LONDON: Liverpool ground back to winning ways to reaffirm their Premier League lead with a patchy 1-0 victory at Brighton.
Mohamed Salah struck his 14th league goal of the season from the penalty spot as the off-kilter Reds stretched their top-flight advantage over Manchester City back to seven points.
Liverpool failed to produce the kind of statement win to flex their title-challenge muscles following successive defeats to chief rivals City in the league, and Wolves in the FA Cup.
Klopp’s men laboured throughout, unable to generate anything like their trademark attacking zeal – but despite that malaise, the visitors still had enough to take all three points.
On this evidence Liverpool still appear to be coming to terms with losing their unbeaten league run in the 2-1 defeat at second-placed Manchester City.
But no one at Anfield will begrudge the win, with City hosting Wolves on Monday night with the chance to trim Liverpool’s league lead back to four points.
The visitors will have been heartened too by midfielder Fabinho’s assured showing as an emergency centre-back, especially with Joel Matip working back to fitness.
Burnley profited from two Fulham own-goals in quick succession as they came from behind to win 2-1 at Turf Moor, despite not registering a shot on target.
Andre Schurrle’s wonderful early strike was cancelled out in the 20th minute when Jeff Hendrick’s effort went in off Joe Bryan.
And three minutes later it was Denis Odoi who inadvertently beating Sergio Rico, heading in after Hendrick crossed.
Calum Chambers headed against the Burnley bar soon after and Fulham substitute Luciano Vietto was denied after the break by James Tarkowski and Tom Heaton – two players hoping to impress England boss Gareth Southgate, who was watching from the stands.
But Burnley held on to record their third consecutive Premier League victory, further easing their relegation fears, while second-bottom Fulham, who have won only one of their last nine league games, are now five points from safety.
Chelsea won 2-1 against a spirited Newcastle thanks to a superb second-half strike from Willian.
Pedro’s ninth-minute lob saw the Magpies trailing, but Ciaran Clark headed in a deserved equaliser before half-time.
The Blues had plenty of chances, but only prevailed when Willian curled in a decisive second, following another assist by Eden Hazard, who was again deployed as Chelsea’s ‘false nine’.
Goalscoring remains an issue for Chelsea, who faced the prospect of a third top-flight home game without scoring for the first time since November 1993, but finished the day with a six-point advantage over fifth-placed Arsenal.
Ten-man Southampton climbed out of the relegation zone as Ralph Hasenhuttl’s revolution continued with a gutsy 2-1 win at Leicester.
James Ward-Prowse’s penalty and Shane Long’s first goal for nine months earned victory at the King Power Stadium.
Long’s strike, in first-half injury time, came just 120 seconds after Yan Valery had been sent off for a second bookable offence.
Wilfred Ndidi pulled a goal back in the second half for the Foxes but Claude Puel suffered defeat against his former club.
Southampton moved a point above the Premier League drop zone after just a fourth win of the season.
Three of them have come under boss Ralph Hasenhuttl as he revives the Saints just a month after replacing Mark Hughes.
Leicester dropped to eighth with boss Puel under fire from fans after performances lacking inspiration.
Tom Cleverley scored a fine volley as Watford fought from behind to secure a 2-1 victory against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.
Palace took the lead in the opening period after Craig Cathcart’s own goal, but the Watford defender made amends when he converted Jose Holebas’ corner with 67 minutes gone.
Substitute Cleverley, who had only been on the pitch for six minutes, then netted his first goal in more than a year to complete the fightback from Javi Gracia’s side.
Declan Rice scored his first career goal to fire West Ham to a 1-0 win over Arsenal.
The 19-year-old midfielder struck early in the second half to condemn Arsenal, who left Mesut Ozil out of their squad, to a fifth defeat of the season.
Marko Arnautovic was in the West Ham side despite having his head turned by the Chinese, but in the end it was Rice who delivered.
Huddersfield were left counting the cost of referee Lee Mason’s change of mind in their 0-0 draw against fellow relegation strugglers Cardiff.
What had been a dreary Premier League affair low on quality produced a major 76th-minute talking point when Mason pointed to the penalty spot after Florent Hadergjonaj had tumbled in the box.
Several Cardiff players rushed towards Mason’s assistant in the corner and the referee soon made his way there for a conversation.
Mason then dramatically reversed his decision and penalised Hadergjonaj for fouling Joe Bennett rather than the other way round, much to the bemusement of Huddersfield manager David Wagner on the touchline.
The bottom line, however, is that the contest will do little to help the two clubs’ respective relegation battles.
Cardiff remain in a healthier position to survive, with an eight-point advantage over Huddersfield, but their failure to fashion an opening worthy of the name against opponents who had lost their previous nine games in all competitions will alarm manager Neil Warnock.
At least Huddersfield stopped the rot after an appalling run of form, and will be encouraged by the fact that they played the better football.
But one point is not of much use in the Terriers’ current predicament, especially with Manchester City, Everton, Chelsea and Arsenal looming into sight on their fixture list.