Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has celebrated his side’s individual defending after they edged past West Ham 1-0 to close within three points of Premier League leaders Manchester City.
Sadio Mane swept in the only goal in the 27th minute of Saturday night’s match at Anfield, converting from close range after a shot was driven across the face of goal by Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Liverpool will now look for a favour from their biggest rivals, Manchester United, who play City in the derby at Etihad Stadium on Sunday.
If City lose, Liverpool will be in direct range of Pep Guardiola’s team with a game in hand.
Right-back Alexander-Arnold was the architect of Liverpool’s win.
The England defender not only provided a career-best 16th assist but also produced a brilliant goalline clearance to deny Pablo Fornals.
Fellow full-back Andy Robertson and midfielder Naby Keita also delivering goal-preventing tackles.
“All these situations were like scoring a goal,” said Klopp.
“When you win 12 in a row then you can’t only win the ones when you are flying and today we were not flying, we had to dig deep and that’s what the boys did.”
Chelsea put a week of turmoil behind them as they roared to a 4-0 victory at struggling Burnley in the Premier League.
All the goals came in a 21-minute burst at the start of the second half on Saturday, Kai Havertz scoring a brace with one each from Reece James and Christian Pulisic.
It enabled the European champions to put aside all the off-field dramas sparked by their Russian owner, Roman Abramovich, who put the club up for sale this week.
Newcastle maintained their remarkable Premier League revival with a win over Brighton – their fifth victory in six games.
Ryan Fraser and Fabian Schar struck as Eddie Howe’s side fought off a concerted Brighton fightback, winning 2-1 after Seagulls skipper Lewis Dunk had reduced the arrears on Saturday.
Newcastle’s day was made even better as a host of clubs in the relegation battle slipped to defeats.
A precise Harvey Barnes strike ensured that Leicester beat Leeds 1-0 in Jesse Marsch’s first game in charge of the Yorkshire club following Marcelo Bielsa’s sacking.
And Ivan Toney hit a hat-trick to sink bottom club Norwich 3-1 as Brentford picked up a first win since January 2.
Christian Eriksen took another positive step in his remarkable recovery as the Denmark international played the whole match for the Bees.
He also 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.
Elsewhere, Aston Villa built on a win at Brighton last week by thrashing Southampton 4-0 at Villa Park.
A fine finish from Ollie Watkins set the hosts on their way before Douglas Luiz ended a good team move on the stroke of halftime.
The result was wrapped up as Philippe Coutinho and Danny Ings struck within two minutes of one another.
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.