Spurs held at Liverpool while Arsenal and Manchester City stroll

Photo credit: AFP

Photo credit: AFP

Leaders Leicester City can go seven points clear in the Premier League after closest rivals Tottenham Hotspur dropped points in a frantic 1-1 draw at Liverpool on Saturday.

Harry Kane struck in the 63rd minute to cancel out Philippe Coutinho’s opener for Liverpool, leaving Spurs four points below Leicester, who host Southampton on Sunday.

Arsenal and Manchester City had earlier kept their title hopes flickering with one-sided 4-0 wins, Arsenal defeating their FA Cup conquerors Watford and City easing to victory at Bournemouth.

“The feeling after the game is that we missed two points,” said Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino. “I am happy and very pleased with the performance.

“Leicester have a tough game against Southampton, but we need to believe. Leicester deserve to be in the place they are, but in football anything can happen. We have to fight until the end of the season.”

Having finished the first half strongly, Liverpool took the lead in the 51st minute at Anfield when Coutinho exchanged passes with Daniel Sturridge before steering a shot into the bottom-right corner.

But after Son Heung-Min had volleyed a fraction wide, Spurs leveled when Christian Eriksen’s cut-back found Kane, who brilliantly rolled Dejan Lovren before slamming home his 22nd goal of the campaign.

There were chances thereafter at both ends — Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet thwarting Eriksen and Mousa Dembele; Coutinho drilling inches wide — but to Leicester’s delight, Spurs could not find a winner.

“I think we could have won this game. You cannot be satisfied after a draw,” said Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, whose team climbed to ninth.

“It was an open and wild game with two teams with a good attitude.”

Nigerian teenager Alex Iwobi scored for the second game running as Arsenal claimed a measure of revenge for last month’s FA Cup loss to Watford with a 4-0 victory that left them eight points off the pace.

“I am very happy because it was a good performance,” said Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, whose side also found the net through Alexis Sanchez, Hector Bellerin and Theo Walcott.

“We have to be very pragmatic and realistic. This is a start, but we have to keep it going and focusing on the process, the quality of the game. But today’s result gives us a chance.”

Kevin De Bruyne marked his return from a two-month knee injury lay-off with a goal as City tuned up for their mid-week trip to Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League quarter-finals by steamrollering Bournemouth.

Fernando and Sergio Aguero scored either side of the Belgium international’s sweetly struck 12th-minute volley, with Aleksandar Kolarov notching a fine fourth in stoppage time.

City remain fourth, four points below Arsenal and three points above West Ham United, who lost ground in the race for a top-four place after Cheikhou Kouyate was sent off in a 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace.

Palace went ahead when Damien Delaney punished a mistake by home goalkeeper Adrian to score a 15th-minute header, only for Manuel Lanzini to level three minutes later.

Dimitri Payet put West Ham in front with another sublime free-kick, but Kouyate was then contentiously dismissed for a high foot on Dwight Gayle, who netted Palace’s equalizer in the 75th minute.

– Newcastle six points adrift –

Meanwhile, Newcastle United were left six points adrift of safety after Martin Olsson’s dramatic 93rd-minute strike earned Norwich City a potentially pivotal 3-2 win in a relegation tussle at Carrow Road.

Twice Norwich went ahead, through Timm Klose’s header and Dieumerci Mbokani’s rasping strike, only for substitute Aleksandar Mitrovic to equalize on each occasion, the second time with an 86th-minute penalty.

But deep into added time, Olsson drove home to earn Alex Neil’s side a vital victory.

“Now it is more difficult, but we have to keep confident that we can still do it,” Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez told the BBC.

“What upsets you more is the way that we concede in the last minute of each half. If we start winning games, we still have time.”

Newcastle are now six points below fourth-bottom Norwich, albeit with a game in hand, while northeast rivals Sunderland are two points better off after drawing 0-0 at home to West Bromwich Albion.

Bottom club Aston Villa are 15 points from safety after their wretched season continued with an abject 4-0 home defeat by Chelsea, for whom Alexandre Pato marked his debut with a goal.

Elsewhere, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Alberto Paloschi scored as Swansea City came from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 at Stoke City.

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