MOHAMED Salah was Liverpool’s saviour again overnight as the Egyptian struck an 84th minute winner in a come from behind 2-1 victory at Crystal Palace, while Manchester City beat Everton 3-1 and can now seal the title against rivals Manchester United next week.
The Reds went behind early care of a Luka Milivojevic penalty after Loris Karius collided with Wilfried Zaha in the box before Sadio Mane cancelled out the opener.
It appeared destined to end a draw, before the Premier League’s top scorer added his 29th of the campaign to snatch the win for the Merseysiders.
Meanwhile, Alexis Sanchez broke his drought and Romelu Lukaku netted his 100th Premier League goal to guide Manchester United to a 2-0 win over Swansea.
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The Red Devils will play crosstown rivals City next week with Pep Guardiola’s side able to lif the trophy after a routine victory over Everton overnight.
Elsewhere, Leicester beat Brighton 2-0, Aaron Mooy’s Huddersfield lost an important battle in the relegation race to Newcastle, Watford drew with Bournemouth, Burnley took care of West Brom and West Ham dismantled Southampton.
Here’s a full wrap of all the overnight Premier League action.
CRYSTAL PALACE 1-2 LIVERPOOL
Mohamed Salah scored his 37th goal of the season as Liverpool came from behind to secure a vital 2-1 victory at Crystal Palace on Saturday. Sadio Mane scored the Liverpool equalizer early in the second half and was fortunate to avoid a red card. The visitors capitalized by securing all three points with Salah’s 84th-minute effort to maintain their pursuit of a second- place finish.
Palace led at halftime following Luka Milivojevic’s penalty but, after conceding another late goal at Selhurst Park, the south London club remains at risk of relegation from the Premier League.
“We kept going, kept fighting right until the end,” Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson said. “Thankfully Mo got the goal for us. We maybe could have got in behind a bit more first half, we were a little bit disappointed with the first half in terms of we could have moved the ball a little bit quicker and created a few more chances.
“We knew coming here would be difficult, I thought the lads reacted brilliantly to grind out a result.” It was Juergen Klopp’s 100th league game in charge of Liverpool Palace had been boosted by Wilfried Zaha passing a late fitness test to start and he demonstrated his importance when he tested Loris Karius early on. After being sent one-on-one with the goalkeeper following a fine ball from Cabaye and despite minimal time and space, he controlled with his left foot amid suspicions of handball before shooting with his right and watching Karius clear. When he again went rushing through on goal, Karius needlessly rushed out and clumsily took him down, leaving referee Neil Swarbrick with little choice but to award the hosts a 13th-minute penalty.
For the seventh time this season, Milivojevic scored from the penalty spot, shooting powerfully into the bottom left corner while Karius dived right, to give Palace the lead.
It was then that Mane attempted to impose himself. In his own attempts to win a penalty he appeared to dive under minimal contact from James McArthur and was booked.
He has at times struggled to reproduce the same form as last season while Salah has excelled, and it was the Egyptian who tested Palace’s Wayne Hennessey with a curling effort the goalkeeper jumped to collect.
With a low header from Salah’s corner, Mane then forced Hennessey into a diving reaction save before McArthur scrambled clear, but Palace absorbed that pressure to retain its lead until four minutes into the second half.
Following James Milner’s low ball from the left wing, the alert Mane finished low at the near post beyond Hennessey and was soon fortunate not to be sent off. Christian Benteke missed the first of two fine chances against his former team when a header from Milivojevic sent him one-on-one with Karius before his composure deserted him and he hooked harmlessly wide.
Almost immediately after, Andros Townsend’s run and pass put him into a promising position, but he then snatched at the ball and shot over the crossbar. With Liverpool still under threat, Mane conceded a free-kick with a blatant handball that should have led to a second yellow card.
He was soon substituted, and then watched as his replacement Alex Oxlade- Chamberlain contributed to Salah’s winning goal.
The midfielder’s cross from the right wing found Andrew Robertson on the left, and when he played the ball towards Salah, the Egyptian coolly finished low into the bottom corner to secure all three points.
