Liverpool's pursuit of Chelsea frustrated; Man City and United win

ABS-CBN Sports on Jan 03, 2017 10:11 AM
Liverpool's pursuit of Chelsea stalled; City and United win
Manchester United's Zlatan Ibrahimovic leaps over West Ham United's goalkeeper Darren Randolph who clears the ball during their English Premier League soccer match between West Ham United and Manchester United at the London stadium, in London Monday, Jan. 2, 2017. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

ROB HARRIS, AP Global Soccer Writer


LONDON (AP) — Liverpool's pursuit of English Premier League leader Chelsea stalled on Monday as Juergen Klopp's four-match winning run ended at Sunderland.

Liverpool's 2-2 draw against a relegation-threatened Sunderland side gives Chelsea the platform to open up an eight-point lead by beating Tottenham on Wednesday.

Twice Liverpool led in northeast England — through Daniel Sturridge and Sadio Mane — but on both occasions Jermain Defoe scored penalties to draw Sunderland level. Mane's hand-ball was responsible for conceding the second spotkick.

"I must be honest, it doesn't feel good and it's not because of the point, it's because two penalties in a game," Klopp said. "Usually what you have to do to get a penalty, to get two, that was harsh, very hard to accept.

"But obviously I have to accept it, so I will do it."

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MAN CITY 2, BURNLEY 1

A victory for City but Pep Guardiola was still tetchy after the game, even suggesting he might not have long left in management.

Halfway through his first season at City, the 45-year-old former Barcelona and Bayern Munich coach said: "It might be one of my last teams."

English football is proving far tougher for Guardiola than Spanish or German.

After losing at Liverpool on Saturday, City started badly against Burnley when captain Fernandinho was sent off in the 32nd minute for a two-footed lunge on Johann Gudmundsson.

City held off Burnley with 10 men and seized the lead in the second half through Gael Clichy. Sergio Aguero came off the bench to score a second, ensuring Ben Mee's goal for Burnley would only be a consolation.

City regained third place ahead of Arsenal, which is at Bournemouth on Tuesday, and Tottenham.

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WEST HAM 0, MAN UNITED 2

United reeled off a sixth successive league victory in a match that turned on Sofiane Feghouli being harshly sent off for a late challenge on Phil Jones in the 15th minute.

Even with a man advantage, United took until the 63rd to score when substitutes Marcus Rashford and Juan Mata combined. Mata turned Rashford's pullback past goalkeeper Darren Randolph before Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored his 17th goal in his first season with United.

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EVERTON 3, SOUTHAMPTON 0

Everton scored three times in the last 17 minutes to ensure manager Ronald Koeman emerged victorious against the club he left in the offseason.

Enner Valencia was the game-changer, coming off the bench to score the opener in the 73rd minute and then winning the penalty that Leighton Baines converted.

Romelu Lukaku contributed the third as 10th-place Southampton lost a third match inside a week. Everton is seventh.

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WEST BROM 3, HULL 1

Hull is now without a win in nine games and three points from safety after throwing away the lead at West Bromwich Albion. Robert Snodgrass' opener was canceled out by Chris Brunt before Gareth McAuley and James Morrison put the hosts in front.

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MIDDLESBROUGH 0, LEICESTER 0

With Islam Slimani and Danny Drinkwater out injured and Jamie Vardy suspended, Leicester was satisfied with a point and a second successive clean sheet.

It's all about avoiding a relegation dogfight for struggling champion Leicester, which is six points from danger.

"Middlesbrough pushed a lot but we were so solid and I am pleased with the spirit we showed," Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri said.

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