Miguel Almiron scored his first Premier League goal to fire Newcastle United to a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace, while Everton and Arsenal played out a bore draw at Goodison Park.

Paraguay international Almiron volleyed home late on to get off the mark on his 27th appearance in the competition and settle a match that was heading for a goalless draw.

Goals proved hard to come by in the stalemate between Everton and Arsenal, a low-quality match watched from the stands by respective incoming bosses Carlo Ancelotti and Mikel Arteta.

Everton failed to record a shot on target in a top-flight home match for the first time since January 2018, while Gabriel Martinelli went closest to scoring for the visitors.

Elsewhere, Burnley, Sheffield United, Wolves and Southampton all won away from home, the latter seeing off relegation rivals Aston Villa 3-1 to boost their survival hopes.

Arsenal's poor form continues

With Arteta not officially taking charge of his first Arsenal match until the Boxing Day trip to Bournemouth, interim head coach Freddie Ljungberg oversaw yet another below-par display from his side.

The Gunners looked the more likely side to score on Merseyside but lacked cohesion all over the field and had to settle for a point, making it just one win in 13 matches in all competitions.

Arsenal did at least manage to test Jordan Pickford - the England international doing well to keep out Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the second half - with the Toffees rarely troubling the opposition defence.

Ancelotti was confirmed as Everton's new manager on a four-and-a-half-year deal shortly before kick-off, giving him a chance to witness up close just how big a task he has on his hands when taking the reins from stand-in boss Duncan Ferguson.

Almiron ends drought to extend Palace's winless run

A third victory in four Premier League matches for Newcastle was secured thanks to Almiron, who has had a tough time of things since arriving from Atlanta United for a reported £20million in January.

Almiron converted with a first-time finish seven minutes from time after being teed up by Andy Carroll's header, ending his long-running goal drought and sending United up to ninth place.

Palace, now without a win in three league outings, saw more of the ball and had the better of the chances, but Wilfried Zaha and Christian Benteke were unable to find a way past home goalkeeper Martin Dubravka.

Ings inspires Southampton to vital victory

Southampton leapfrogged fellow strugglers Aston Villa into 17th place with a Danny Ings-inspired win, the one-cap England international reaching double figures for the season before Christmas.

Ings scored either side of Jack Stephens' towering header as Ralph Hasenhuttl's charges raced into a three-goal lead at Villa Park with 51 minutes played.

Jack Grealish scored a fine goal to reduce the arrears, but Villa left themselves with too big a mountain to climb and are now in the relegation zone after a fourth defeat on the spin.

Norwich cut further adrift

Norwich City failed to make their first-half dominance count in a 2-1 home loss to Wolves that leaves them six points adrift of safety at Christmas.

Todd Cantwell pounced on a loose ball to give Norwich a deserved 17th-minute lead, but they could not build on their advantage and Wolves hit back.

After a subdued opening hour, Romain Saiss sparked his side into life with a powerful header and Raul Jimenez made it 16 goals for the season across all competitions late on to condemn Norwich - who have one point from their last five home matches - to another defeat.

Wilder's men overcome more VAR frustrations

Sheffield United continued their march up the Premier League with a 1-0 win at Brighton and Hove Albion, despite the frustration of having two goals ruled out by VAR.

John Egan's bundled finish was chalked off for handball and Jack O'Connell was denied for offside - the third and fourth goals United have been awarded on the field this term, only for VAR to intervene.

Not that it mattered, though, as Oli McBurnie's third goal of the season - a powerful strike past Mat Ryan after 23 minutes - proved enough for Chris Wilder's men to keep their unbeaten away record this season intact as they moved into the lofty heights of fifth place.

Rodriguez settles contest between shot-shy sides

Burnley edged out Bournemouth 1-0 at the Vitality Stadium in a game that saw the sides register just five shots between them - the fewest recorded in a Premier League game since records began in 2003-04.

The one and only attempt on target arrived in the final minute of the game, Jay Rodriguez heading in Ashley Westwood's cross from close range to settle a dreadful game.

Jefferson Lerma's 30-yard effort over the bar was as good as things got for a Bournemouth side that have lost six of their last seven league matches to slip into relegation danger.

A fine strike from Wilfried Zaha secured a 1-1 draw for Crystal Palace at home to Brighton and Hove Albion on Monday.

It looked as though Neal Maupay's emphatic left-foot finish would be enough for Brighton to claim the bragging rights over their rivals at Selhurst Park and secure consecutive league wins for the Seagulls away to Palace for the first time since 1983.

Maupay shushed the home fans after firing home 54 minutes in to give Brighton a deserved lead after a first half in which they dominated and Palace could not muster a single shot.

Roy Hodgson's men responded in style, though, Zaha cutting onto his left foot in the box and blasting the ball high into the net past Mat Ryan to ensure the spoils were shared.

