LONDON: Sadio Mane scored the goal which saw Liverpool beat West Ham 1-0 but defender Trent Alexander-Arnold was the architect of a victory which reduced Manchester City’s gap at the top to three points.
The England right-back was the visitors’ tormentor-in-chief as his varied passing range in the attacking third was coupled with a brilliant goalline clearance to secure a ninth clean sheet in 13 appearances.
It meant West Ham’s former Everton boss David Moyes left Anfield without a win for the 18th time, a Premier League record for one manager at a single ground.
That was mainly down to the excellence of Alexander-Arnold, who with the pass for Mane’s 27th-minute goal equalled Steven Gerrard’s record of 16 assists in a single season and beat his own previous best from 2018-19 and 2019-20.
It was not the only time he cut through the visitors’ defence but equally important was his athletic effort to hook clear Pablo Fornals’ dinked effort over goalkeeper Alisson Becker just yards before it crossed the line.
Newcastle are now seven points clear of the relegation zone after stretching their unbeaten run to eight Premier League games with a 2-1 win over Brighton. Elsewhere, both Aston Villa and Chelsea were 4-0 winners.
Ryan Fraser and Fabian Schar struck as Newcastle’s Premier League recovery survived a concerted Brighton fightback.
The Magpies extended their unbeaten league run to eight games with a 2-1 victory, their fifth win in six attempts, but they did so largely against the run of play on a tense afternoon at St James’ Park in front of a crowd of 52,214.
Brighton had lost none of the previous nine Premier League meetings between the sides and not conceded a single goal on Tyneside in the process, but the two they shipped courtesy of Fraser and Schar inside three first-half minutes ultimately proved decisive.
They were the better side for much of the game and will feel they should have ended a sequence of three successive defeats rather than stretching it to four after skipper Lewis Dunk headed them back into it 10 minutes after the restart, but Newcastle held firm for victory.
Philippe Coutinho gave a masterclass and Danny Ings offered Southampton a painful reminder of his prowess as Aston Villa’s revival continued in style with a 4-0 hammering at Villa Park.
Ings, who joined Villa from Southampton in the summer for £25million, scored one and made two, while Coutinho netted once, claimed an assist and could have had a hat-trick as Steven Gerrard’s side made it successive victories.
Ollie Watkins and Douglas Luiz scored Villa’s other goals in their biggest win since beating Liverpool 7-2 in October 2020, while it ended Saints’ five-match unbeaten run in the Premier League.
Southampton goalkeeper Fraser Forster made vital saves from Watkins, Coutinho and Ings to prevent an even heavier defeat.
Chelsea stunned Burnley with three goals in the space of nine second-half minutes on their way to a 4-0 victory at Turf Moor.
Reece James, making his first start of 2022 after injury, got the first a couple of minutes into the second half and then had a hand in the next two – both finished by Kai Havertz – with Burnley imploding as they lost back-to-back home league games for the first time this season.
It got worse for the hosts with a little more than 20 minutes to go when a mistake from James Tarkowski left Christian Pulisic with the easiest of finishes from barely a yard out.
For 45 minutes however, it was hardly a performance that was likely to help Roman Abramovich’s attempts to sell the club for a reported £3billion.
Ultimately though, playing only their second league fixture since the 2-0 win over Tottenham on January 23 – during which time they have become world champions, advanced in the FA Cup and lost the Carabao Cup final – Chelsea strengthened their grip on third place with a seventh win in eight Premier League visits to Turf Moor.
A hat-trick from Ivan Toney saw Brentford claim a vital 3-1 win at basement club Norwich on the day Christian Eriksen took another positive step in his remarkable recovery.
The Denmark international played the whole match for the Bees and had a hand in the first two goals, almost nine months on from his cardiac arrest during Euro 2020 last summer.
It was Eriksen’s corner which helped set up Toney’s opener before a second set-piece forced a penalty early in the second half when Ben Gibson caught Pontus Jansson with a high foot.
Gibson’s misery was compounded soon after when he committed another foul inside the area and hat-trick hero Toney completed his treble.
Teemu Pukki hit a late consolation but Thomas Frank got the better of old boss Dean Smith, who could feel Norwich’s Premier League survival battle is almost over.
Crystal Palace picked up just a third away league win under Patrick Vieira with a 2-0 success at Wolves.
The away side were rewarded for a quick start as Jean-Philippe Mateta broke the deadlock, with Wilfried Zaha slotting home a penalty on 34 minutes to secure the win.