Liverpool return to top spot

EASILY DONE: Arsenal's Henrikh Mkhitaryan (left) celebrates with team-mates after scoring their second goal against Southampton on Sunday.

Liverpool took over at the top of the Premier League table despite being held to a 0-0 draw against Manchester United on Sunday.

Juergen Klopp’s side now have 66 points from 27 games while second placed Manchester City, who play Chelsea in the League Cup final later on Sunday, have 65 points from the same number of games.

While the point means that Liverpool have the destiny of the title in their own hands now -- with 11 games remaining -- they will be disappointed not to have taken advantage of an injury-ravaged United.

Having lost holding midfielder Nemanja Matic to injury before the game, Spanish midfielder Ander Herrera went off in the 20th minute and Juan Mata was replaced by Jesse Lingard five minutes later.

But Lingard didn’t even last until the break as he suffered what appeared to be a recurrence of his hamstring strain and limped off to be replaced by Alexis Sanchez.

Amid those three United injuries, Liverpool also lost their Brazilian forward Roberto Firmino to a muscle strain.

After such a messy first half, neither side were able to truly get into their stride.

Arsenal cruised to 2-0 victory over a disjointed Southampton thanks to two first-half goals from Alexandre Lacazette and Henrikh Mkhitaryan at the Emirates, taking them back into the top four. Arsenal took the lead in the sixth minute in bizarre circumstances, Lacazette neatly back-heeling in a pass from Mkhitaryan while the rest of the team were still appealing for a penalty after Lucas Torreira took a tumble in the box.

The home side doubled their advantage minutes later when Southampton keeper Angus Gunn, making only his second Premier League appearance, cleared the ball straight into the path of Arsenal’s Alex Iwobi.

The Nigerian midfielder bolted forward and passed across the goal to the unmarked Mkhitaryan, who thumped his shot low into the corner.

Lacazette should arguably have had a hat-trick within the first half, but he was unable to take advantage of any of the numerous opportunities that came his way.

Southampton, by contrast, looked a shadow of the team that won the reverse fixture at St Mary’s in December, registering only three shots in the half to the Gunners’ 11.

They brought on Charlie Austin in the second half to see if he could maintain his record of scoring against Arsenal every time he has met them in the league, but the Saints were unable to break back into the game.

Palace score 

On Saturday, Crystal Palace posted a comprehensive 4-1 win over Leicester City, who have now gone seven games without a victory.

Two goals from Wilfried Zaha, another from Michy Batshuayi and a penalty from Luka Milivojevic inflicted a fourth consecutive league defeat on Leicester.

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Liverpool return to top spot

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