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EPL 2023-24: Liverpool beat Manchester City to reclaim Premier League top spot

Liverpool’s Darwin Nunez celebrates his third goal with Jarell Quansah and Luis Diaz. (Photo – Reuters)

London, United Kingdom: Liverpool earned a vital 3-1 win against relegation-threatened Burnley on Saturday to return to the top of the Premier League after being briefly overtaken by champions Manchester City.

The Anfield side are chasing a record-equalling 20th Premier League title in their final season under Jurgen Klopp, but they are once again hot on their heels with relentless City.

Liverpool weren’t at their best against Vincent Kompany’s men but did enough to get over the line on a day Klopp described as “super tough”.

City, who beat Everton 2-0 at home in the early opener, trail Liverpool by two points with a game in hand and are chasing an unprecedented fourth consecutive Premier League title.

The Reds took the lead when Burnley goalkeeper James Trafford failed to clear a Trent Alexander-Arnold corner and Diogo Jota headed in his ninth Premier League goal of the season.

But they were level minutes before half-time when Dara O’Shea headed past Liverpool goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher to replace Alisson Becker, who was sidelined through illness.

Liverpool were different after the break, and Luis Diaz put them in the lead again in the 52nd minute with a header from close range.

The visitors had a few tantalizing chances to equalize before Darwin Nunez headed home Harvey Elliott’s pass to make it three points.

“It’s not just about the three points,” Klopp told the BBC. “You can’t have guaranteed momentum all the time.

“Nine days ago we played amazingly against Chelsea and then we lost against Arsenal. It’s always a different challenge. If it doesn’t click straight away, you fight through it.

“It was really tough today, but the boys fought and got the three points.”

– Haaland double –

Earlier, Erling Haaland scored his first goals since November as Manchester City reached the top of the table for the first time since November.

Pep Guardiola’s side struggled to break down the stubborn visitors at a nervous Etihad Stadium, but Haaland scored twice towards the end of the second half.

These are his first goals since returning from nearly two months out with a foot injury.

Guardiola’s men have won their last 10 games in all competitions, but the Spaniard may be a little worried about the way they have fared against struggling Everton, who remain in the relegation zone.

“Our body language was not good in the first half,” said the City boss. “You can’t play good football if you’re not positive. You do your best when you’re positive. When you start complaining and you’re sad, it doesn’t work.

“We were talking at half-time and I said to them, ‘what do you expect to come here and win 5-0?’ come on Life is hard and football is hard.”

Brennan Johnson scored a dramatic winner in the sixth minute of stoppage time to fire Tottenham back into the top four with a dramatic 2-1 win against Brighton.

The two teams looked set to share the points after Pape Sarr canceled out Pascal Gross’ early penalty in the 61st minute.

But South Korean star Son Heung-min, back from an Asian Cup appearance, beat fellow substitute Johnson in the dying seconds to earn a crucial victory.

“It’s fair to say we’re still a work in progress, but we’ve had a world-class player in Son who makes the most difficult ball look simple for Brennan to set up,” Spurs boss Ange Postecoglou said.

“Going into the game we looked at the team and knew we could change it. It’s fair to say that helped us.”

Bottom side Sheffield United beat Luton 3-1 to record just their third league win of the season, Rodrigo Muniz scoring twice as Fulham beat Bournemouth by the same scoreline.

Brentford beat Wolves 2-0 thanks to Christian Norgaard’s first-half header and a fine late-game team goal from Ivan Toney.

Third-placed Arsenal travel to West Ham on Sunday, while high-flying Aston Villa host Manchester United.

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