Liverpool move up to second in Premier League after victory against Fulham

Jurgen Klopp's side level on points with Arsenal at top as Aston Villa tighten grip on fourth spot with win over Bournemouth

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Liverpool kept up the pressure on Arsenal at the top of the Premier League as they moved level on points with the leaders after beating Fulham 3-1 at Craven Cottage.

Jurgen Klopp's side moved a point above Manchester City – who have a game in hand – on 74 points, trailing the Gunners on goal difference.

Mikael Arteta's side reclaimed top spot on Saturday after their 2-0 victory away at Wolves.

Liverpool took the lead against Fulham after 32 minutes thanks to a superb curling free kick from Trent Alexander-Arnold before they were pegged back by a goal from Timothy Castagne just before the break.

But Ryan Gravenberch scored off the post from 20 yards out to restore Liverpool's lead after 53 minutes before Diogo Jota made sure of the three points with a low finish after running on to Cody Gakpo's through ball.

Liverpool manager Klopp told Match of the Day afterwards: “For 80 minutes we played a really good game. I didn't like the last 10 minutes of the first half and they got the goal. But that's all right because I loved the second half.

“We could show again what we did really well in the first half – we kept the ball, created, and scored some good goals. We had some good chances on top of that too. We made some changes and the boys did really well.

“Fulham usually cause us more problems so it was a good performance at the right moment.

“We want to stay in that race, that's clear. Arsenal won yesterday, Manchester City will win their game in hand [against Brighton on Thursday], so we have to win games and that's what we'll try [to do].”

Aston Villa tightened their grip on fourth place in the race for automatic Champions League qualification with a 3-1 win against Bournemouth.

Unai Emery's side now sit six points above Tottenham Hotspur, albeit having played two games more than the Londoners, after the victory at Villa Park.

They fell behind to a Dominic Solanke penalty after Matty Cash had brought down Milos Kerkez in the area in the 31st minute.

Morgan Rogers' fine finish in first-half stoppage time turned the tide before Moussa Diaby scored from Ollie Watkins' pass to put Villa in front just before the hour mark.

Watkins was the provider once more for Leon Bailey to tap in to seal the points 12 minutes from time.

Diaby told Sky Sports: “It’s very happy today because it was such a strong performance. We need to play well to get three points at home in front of our fans. The race for Champions League, it is a good win and chance to get more points.

“We know Bournemouth is a good team. A lot of contact, but we had to stay calm to score our first goal. After the second half, we had a really good half, and we scored two goals.”

Everton claimed a highly controversial 2-0 victory over Nottingham Forest at Goodison Park.

Idrissa Gueye and Dwight McNeil scored to take the Toffees five points clear of the drop zone as they seek to extend their 70-year stay in the top-flight.

Forest remain just one point above the bottom three but were enraged at being denied three strong penalty appeals.

The club's official account on social media platform X called into question the Premier League's integrity by claiming the VAR official is a fan of relegation rivals Luton.

“We warned the PGMOL [the referees' governing body] that the VAR is a Luton fan before the game but they didn't change him,” Forest said in a statement.

“Our patience has been tested multiple times. NFFC will now consider its options.”

Responding to the post, Sky Sports football pundit Jamie Carragher said: “It tells you where we are with the Premier League now and the clubs.

“Stuart Attwell and Anthony Taylor [the match officials] have had an horrific day today, awful, and they should be rightly criticised for that and that could have real implications for Nottingham Forest.

“I get the frustration, but that, what I’ve just read there on social media, that’s like a fan in a pub. That is embarrassing from Nottingham Forest.

“That rubbish that VAR’s a Luton fan – you can’t get involved in that you’ve got to show a little bit of class if you’re a football club.”

The pressure on West Ham manager David Moyes increased after his team were thrashed 5-2 away at Crystal Palace.

The Eagles scored four times inside the first 31 minutes. Michael Olise headed in the opener before Eberechi Eze's spectacular acrobatic effort found the roof of the net.

Emerson Palmieri's own goal made it 3-0 before Jean-Philippe Mateta struck twice for Palace either side of half-time.

Michail Antonio's strike and a Tyrick Mitchell own goal was scant consolation for West Ham as a miserable day rounded off a poor week after they were dumped out of the Europa League by Bayer Leverkusen.

The Hammers could have gone sixth with victory but now need a reaction to finish even in the top 10 having played more games than the sides around them.

Updated: April 21, 2024, 7:04 PM