Reds claim Premier League top spot after Manchester City Leapfrog Liverpool


Manchester City kept their cool under pressure on Saturday, with Liverpool briefly replacing the Premier League leaders at the top of the table with a 2-0 win over Burnley.

Elsewhere, Christian Eriks scored as Brentford came on and beat third-placed Chelsea 4-1 – their first win since 1939 against their London rivals.

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Jurgen Klopp’s men, who trailed City by 14 points in January, took the pole position as Diego Jotta’s header and Fabinho’s penalty in the end beat lower Watford 2-0 in an early kick-off.

But Kevin de Bruyne relaxed any of City’s nerves in the opening minutes of the match against relegation-threatened Burnley and Ilk Gundog put him in cruise control.

Pep Guardiola and Klopp are locked in a thrilling shootout at the top of the English top flight, with just eight games left of the season.

Klopp’s side were knocked out of the race just two months ago, but their 10th consecutive league win took them two points short of their Northwest rivals.

Two heavyweights will clash at Etihad next week that could potentially determine the destination of the title.

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The two teams will also face each other in the FA Cup semifinals later this month and both will be in the Champions League quarter-finals next week.

Quadruple-chasing Liverpool didn’t have an easy afternoon as Klopp would have hoped against Roy Hodgson’s Watford, who are fighting for their lives.

The home side needed Brazilian goalkeeper Alison Baker to do his best to keep Juraj Kukka out before Jota outscored Ben Foster for his 20th goal of the season in the middle of the first half.

But there was panic around Anfield as the visitors refused to wilt and they also had a grand chance to equalize in the second period.

Liverpool had to wait a minute of time for a two-goal chance when Kuka wrestled Jota to the ground from a corner.

Fabinho took responsibility from the spot and broke into the top corner.

Klopp, who won the Premier League with Liverpool in 2020, said becoming the English champions is his top priority since the Reds topped the table for the first time this year.

“The Premier League is the most important competition,” said German, whose team has won the League Cup this season.

“There is hope for a big two months (ahead). I can decide a lot this week about what I will be like. The boys created the top-class base and now we have to use it. “

City Slickers

If City felt pressured they wouldn’t show it.

Guardiola’s men, chasing their fourth league title in five years, were led by De Bruyne in the fifth minute at Turf Moore.

Rahim Sterling controlled Rodrigo’s cross-field pass and clipped the ball from inside to rifle Nick Pope for the Belgian.

City doubled their lead in the 25th minute when Rahim Sterling exchanged a pass with De Bruyne before Gundogan cut the ball to head to the stroke home.

In the most impressive result of the day, Chelsea lost to Brentford after six consecutive wins in all competitions since owner Roman Abramovich announced his intention to sell the club.

Stamford Bridge took the lead early in the second half when Tony Rudigar hit home from a long distance.

But the match turned on its head with the first Premier League goal for Ericsson after Vitaly Genelt’s two goals and a 10-minute spell returned to the English top-flight. Yoana’s visa was delayed in completing the out.

The Wolves beat local rivals Aston Villa 2-1 and Leeds were held to a draw by Southampton while Brighton and bottom-placed Norwich drew 0-0.

Manchester United were set to host Leicester in the evening’s kick-off to put pressure on fourth-placed Arsenal.

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