Sports

EPL: Liverpool hit 7,000th goal in win over Blades

*Penalty controversy as Chelsea, Man United play dour draw
*Quick fire Spurs cruise past Burnley
*Arsenal comeback stuns Leicester
*Wasteful Fulham frustrated by Palace in shutout

Liverpool ended a run of four successive Premier League defeats and scored their 7,000th top-flight goal during a victory at Sheffield United that moves them within two points of a Champions League place.
Blades goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale produced a string of fine saves to frustrate Liverpool in the first half as the Reds’ recent lack of cutting edge in front of goal looked set to continue.
But 20-year-old Curtis Jones showed the clinical touch his team-mates had been missing to break the hosts’ resolve shortly after the interval.
Roberto Firmino’s effort then deflected off Kean Bryan and over a stranded Ramsdale as Liverpool doubled their lead with the club’s 7,000th goal in England’s top division.
The Reds are only the second team to achieve that landmark, after Merseyside rivals Everton who have scored 7,108.
The victory keeps Jurgen Klopp’s side sixth in the table and they are now two points behind West Ham in fourth.
Sheffield United were competitive throughout and Oliver McBurnie may have done better when he headed wide while unmarked from Oliver Norwood’s cross.
But the bottom-placed Blades will now have to produce an unprecedented recovery if they are to remain in the Premier League this season.
At Stamford Bridge, Chelsea and Manchester United played out a dour draw in which the biggest talking point was again the use of the video assistant referee.
United claimed a first-half penalty when Blues’ Callum Hudson-Odoi appeared to handle the ball in the penalty area.
Referee Stuart Attwell turned away the appeals and did not reverse that call after checking a pitchside monitor.
Chelsea’s Hakim Ziyech forced David de Gea into a fine save, while Fred and Scott McTominay went close for United.
In London, Gareth Bale scored twice and made another as Tottenham cruised to an easy Premier League win over Burnley that boosted their hopes of European qualification.
Spurs had lost five of their previous six league matches but went ahead inside two minutes when Bale converted Son Heung-min’s low cross.
Bale’s superb long pass released Harry Kane to net Tottenham’s second, before Lucas Moura added a third from Sergio Reguilon’s delivery.
Son was the architect for the fourth as he ran at the Burnley defence before finding Bale, and the Wales international curled a fine finish into the far corner to seal the emphatic win.
The victory takes Jose Mourinho’s side up to eighth. They are six points behind fourth-placed West Ham, who occupy the final Champions League qualification spot, but have a game in hand on the Hammers.
Meanwhile, Leicester’s increasingly forlorn-looking pursuit of Premier League leaders Manchester City suffered a big blow as Arsenal came from behind to claim an impressive victory at the King Power Stadium.
Having gone out of the Europa League on Thursday, the Foxes were given an early tonic by the Gunners as Youri Tielemens was allowed to run unchecked down the right before firing a low shot into the far corner with just six minutes played, reports the BBC.
Arsenal refused to be adversely affected, though, and took control of the game with impressive attacking intent and far greater fluency than the hosts.
David Luiz brought them level, finding space in the box to steer a header in from Willian’s free-kick.
Alexandre Lacazette then put them ahead after the video assistant referee (VAR) judged that Wilfred Ndidi had blocked Nicolas Pepe’s shot in the box with an outstretched arm.
It was second time lucky for the Gunners, who had earlier had a penalty awarded on the pitch but then downgraded to a free-kick after VAR decided the offending tackle on Pepe had taken place just outside the area.
Cote d’Ivoire forward Pepe got in on the act himself, tapping into a largely unguarded net after Willian’s pass had deflected his way.
And Fulham missed the chance to move within a point of fellow strugglers Newcastle and Brighton above the Premier League relegation zone after being held to a goalless draw at Crystal Palace.
There was little to choose between the teams in a first half lacking in entertainment but the visitors came to life in the second, fashioning numerous chances to leave Selhurst Park with all three points.
Josh Maja curled narrowly wide from the edge of the penalty area before forcing Vicente Guaita into a one-handed save with a close-range header from Ivan Cavaleiro’s delivery.
Joachim Andersen had a header blocked and Ruben Loftus-Cheek also went close, drilling a powerful effort wide of Guaita’s left-hand post.
Palace were virtually non-existent as an attacking force, registering just three attempts and failing to test Alphonse Areola in the Fulham goal.
The draw lifts Scott Parker’s side to 23 points – three behind 17th-placed Newcastle – while the Eagles are 10 points above the relegation zone in 13th.
RESULTS
Leicester 1 – 3 Arsenal
Palace 0 – 0 Fulham
Spurs 4 – 0 Burnley
Chelsea 0 – 0 Man United
Sheffield Utd 0 – 2 Liverpool

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