BRIGHTON 0-2 LEICESTER
Vicente Iborra and Jamie Vardy scored late goals as Leicester dented Brighton’s Premier League survival hopes with a 2-0 win on Saturday.
Iborra nodded the ball into the bottom right corner in the 83rd minute before Vardy tapped home the second in stoppage time.
Brighton striker Glenn Murray had seen a 77th-minute penalty saved by Kasper Schmeichel, while Leicester ended the game with 10 men after Wilfred Ndidi was dismissed for a second yellow card with the score at 1-0.
Brighton remains just six points clear of danger with seven games remaining following the late drama.
Claude Puel’s Leicester, meanwhile, boosted its chances of Europa League qualification by staying three points behind seventh-place Burnley.
MANCHESTER UNITED 2-0 SWANSEA
Romelu Lukaku scored his 100th English Premier League goal to set Manchester United on its way to beating Swansea 2-0 and consolidating second place on Saturday.
Alexis Sanchez doubled the lead with his second goal for United as Jose Mourinho’s team responded to a win by Liverpool – United’s main rival for a second-place finish – earlier at Crystal Palace.
Lukaku is the 28th player to reach triple figures in Premier League goals. And, at 24 years and 322 days, he is the fifth quickest to get to that milestone after Michael Owen, Robbie Fowler, Wayne Rooney and Harry Kane. “l’m really happy to achieve that in a league I’ve wanted to play in since I was six years old,” he said.
The Belgium striker ran onto Sanchez’s pass and scored with a deflected shot to put United ahead at Old Trafford in the fifth minute.
Sanchez, who had one of his best performances since joining from Arsenal in January, made it 2-0 in the 20th after being set up by Jesse Lingard. David De Gea preserved United’s clean sheet with a couple of smart saves off substitute Tammy Abraham in the second half.
United is two points ahead of Liverpool.
NEWCASTLE 1-0 HUDDERSFIELD
Ayoze Perez fired Newcastle to the brink of Premier League safety with his fifth goal of the season securing a 1-0 victory over Huddersfield on Saturday.
The Spaniard slid home Kenedy’s 80th-minute cross to break the deadlock on a tense afternoon at St. James’ Park, much to the relief of the bulk of a crowd of 52,261.
Dwight Gayle and Matt Ritchie had earlier passed up good opportunities to give their side the lead, but on a day when loan signing Islam Slimani belatedly made his debut as a substitute, the drama came amid a tense conclusion. The Magpies eased themselves seven points clear of the drop zone, leaving the visitors four points behind in the pursuit of a second season in the Premier League.
WATFORD 2-2 BOURNEMOUTH
Watford and Bournemouth stayed in midtable comfort after a 2-2 draw in the English Premier League on Saturday with Jermain Defoe coming off the bench to rescue a stoppage-time point for the Cherries. Roberto Pereyra’s strike early in the second half looked as though it would be enough to secure victory for the Hornets at Vicarage Road but Defoe struck late on.
Kiko Femenia put Javi Gracia’s side ahead only for the visitors to equalize before halftime through Joshua King’s penalty.
Pereyra put Watford back in front soon after the interval, until Defoe turned home Nathan Ake’s flick-on at the end.
It was the last meaningful action of a contest between sides who should be safe, nine points above the drop zone.
Watford broke the deadlock after 13 minutes as Femenia was picked out unmarked from a corner, his shot beating Asmir Begovic courtesy of a deflection off King. Bournemouth was level before the break after Jose Holebas’ handball in the box. King stepped up and sent Orestis Karnezis the wrong way.
Watford needed just four minutes of the second half to regain the lead as Will Hughes teed up Pereyra, whose effort clipped Dan Gosling on its way past Begovic.
Watford looked to be seeing the game out with relative ease. That was until a late free kick was pumped toward the Watford goal and Ake’s header into the box bounced once before Defoe tucked away his first goal since Dec. 9 to earn his side a share of the spoils
WEST BROM 1-2 BURNLEY
Rock bottom West Brom slipped another step closer to relegation after losing 2-1 at home to Burnley.
