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Arsenal end Solskjaer’ United run, Liverpool close the gap at the top

Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang celebrates scoring their second goal REUTERS/Eddie Keogh EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

ARSENAL 2 MANCHESTER UNITED 0
LONDON, March 10 (Reuters) – Arsenal beat Manchester United 2-0 on Sunday, lifting the Londoners above their opponents into fourth place in the Premier League and ending Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s unbeaten domestic run as United’s caretaker manager.

Goals from Granit Xhaka and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang earned the Gunners a victory that sent them into the Champions League places while pushing United back down to fifth.

It was United’s first league defeat since Dec. 16, Jose Mourinho’s last game in charge, and ended Solskjaer’s remarkable unbeaten start in the league as United’s manager.

Arsenal went ahead in the 13th minute when Xhaka belted a swerving shot from 30 metres out, with United keeper David de Gea seemingly wrong-footed by the curve of the ball.

United hit the woodwork either side of the goal, with Romelu Lukaku heading against the crossbar first and Fred striking the post minutes later.

Lukaku had a golden opportunity to score from close range early in the second half but his first touch was heavy and, as he lunged to shoot, goalkeeper Bernd Leno blocked the shot with his body to send the ball spinning up and over the bar.

Arsenal won a very soft-looking penalty in the 67th minute when Fred was judged to have brought down Alexandre Lacazette, with the replay showing that the Brazilian barely brushed the Frenchman’s side as they ran for the ball.

Aubameyang then converted the penalty, making up for his missed spot kick at Tottenham Hotspur a week earlier.

The win lifted Arsenal to 60 points, just one point behind their north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur, who are third, and two points above United who slipped to fifth.

LIVERPOOL 4 BURNLEY 2
LIVERPOOL, England, March 10 (Reuters) – Two goals each for Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane helped Liverpool to keep in touch with Premier League leaders Manchester City with a 4-2 win over lowly Burnley at Anfield on Sunday.

Juergen Klopp’s side move to 73 points, one behind City, who beat Watford 3-1 on Saturday. Both teams have eight games remaining.

Liverpool came through this tricky fixture, played in high wind and sporadic showers, helped by some generous gifts from the Burnley defence and while they were not at their very best Klopp was still pleased.

“Good game, difficult but good. It is always difficult against Burnley. In the circumstances, even more difficult. 4-2 is a brilliant result,” he said.

The German chose to recall Adam Lallana to his midfield, at the expense of Jordan Henderson, and the former Southampton midfielder, whose career has been hampered by injury, delivered a fine showing.

“I told him, if he can play like he trained, then he will help us a lot and that is exactly how it happened,” said Klopp.

It was the visitors though, who took a surprise lead in the sixth minute, with Ashley Westwood scoring direct from a corner although Burnley’s James Tarkowski looked to have impeded Liverpool keeper Alisson Becker.

If Burnley’s strategy was to frustrate their opponents and create some nervous tension in the stadium it was working well but they were undone by unusually sloppy work at the back.

Tarkowski and Clarets keeper Tom Heaton got in each other’s way as they made a mess of a low cross from Mohamed Salah and Firmino was left with the simplest of tap-ins to equalise.

The tension having eased, Mane then put Liverpool ahead with a fine, curling finish after a poor clearance from Jeff Hendrick was blocked by Lallana.

Burnley started the second half well but the outcome was put beyond doubt in the 67th minute when Heaton poorly kicked straight to Salah, the Egyptian bursting into the area, and Charlie Taylor’s sliding tackle fell kindly to Firmino who made no mistake.

Substitute Johann Berg Gudmundsson pulled back a goal in stoppage time for 17th-placed Burnley who remain two points above the relegation zone.

For a moment, with winger Dwight McNeil causing problems on Liverpool’s right with his dribbling and crosses, Burnley threatened an improbable comeback.

But after another cheap giveaway Mane added a fourth goal to make sure of the three points, rounding Heaton and slotting into the empty net.

While Klopp can turn his attention to Wednesday’s Champions League second-leg match away to Bayern Munich, Burnley manager Sean Dyche has eight games to keep his team in the top flight.

The Burnley boss was pleased with his team’s mentality but said they had paid the price for their defensive errors.

“You cannot give a team like Liverpool four goals — we certainly gave them three. You can question the errors but we certainly made a game of it,” he said.

CHELSEA 1 WOLVERHAMPTON WANDERERS 1
An injury-time goal from Eden Hazard salvaged a point for Chelsea against a dogged Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premier League on Sunday after Raul Jimenez had put the visitors ahead with one of their only two shots on goal.

Hazard smashed the ball past Rui Patricio in the 92nd minute after constant pressure from the home side, who are bidding for a top-four place.

Chelsea had been stunned in the 57th minute when Jimenez burst out of defence with Diogo Jota and the pair sliced through Chelsea’s ranks before the Portuguese laid off the ball from wide for Jimenez to slot home.

Patricio made a sharp save shortly afterwards from striker Gonzalo Higuain and another from Willian in the dying minutes. Chelsea had 22 shots to the visitors’ two and also enjoyed 76 percent of possession.

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