Liverpool regained their place at the top of the Premier League with a 2-0 win at Cardiff City on Sunday that restored their two-point lead over Manchester City.
Juergen Klopp’s side, who have lost just once in the league all season, have 88 points, a club record in the Premier League era, while City, who beat Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 on Saturday, are on 86 but have a game in hand.
That extra game for City will be played on Wednesday when Pep Guardiola’s side travel to Old Trafford to face Manchester United and the champions will make the short trip with the pressure firmly back on.
Against a Cardiff side battling for Premier League survival, it was a confident, patient performance from Liverpool who have now enjoyed nine straight wins in all competitions.
“It was prepared to be a proper banana skin and we knew that, the boys were unbelievable. It was clear, difficult for all of us,” said Klopp.
“The boys try really with all they have, we only speak about the things we have to do.”
Meanwhile, Crystal Palace put a dent in Arsenal’s Champions League qualification hopes after strikers Christian Benteke and Wilfried Zaha made the most of defensive errors in a 3-2 win at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.
The visitors took a shock early lead inside 20 minutes when captain Luka Milivojevic’s freekick found an unmarked Benteke, who headed it past Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno for his first league goal since April last year.
Arsenal boss Unai Emery responded with the introduction of Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Alex Iwobi at the start of the second half but it was Mesut Ozil who scored the equaliser after a sweeping move.
The German playmaker combined with Iwobi and striker Alexandre Lacazette before scooping the ball past Palace goalkeeper Vicente Guaita.
But Arsenal paid for a lapse in concentration at the back as Zaha took advantage of Shkodran Mustafi’s error in judgement to grab the lead for the visitors, before Palace added a third with a headed goal from James McArthur.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang pulled one back for the hosts to set up a pulsating final 10 minutes but Palace held on to end Arsenal’s 16-match unbeaten run at home in the league.
Arsenal remain fourth in the league standings but fail to take advantage of defeats for Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United earlier this weekend.