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Premier League round-up: Mohamed Salah steadies Liverpool, Arsenal fall against West Ham

Mohamed Salah penalty gave Liverpool a 1-0 win at Brighton Hove Albion on Saturday. (Reuters) 

Liverpool went seven points clear at the top of the Premier League and bounced back from two successive defeats in all competitions after a Mohamed Salah penalty gave them a 1-0 win at Brighton Hove Albion on Saturday. The result put Liverpool on 57 points from 22 games, seven ahead of closest rivals Manchester City who are at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers on Monday. Third-placed Tottenham Hotspur, who have 48 points, host Manchester United on Sunday.

Liverpool produced a clinical if unimpressive performance on the south coast, having lost 2-1 at City in their previous league outing before being beaten by Wolves in the FA Cup third round by the same scoreline.

After a dour first half, Salah produced a moment of trademark individual skill to win the spot kick he converted five minutes into the second half after Pascal Gross fouled him following the Egyptian’s neat footwork in the penalty area.

Xherdan Shaqiri, who got a rare start on the right flank in a reshuffled 4-2-3-1 formation, missed Liverpool’s best chance in the opening half when he headed inches wide after Trent Alexander-Arnold’s cross.

As Brighton threw men forward in the closing stages, Liverpool twice came close to scoring again late on with the home team’s goalkeeper David Button parrying Roberto Firmino’s effort before Salah misfired wide from five metres.

Declan Rice’s first West Ham goal enough to sink Arsenal

West Ham’s Declan Rice celebrates after the match with Pablo Zabaleta. (Reuters)

Declan Rice’s first goal for West Ham United earned his side a deserved first home victory over Arsenal for 13 years on Saturday, the youngster’s 48th minute strike securing a 1-0 win at the London Stadium. Arsenal began brightly and then had a flurry of chances after falling behind but West Ham were good value for the three points as they put a dent in Arsenal’s top-four hopes.

Former Arsenal midfielder Samir Nasri, rebuilding his career at West Ham after a doping ban, was at the heart of much of West Ham’s best work on his Premier League debut for the club. It was the Frenchman’s neat lay-off that allowed 19-year-old midfielder Rice the space to curl a superb shot past Bernd Leno. Rice had headed wide in a first half in which West Ham took charge with Felipe Anderson drilling a shot fractionally wide of the post after another lay-off by Frenchman Nasri.

Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette had a double chance early on and Matteo Guendouzi’s 25-metre effort flew just wide but Arsenal struggled to exert any sustained pressure. Alex Iwobi shaved the post with a low shot but Arsenal failed to score for the first time in 21 Premier League matches. Arsenal remain fifth on 41 points while West Ham move up to eighth on 31 points before the rest of the weekend fixtures.

Ten-man Southampton out of relegation zone with win over Leicester City

Southampton’s Matt Targett shakes hands with Cedric Soares after the match (REUTERS) 

Southampton moved out of the relegation zone with a 2-1 win over Leicester City in the Premier League on Saturday despite playing half the match with 10 men at the King Power Stadium. Saints came into the contest having picked up four points in their last two Premier League away games, and found themselves in front after 11 minutes through James Ward-Prowse’s penalty.

Their task was seemingly made more difficult when Yan Valery was sent off for a second yellow card just before halftime but Shane Long squeezed the ball home to double Southampton’s advantage just before the break. Leicester committed more bodies forward in the second period and soon got themselves back in the match through Wilfred Ndidi’s scrappy goal in the 58th minute. No team has given up more points from leading positions than Southampton this season, but they dug in and held out for another three crucial points.

The win moves Southampton up to 16th while Leicester followed up their humiliating FA Cup defeat by League Two side Newport County with a loss that sees them drop to eighth.

Fulham sunk by two own goals at Burnley

Burnley beat Fulham 2-1 at Turf Moor on Saturday thanks to two own goals to make it three straight league wins for Sean Dyche’s side and leave the visitors deep in relegation danger. German international Andre Schurrle put Fulham, without an away win this season, ahead in brilliant fashion in the second minute, bringing down a long ball from Denis Odoi and blasting, first time, past Tom Heaton.

Burnley got back on level terms though in the 20th minute when Jeff Hendrick’s low drive was turned into his own net by Fulham defender Joe Bryan. Three minutes later and Hendrick had forced another own goal — his drive headed in by Odoi to put the Clarets 2-1 up.

Burnley defender James Tarkowski had to clear a Luciano Vietto drive off the line shortly after the interval and Fulham had most of the pressure after the break without creating many clear-cut chances. Burnley did not have a shot on target in the game but move up to 15th place with the win, while Fulham are next to bottom on 14 points, five points from safety.

Huddersfield end losing run with 0-0 draw at Cardiff City

Bottom club Huddersfield Town ended their eight-match losing streak in the Premier League with a goalless draw at fellow strugglers Cardiff City on Saturday. Cardiff, in 17th place, did not manage a shot on target and Huddersfield were left fuming over a decision from referee Lee Mason. Mason pointed to the spot when Florent Hadergjonaj went down under challenge from Joe Bennett but changed his mind after consulting his assistant.

Huddersfield had lost their previous six games at Cardiff in all competitions but after having the better of Saturday’s match will be disappointed not to have picked up all three points.

The Terriers had 61 percent of possession and Jason Puncheon and Steve Mounie both went close to a breakthrough. The Yorkshire club remain bottom on 11 points, eight points away from safety.