Football

Liverpool powers ahead as Manchester City stumbles again in Premier League

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Newcastle nicks a point against the defending champion; Real beats Alaves

Liverpool hung on after having goalkeeper Alisson Becker sent off to beat Brighton & Hove Albion 2-1 and extend its lead at the top of the Premier League to 11 points thanks to two first-half headers from defender Virgil van Dijk.

Liverpool, which also equalled its unbeaten top flight run of 31 games set between May 1987 and March 1988, has 40 points from 14 games, with second-placed champion Manchester City on 29 after it was held to a 2-2 draw at Newcastle United. Van Dijk opened the scoring in the 18th minute with a looping header after Trent Alexander-Arnold floated in a free kick from the right and the two combined again for the second goal six minutes later.

Alisson sent off

Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson was sent off in the 77th minute for handling the ball outside the penalty area. Dunk immediately took advantage as he stroked a quick low free kick past stand-in keeper Adrian.

Earlier, City’s title hopes faltered once more as the champion twice blew a lead.

Pep Guardiola’s men were frustrated for long spells after Jetro Willems quickly cancelled out Raheem Sterling’s first half opener, but seemed to have found the moment of magic they needed thanks to Kevin De Bruyne’s sensational strike eight minutes from time.

However, City’s defensive flaws were soon exposed once more as Jonjo Shelvey swept home a well-worked free-kick six minutes later.

City has now dropped points in five of its 14 league games this season.

Sergio Ramos scored a goal and conceded a penalty as Real Madrid battled past Alaves on Saturday to go top of La Liga before Sunday’s game between Barcelona and Atletico Madrid.

Barca and Atletico face off at the Wanda Metropolitano and Madrid did all it could to take advantage, with Dani Carvajal the unlikely matchwinner in a gritty 2-1 victory over Alaves.

Ramos had headed Madrid in front shortly after half-time only to concede a needless penalty for throwing his arm across Joselu, which Lucas Perez converted before Carvajal poked in.

Madrid pulls three points clear of Barcelona and six ahead of Atletico, which has played a game more than the top two. Sevilla, in third, hosts Leganes on Sunday. Alaves stay 13th.

Suat Serdar scored a late winner to give Schalke a 2-1 victory at Union Berlin on Friday and take David Wagner’s team joint top in the Bundesliga.

Schalke now has 25 points after its seventh win of the season and trails leader Borussia Moenchengladbach only on goal difference.

Serdar has five goals in the Bundesliga this campaign, more than in his previous four seasons combined.

His late strike same after being set up by smart approach work from Ahmed Kutucu and Amine Harit.

Union Berlin had won four of its last five matches and was unfortunate to fall behind on 23 minutes when Benito Raman’s fierce left-foot drive beat Rafal Gikiewicz in goal.

However, Union levelled from the penalty spot after 36 minutes when Marcus Ingvartsen scored following a foul on Robert Andrich.

The game seemed headed for a stalemate before Serdar had the final say.

The results: Premier League: Newcastle 2 (Willems 25, Shelvey 88) drew with Manchester City 2 (Sterling 22, De Bruyne 82); Chelsea 0 lost to West Ham 1 (Cresswell 48); Liverpool 2 (van Dijk 18, 24) bt Brighton 1 (Dunk 79); Tottenham 3 (Alli 21, 50, Sissoko 69) bt Bournemouth 2 (H. Wilson 73, 90+6); Burnley 0 lost to Crystal Palace 2 (Zaha 45+1, Schlupp 78).

La Liga: Alaves 1 (Perez 65-pen) lost to Real Madrid 2 (Ramos 52, Carvajal 69).

Bundesliga: Hoffenheim 1 (Kramaric 6) drew with Fortuna Dusseldorf 1 (Hennings 88); Hertha Berlin 1 (Darida 34) lost to Borussia Dortmund 2 (Sancho 16, Hazard 17); Cologne 1 (Cordoba 86) drew with Augsburg 1 (Niederlechner 43); Paderborn 2 (Mamba 62, Gjasula 73) lost to RB Leipzig 3 (Schick 3, Sabitzer 4, Werner 26).

Friday: La Liga: Celta Vigo 0 drew with Real Valladolid 0.

Bundesliga: Schalke 2 (Raman 23, Serdar 86) bt Union Berlin 1 (Ingvartsen 36-pen).

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Printable version | Dec 9, 2019 11:25:32 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/football/liverpool-powers-ahead-as-manchester-city-stumbles-again-in-premier-league/article30126186.ece

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