Palace move up to ninth in the table, a point above Arsenal, while Brighton are three points further back in 13th.

Manchester United could be set to land the most sought-after striker in Europe.

According to a new report, Erling Haaland has identified the Red Devils as his preferred choice from a long list of suitors containing Juventus, Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig.

The teenager met with the two Bundesliga clubs in midweek, but United appear to have moved to the front of the queue.

 

TOP STORY – HAALAND SENDS MESSAGE TO SOLSKJAER

Salzburg star Haaland has told compatriot Ole Gunnar Solskjaer he wants to move to Old Trafford, according to the Mirror.

United have been linked with the 19-year-old for several months and the Norwegian connection could lead him to the Premier League.

However, Haaland's high-profile agent Mino Raiola reportedly wants to keep all options on the table as the January transfer window moves nearer.

The striker's father, Alf-Inge, was said to have visited United's training ground in November, while Haaland held talks with Bundesliga teams Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig this week.

 

ROUND-UP

- Inter's firm interest in Fiorentina winger Federico Chiesa could lead to a transfer tug-of-war with Serie A title rivals Juventus, according to CalcioMercato.

- The Nerazzurri have been linked Alessandro Florenzi, but Atalanta are now in pole position to sign the Italy international if he leaves Roma in January, says Gazzetta dello Sport.

- Rest time might be at a minimum for Kylian Mbappe when the club season winds down. According to Le Parisien, French Football Federation president Noel Le Graet will give the Paris Saint-Germain star the chance to compete at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, which begin less than two weeks after the Euro 2020 final.

- Chelsea are considering launching a January bid for Leeds United loanee Ben White, claims the Daily Mail. Brighton and Hove Albion, White's parent club, are reportedly willing to accept offers of £25million.

- Mundo Deportivo suggests LaLiga heavyweights Barcelona are monitoring Thiago Alcantara's situation amid rumours the midfielder has become unhappy at Bayern Munich. Thiago swapped Barca for Bayern in 2013.

- West Ham's victory over Southampton will not be enough to save Manuel Pellegrini from the sack, says the Daily Star. Carlo Ancelotti and David Moyes are among the possible replacements.

Wolves have confirmed two arrests were made for homophobic abuse during Sunday's Premier League match at Brighton and Hove Albion.

The club have strongly condemned the behaviour of the individuals involved and are offering their full support to Sussex Police in a criminal investigation.

Wolves drew 2-2 at AMEX Stadium on Sunday, as the Premier League this weekend celebrated equality and diversity within the game with its Stonewall Rainbow Laces campaign, which aims to celebrate LGBT people within sport.

"Our ethos at Wolves is about being 'One Pack' - an attitude our supporters are very passionate about and that extends to our relationships across the football community, regardless of rivalries on the pitch," a statement on Wolves' official website read.

The arrests follow on from Everton confirming they were investigating alleged homophobic chants that were reported during a 3-1 victory over Chelsea at Goodison Park on Saturday.

Leicester City registered a club-record eighth Premier League win a row with a resounding 4-1 defeat of Aston Villa on Sunday.

The result – aided by a Jamie Vardy brace – means Brendan Rodgers' side go back to within eight points of leaders Liverpool and sees them open a six-point advantage over Manchester City following their defeat to Manchester United on Saturday.

Sheffield United's impressive return to the top flight continued as they came from behind to beat Norwich City 2-1 at Carrow Road, while Newcastle United left it late to scrape past Southampton by the same scoreline.

In the day's final game, Diogo Jota scored twice as Wolves and Brighton and Hove Albion played out an entertaining 2-2 draw at the Amex Stadium.

 

Foxes maintain sensational run

Vardy's stunning streak continued as he became the first player to score in eight consecutive Premier League games since he previously achieved the feat himself in 2015.

The 32-year-old claimed goals in a record-breaking 11 matches in a row during Leicester's remarkable title-winning campaign and is now threatening to match or even improve upon that landmark.

He put Leicester ahead at Villa Park before Kelechi Iheanacho doubled the Foxes' advantage from close range.

Jack Grealish suggested the hosts could stage a comeback when he scored on the stroke of half-time, but Jonny Evans and Vardy's second sealed yet another three points for Rodgers' relentless side.

Blades bounce back to overcome Canaries

Sheffield United remain unbeaten away from home in this season's Premier League after a narrow victory over Norwich City.

Alexander Tettey had given the hosts a first-half lead, but Chris Wilder's side bounced back after the break courtesy of goals from Enda Stevens and George Baldock.

The Canaries thought they had been handed an opportunity to claw their way back into the game when Chris Basham was shown a straight red card for a lunge on Kenny McLean, only for a VAR review to downgrade the dismissal to a yellow card.

