Liverpool cruised to a comfortable 3-1 win over Newcastle United at Anfield to keep apce with Manchester City at the top of the table, while Chelsea slipped up at Stamford Bridge as Everton held the Blues to a 1-1 draw.
Liverpool 3-1 Newcastle United
Liverpool shrugged off a coronavirus outbreak to keep their Premier League title challenge on track with a 3-1 win over Newcastle that was lit up by Trent Alexander-Arnold’s wonder goal.
The Reds lost Virgil van Dijk and Fabinho to positive cases of Covid before kick-off as a surge of infections across Britain threatens to bring the season to a temporary halt.
Liverpool were further rocked when Jonjo Shelvey opened the scoring against his old club after just seven minutes.
But Newcastle remained mired in the bottom three for a reason as goals from Diogo Jota and Mohamed Salah turned the game around before half-time.
Alexander-Arnold’s thunderbolt four minutes from time rounded off an eighth consecutive win for Jurgen Klopp’s men as they close to within one point of leaders Manchester City.
Chelsea 1-1 Everton
Chelsea’s Premier League title challenge suffered a major setback as Everton snatched a 1-1 draw just hours after four of the European champions’ stars tested positive for the coronavirus on Thursday.
Thomas Tuchel’s side were without Romelu Lukaku, Timo Werner and Callum Hudson-Odoi after the latest Covid-19 outbreak to rock the Premier League, while a host of others were still out with injuries.
Shorn of so many key players, Chelsea laboured to break down stubborn Everton until Mason Mount netted midway through the second half at Stamford Bridge.
Despite dominating from start to finish, Chelsea were punished for switching off at the back when Jarrad Branthwaite grabbed Everton’s equaliser with 16 minutes left.
It was the 19-year-old defender’s first goal for Everton in just his third Premier League start.
Failing to beat a struggling Everton side decimated by injuries and illness was a hammer blow on a difficult day for Chelsea.
Having led the table for several weeks, Tuchel’s third placed team are now four points behind leaders Manchester City.
Chelsea have won only two of their last five league games as they lost ground on City and second placed Liverpool.
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