Liverpool’s record bid hit by Burnley draw, Norwich relegated


London (AFP) – Liverpool’s bid to set a new Premier League points record was rocked by a 1-1 draw against Burnley, while Norwich were relegated as Michail Antonio’s four-goal blitz fired West Ham to a thumping win on Saturday.

Jurgen Klopp’s side are chasing the record total of 100 points set by Manchester City in 2018, but the champions have no margin for error after being held at Anfield for the first time this season.

They have 93 points and need to win their remaining three matches against Arsenal, Chelsea and Newcastle to break City’s record.

They would tie the 100-point mark if they win two and draw one of those matches.

Liverpool took the lead when Andrew Robertson met Fabinho’s lofted pass with a powerful header in the 34th minute.

But they wasted chances to increase their lead, with Roberto Firmino hitting the post before Curtis Jones and Mohamed Salah fired wide.

They were made to pay for those misses in the 69th minute.

Liverpool were unhinged by a long free-kick into their area as James Tarkowski’s header found Jay Rodriguez, who drilled a superb low strike past Alisson Becker.

Johann Berg Gudmundsson almost won it for Burnley when he hit the bar in the final minutes.

It was the first time Liverpool had failed to win a home league game since January 2019.

– Norwich relegated –

At Carrow Road, a seventh successive league defeat condemned Norwich to relegation as Antonio’s ruthless display boosted West Ham’s own survival bid after a 4-0 victory.

Daniel Farke’s side are 13 points from safety with only three games left, meaning they are certain to make an immediate return to the Championship after last season’s promotion campaign.

The Canaries have set an unwanted record with a fifth Premier League relegation after going down on four previous occasions in 1995, 2005, 2014 and 2016.

“We wanted to beat the odds again but when the dust settles the outcome is more or less what was expected. It doesn’t take anything away from the fact that we are disappointed,” Farke said.

“From the first day after promotion our chances to survive were perhaps 5 percent so in 19 out of 20 cases you will go down. If you have luck and no injuries then you have a chance.

“When we are 100 percent we are competitive but when it’s 96 or 97 percent then it sometimes looks like men against boys. That’s what I expected.”

West Ham’s second win in four games was a huge lift to their hopes of staying up.

David Moyes’ side are six points above the bottom three with three games left against Watford, Manchester United and Aston Villa.

The early signs were ominous for Norwich as West Ham took the lead in the 11th minute.

Arriving to meet Issa Diop’s flick from Jarrod Bowen’s corner, Antonio volleyed into the roof of the net from close range for his third goal in his last four games.

Norwich were surrendering with a whimper and Antonio pushed them closer to the relegation trap door in first-half stoppage-time.

Rising above the meek challenge of two Norwich defenders, Antonio glanced his header into the far corner from Mark Noble’s free-kick.

Antonio completed his hat-trick in the 54th minute, looping a header into the net after Tim Krul saved his initial effort.

Antonio completed a memorable performance with his fourth goal in the 74th minute, coolly finishing from Ryan Fredericks’ cross.

Troy Deeney scored two penalties as Watford improved their survival prospects with a 2-1 win against Newcastle at Vicarage Road.

Newcastle snatched the lead in the 23rd minute when Matt Ritchie’s corner was flicked on by Federico Fernandez and Dwight Gayle bundled home at the far post for his third goal of the season.

But Deeney pulled Watford level seven minutes after the restart.

Kiko Femenia was clipped inside the area by Ritchie and Deeney smashed the penalty past Martin Dubravka.

In the 82nd minute, Javier Manquillo brought down Ismaila Sarr and Deeney stepped up again to bury his second penalty.

Fourth-bottom Watford are now six points clear of third-bottom Bournemouth, who face Leicester on Sunday.

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