EPL roundup: City, Chelsea & Liv all win to intensify title race

The English Premier League’s top three kept up the furious pace of their title race by picking up hard-fought wins on Saturday, although all three needed second-half penalties to do so.

Manchester City maintained its one-point lead after Raheem Sterling’s 100th league goal secured a 1-0 home win over Wolverhampton in the early kickoff, and chasing duo Liverpool and Chelsea responded with slim victories of their own.

Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard’s return to Anfield nearly dealt a damaging blow to Liverpool’s title hopes but Mohamed Salah’s penalty in the 67th minute secured a 1-0 win for the Reds after goalkeeper Emi Martinez frustrated the hosts for much of the game.

At Stamford Bridge, Jorginho had to convert two spot kicks — the second in the fourth minute of stoppage time — to beat Leeds 3-2. His first penalty in the 58th put Chelsea 2-1 up but Joe Gelhardt equalized in the 83rd.

Liverpool remained in second place with Chelsea another point back in third.

City was perhaps a bit fortunate to come away with a sixth straight league win after Pep Guardiola’s team was awarded a disputed spot kick for handball when Joao Moutinho blocked a cross from Bernardo Silva with his arm outstretched. Wolves argued the ball hit his armpit, but the decision was upheld after a VAR review.

Sterling calmly converted the penalty straight down the middle.

“It’s a lovely achievement,” Sterling said about joining the 100-goal club. “Some fantastic players have been in there. I’m really honored to be in it now.”

Arsenal bounced back from two straight losses by beating Southampton 3-0 at home and climbed to fifth place — although Manchester United had a chance to leapfrog the Gunners by beating Norwich later.

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