LONDON: Liverpool once again answered Man City in this titanic Premier League title race by earning a 2-0 win at Cardiff to go back to the top of the table.
Once again Liverpool refused to go away as a fantastic Gini Wijnaldum strike and late James Milner penalty saw them go two points above City once more.
That sets up a monumental Manchester derby now on Wednesday as Pep Guardiola’s side have to win at Old Trafford to regain top spot.
Neil Warnock’s side turned up the heat both on and off the pitch in a sun drenched Cardiff City Stadium and gave Jurgen Klopp’s Reds a rough ride in the early stages.
Roberto Firmino missed a glorious opportunity mid-way through the first half as the Reds got a solid foothold in the game and began to dominate both possession and territory.
Mohamed Salah had his effort saved when one-on-one with Neil Etheridge as Cardiff managed to hold out until half time to give themselves hope of an unlikely point in their battle for survival.
Their resistance was broke on 57 minutes though as Wijnaldum lashed in Trent Alexander-Arnold’s corner in tremendous fashion to send the Reds fans behind that goal wild.
Sean Morrison missed a glorious chance to level with he managed to nod a free header over with an open goal gaping – and it got worse for him soon after as he brought down Salah for the clinching penalty.
It was Morrison’s failure to clear that led to the Egyptian holding the ball up against him inside the box, and the Liverpool man tumbled as Morrison grappled with him – and from 12 yards Miner rarely misses.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer apologised to Manchester United’s fans after his side produced a performance “not worthy” of the club at Everton.
United produced a performance a huge ineptitude as goals from Richarlison, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Luca Digne and Theo Walcott gave Everton a full deserved 4-0 victory at Goodison.
The visitors only mustered their first shot on target four minutes from time and and Solskjaer admitted that it was just not good enough all round.
Solskjaer was still cheered by the visiting fans as he went over to them at the end of the game in apologetic fashion, and his post-game comments went along similar lines.
“From the first whistle, everything went wrong,” Solskjaer told Sky Sports. “I just want to apologise to the fans. They’re the only people with the badge on today who can hold their head high, because we can’t.
“They (Everton) were better at everything. There are so many things we needed to do better today to get a result. We just didn’t perform.
“That’s about all I can say, we were not worthy of a Manchester United team. We all put our hands up and apologise.
“We were beaten all over the pitch on the basics. You want to see your team express themselves and today we didn’t see that. In some parts, yes but there were sloppy goals and we were sloppy on the ball.
“There’s no hiding place, we were not good enough today and we’ve got to improve to be where we want to be.
“This club has been down before and we’ve got to pick ourselves up.”
Solskjaer added: “It’s the perfect chance for everyone. It’s a massive game, not just for us but for the league, against a fantastic team. We’ll have to do well against them to have a chance.”
The Norwegian applauded the travelling United fans at the end of the match and said: “They were class, they always are and support the team.
“Now we’ve got to support our players and make sure they get back up because we are way off where we want to be. Now is a chance for everyone to see we’re not where we want to be.”
The result does not help United’s bid to claim the top four place which would guarantee Champions League football next season and Solskjaer added: “I think everyone sees we have a big job to do.
“At the moment we’ve got to win all the games, that’s a big ask. The players have done it before but we can’t talk about it – we’ve got to do it.”
Christian Benteke’s first goal in almost a year helped Crystal Palace sink Arsenal 3-2 and put a huge dent in the Gunners’ Premier League top-four hopes.
Benteke fired his first goal in 20 games then laid on another for the tricky Wilfried Zaha as the Eagles stunned the Emirates Stadium to claim their eighth league win on the road this term.
James McArthur’s header sealed a fine victory that ended Arsenal’s 10-match winning league run at home – and threw a spanner in the works in the Gunners’ bid for a top-four finish.
Mesut Ozil and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang struck for Arsenal, but those goals seemed little other than afterthoughts for Unai Emery’s rudderless hosts.
Arsenal remain fourth in the table but are only ahead of fifth-placed Chelsea on goal difference, with Manchester United two points behind in sixth.
Shokdran Mustafi endured a day to forget, the Germany defender producing a string of mistakes which ultimately help gift Palace their win.
Benteke’s first goal since Palace’s 5-0 win over Leicester on April 28, 2018 kick-started a fine Eagles performance, with Roy Hodgson’s men holding out for a hugely-impressive win.
Palace now boast the league’s sixth-best record on the road, Arsenal joining the likes of Manchester City and Wolves in finding no answers to the Eagles on the road.
Arsenal were booed off the field at half-time and rightly so.
The listless Gunners deserved to trail at the break, with Palace producing a measured away performance.
Mesut Ozil side-footed wide in an early opening but the Gunners conjured precious few genuine chances after that.
Martin Kelly flicked over when he should have opened the scoring after Scott Dann’s header into the six-yard box.
Arsenal failed to heed that warning however, and paid the price when Mustafi let Benteke stroll into the box unmarked and head home.
The German defender wrongly thought Benteke offside, and rather than play to the whistle appealed in vain – while the Eagles’ Belgian hitman coasted into position and then nodded home.
Benteke had a second effort chalked off for offside after Zaha’s fine through-ball as Palace continued to press.
And the visitors probably should have doubled their lead before the break, with Cheikhou Kouyate forcing a double save from Bernd Leno, then Benteke blasting over from Zaha’s fine tee-up.
Arsenal emerged transformed after the break, Ozil levelling almost immediately.
The Germany star ghosted onto Alexandre Lacazette’s deft reverse ball and crashed in at the near post.
Palace rallied though, and Ainsley Maitland-Niles had to rescue Mustafi after the German’s missed header had gifted Zaha a run on goal.
The hapless Mustafi’s next mistake cost Arsenal dear however, as Zaha raced onto Benteke’s flick and slotted home.
Mustafi could only watch on as Zaha wriggled round him to stroll through on goal, the Gunners man incorrectly expecting goalkeeper Leno to race out and mop up.
Palace refused to relent or wilt in the sunshine, and bolstered their lead when McArthur nodded home from a corner.
Aubameyang netted a neat second for Arsenal to tee up a tense finish, trading passes with Lacazette before prodding home. But there was to be no recovery, Hodgson’s men deservedly holding out.