Liverpool Premier League title hopes suffer blow, Sheffield relegated – Sport

LONDON: West Ham United’s Michail Antonio (R) heads to score against Liverpool during their Premier League match at the London Stadium on Saturday. —Reuters

LONDON: Liverpool’s fading Premier League title hopes were dealt a near-fatal blow on Saturday as West Ham United rescued a draw against Jurgen Klopp’s men while Sheffield United were relegated in ignominious fashion.

Manchester United’s push for Europe was dented by Burnley, who secured a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford, keeping alive their hopes of survival.

Klopp’s glittering reign at Anfield appears to be ending on a flat note after they dropped points for the fourth time in five league games at the London Stadium.

Just weeks ago Liverpool, who won the League Cup in February, were on course for a quadruple of trophies but that is now a distant memory after FA Cup and Europa League exits and a string of damaging league results.

Liverpool would have moved level on points with leaders Arsenal with a victory, at least temporarily, but they failed to make the most of their chances despite a stirring second-half fightback.

The Gunners are on 77 points, two clear of Liverpool with a game in hand, while defending champions City have 76 points with two games in hand on the Reds.

Jarrod Bowen put David Moyes’ West Ham ahead shortly before half time but Liverpool looked a different side in the second period, taking the lead through Andy Robertson before an own goal from West Ham goalkeeper Alphonse Areola.

But West Ham levelled in the 77th minute when Bowen wriggled free down the right and lifted a cross towards Michail Antonio, who headed home.

A downbeat Klopp, in the final weeks of his time at Anfield, said he did not want to talk about his side’s title chances.

“I’m not in the mood to talk about that to be honest or look at that at all,” he told TNT Sports.

“We had to win here, we knew that, and we didn’t, and now we have a little bit more time between now and the next game. We try to get the boys ready again and we will go again.”

The German bemoaned his side’s squandered chances, which have cost them dear in recent weeks.

“When we are 2-1 up we could control it, and still, as I said, in a lot of moments playing really well but the final situation we didn’t take,” he said. “That has been the story of the last four weeks.”

Klopp attempted to play down a touchline spat with Mohamed Salah, who was left out of the starting line-up, but the Egypt forward fanned the flames.

“There’s going to be a fire today if I speak,” he told reporters.

Pep Guardiola’s City, who play relegation-threatened Nottingham Forest on Sunday, are hot favourites to secure an unprecedented fourth straight English top-flight title.

Arsenal, who led the way for much of last season, are firmly in the hunt but face a tough away day at Tottenham Hotspur, also on Sunday.

In the day’s later match, Newcastle United’s 5-1 win against bottom club Sheffield United strengthened their push for European football next season but sent Chris Wilder’s team down to the Championship after just one season in the top flight.

Anel Ahmedhodzic gave the visitors an early lead at St James’ Park but two goals from Alexander Isak either side of a Bruno Guimaraes header turned it around.

An own goal by Ben Osborn deepened the woe for Sheffield United and Callum Wilson smashed in a fifth.

Newcastle remain in seventh place but are just one point behind Manchester United, who conceded a late penalty in a draw against Burnley.

Brazilian winger Antony scored his first Premier league goal of the season but Zeki Amdouni levelled from the spot in the 87th minute to leave the home side ruing missed chances.

Burnley are two points below Forest, who are just outside the relegation zone, and one point behind Luton Town.

Meanwhile, Hwang Hee-chan and Toti Gomes scored as Wolverhampton Wanderers deepened Luton’s woes with a 2-1 win and Fulham drew 1-1 with Crystal Palace.

Published in Dawn, April 28th, 2024

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