suffered a shock 1-0 home defeat by West Ham, while Tottenham’s winning run under Jose Mourinho continued as Dele Alli scored twice in a 3-2 win over Bournemouth. Virgil van Dijk is hoping to beat Lionel Messi to the Ballon d’Or on Monday and showed he can score goals as well as stop them with two towering headers from Trent Alexander-Arnold set-piece deliveries to put Liverpool 2-0 up inside 25 minutes. However, goalkeeper Alisson Becker was sent off 14 minutes from time for handling outside his area and Brighton reduced the deficit from the resulting free-kick through captain Lewis Dunk. But the 10 men held out for another vital three points to edge closer to a first league title in 30 years. While Liverpool have made a habit of winning games when not at their best, not for the first time this season, City let points slip away to further dent their title chances after a 2-2 draw. Twice Pep Guardiola’s men led at St James’ Park through Raheem Sterling and a brilliant Kevin De Bruyne strike eight minutes from time. But Newcastle responded quickly on both occasions as Jetro Willems cancelled out Sterling’s strike before Jonjo Shelvey swept home a well-worked free-kick two minutes from time.
“We do the same work we have done over the last few seasons. We tried to score more goals,” said Guardiola, whose side failed to capitalise on nearly 80 percent of possession. City’s slip-up gave Chelsea the chance to go level on points with the champions and Leicester. (AFP)

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