Ashley Barnes’ acrobatic finish put the Clarets ahead after 22 minutes and Chris Wood headed in with quarter of an hour left.
Although Salomon Rondon scored a late consolation, the Baggies were left 10 points adrift of safety with only six games to go.
WEST HAM 3-0 SOUTHAMPTON
David Moyes admitted he was relieved peace finally broke out at the London Stadium as West Ham got their frustrated fans back on side with a vital 3-0 win against Southampton on Saturday.
Moyes’ side moved five points clear of the relegation zone thanks to Joao Mario’s opener and two goals from Marko Arnautovic.
After West Ham’s recent home defeat by Burnley was overshadowed by pitch invasions, missile-throwing and protests in front of the directors’ box, there were real fears of more unsavoury scenes.
Fans staged a protest march against co-owners David Gold and David Sullivan before kick-off, but a truce was called inside, mostly due to West Ham’s improved performance.
“The players showed how they felt about past events, they were pent up and ready to go,” Moyes said.
“I thought before kick-off the supporters showed they are with the club and with the team, and then the players showed what they were going to do. They really kicked on.
“It was a really big game for us, if we’d lost we could have slipped further down.
“We won’t get carried away, but we’ve not dropped into the bottom three. There are some big games to come and if the stadium stays like it was today it gives us a great chance.” Despite the ill-feeling towards Sullivan and Gold, both were in attendance, although they took seats further back than usual in a directors’ box protected by extra security.
EVERTON 1-3 MANCHESTER CITY
Manchester City cruised past Everton 3-1 to ensure Pep Guardiola can seal his first English Premier League title by beating Manchester United next Saturday.
Goals from Leroy Sane, Gabriel Jesus, and Raheem Sterling set up the chance for City to become the quickest side to clinch the Premier League with six matches remaining. A win next week will beat United’s 2000-01 season record by one game. Guardiola has already won domestic titles with Barcelona and Bayern, but he’s won the Champions League only with the Catalan club.
European duties are next for City and a return to Merseyside for Wednesday’s Champions League quarterfinal first leg against Liverpool, which inflicted City’s only league loss so far this season.
Last season, Everton was the scene of Guardiola’s heaviest league defeat at City but there was never any chance of that 4-0 reverse being repeated on Saturday. City had 82 percent possession in the first half yet incredibly managed only three shots on target. Unfortunately for Everton three was all they needed. Sam Allardyce’s tactics and team selection, with the pedestrian pair of Morgan Schneiderlin and Wayne Rooney on defensive midfield duties giving their mercurial visitors all the encouragement they needed, looked confused. When they actually got out onto the pitch it was even more evident once City started pinging the passes around and Guardiola’s plan of having only three men in the penalty area for attacking corners resulted in plenty of head-scratching among Everton’s defensive ranks.
Less than four minutes had elapsed when they were exposed for the first of many occasions as Sane walloped home a left-footed volley from David Silva’s far-post cross.
The hosts had the chance for a quick response but Yannick Bolasie wastefully headed over from Theo Walcott’s cutback.
To emphasize just how significant a moment it was, City went straight down the other end with Kevin de Bruyne breaking forward to cross for Gabriel Jesus to head home.
For all the dominance, City’s greatest threat was on the counterattack. When City’s players burst forward again in a three-on-three in the 37th, Silva made the most of what was possibly a favorable offside decision to slide in a pass for Sterling’s 21st of the season.
Having seen Everton complete just 59 passes – City midfielder Fernandinho was successful with 62 just by himself – a number of fans in the Gwladys Street and Park End opted not to return for the second half with pockets of blue seats clearly visible.
They missed Bolasie beat goalkeeper Ederson from distance, via the foot of both posts just past the hour. It was also shortly after Tom Davies replaced Rooney to add some much-needed drive to midfield.
But City still coasted to victory despite never getting out of second gear after the break. A 13th away league victory of the season set a new club record for City. Now there’s just the trophy to secure.