The result moves the Blades up to eighth, while Daniel Farke's side remain four points away from safety in 19th.

Jota double seals away point for Wolves

Wolves stretched their unbeaten run in the Premier League to 11 games after a draw with Brighton that saw all four goals scored in the first half.

Jota put the visitors ahead in the 28th minute after playing a one-two with Raul Jimenez before the hosts turned the game on its head with two goals in 96 seconds.

First, Neal Maupay drew Graham Potter's side level and then Davy Propper put them ahead with a fine header from Leandro Trossard's cross.

Jota ensured a share of the spoils a minute before the interval, though, turning inside the penalty area and firing past Mat Ryan.

Magpies' revival continues with hard-fought win

Jonjo Shelvey scored for a third consecutive game as Newcastle made it four wins from their past six in the Premier League with a late victory over Southampton.

The Saints went ahead courtesy of Danny Ings' fifth goal in as many games seven minutes into the second half, but Shelvey restored parity in the 68th minute.

Federico Fernandez had the final say, firing in from close range after Sean Longstaff's shot was parried by goalkeeper Alex McCarthy with three minutes of normal time to go.

Liverpool cruised to a 5-2 victory in the Merseyside derby against Everton as they consolidated their lead at the top of the Premier League, despite a much-changed team.

Meanwhile, Tottenham head coach Jose Mourinho endured an unhappy return to Old Trafford as his side lost 2-1 to Manchester United - the Portuguese has not won there as a visiting boss in his past five attempts.

Defending champions Manchester City thrashed Burnley 4-1 as Pep Guardiola made it eight wins in his nine games against the Clarets.

A midweek round of Premier League fixtures brought a range of milestones and telling stats, the best of which are below.

KLOPP ECLIPSES SHANKLY, PAISLEY AND DALGLISH 

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp will likely need to deliver the Premier League title to secure his place in the pantheon of Anfield greats.

However, the German has put down a few markers suggesting he is ready to join the Kop's hall of fame by becoming the fastest Liverpool manager to 100 league victories. Klopp completed the feat in 159 games – quicker than Bill Shankly, Bob Paisley and Kenny Dalglish.

Liverpool secured the win over Everton thanks to a brace from Divock Origi, and one goal apiece for Sadio Mane, Xherdan Shaqiri and Georginio Wijnaldum.

They are now unbeaten in their past 32 Premier League games which is their longest run without defeat in top-flight history.

Marco Silva's final match at the helm saw him become the first Everton manager to concede five league goals against Liverpool in a single match since Howard Kendall in November 1982.

 

MORE OF THE SAME FOR MOURINHO 

United's 2-1 win over Tottenham, secured courtesy of two goals from Marcus Rashford – taking his tally to nine in 10 games – made Mourinho's return to his old club a miserable one.

Mourinho has won none of his past five away Premier League matches against the Red Devils (D3 L2), failing to beat four different managers in that time – Alex Ferguson, David Moyes, Louis van Gaal and current United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

It was also Tottenham 35th Premier League defeat against United – more than they have suffered against any other team. 

Spurs' defence must also be a concern for Mourinho. They have conceded twice in their four matches in all competitions under the Portuguese – they only had a run of conceding two or more goals in four consecutive games once under Mauricio Pochettino, doing so in February and March 2015.

Midfielder Dele Alli has started to rediscover some of his old form, though, and his equaliser for Spurs was his third goal in as many appearances for the club in all competitions – the first time since March 2017 he has enjoyed such a purple patch.

 

CITY THREE AND EASY UNDER PEP

Gabriel Jesus' brace and one apiece for midfielders Rodri and Riyad Mahrez gave City some much-needed confidence with a 4-1 thrashing of Burnley – although they remain 11 points behind leaders Liverpool.

Jesus is now the third highest-scoring Brazilian player in Premier League history (32 goals), trailing only Philippe Coutinho (41) and Roberto Firmino (52).

It was the 36th time City have won a Premier League game by three or more goals under Guardiola – the most of any team in the competition since the start of the 2016-17 season.

David Silva's creative skills remain key for City and he took his tally to six assists from open play in the league this season – just one fewer than he managed in 33 games last season.

Burnley have now conceded 11 goals in their three home games against 'big six' opposition in the Premier League this season, compared to only two goals in five home games against the rest.

 

LJUNGBERG'S LOSS A DROUGHT-BREAKING BOOST FOR BRIGHTON

Managerless, beaten at home by Brighton and Hove Albion and now nine games without victory in all competitions – Gunners fans have every right to be gloomy.

Arsenal's 2-1 loss to the Seagulls made this their longest winless streak since a run of 10 between February and March of 1977.

Mesut Ozil registered his first assist in the league since February when his corner was met by Alexandre Lacazette, but the French forward's 25th English top-flight goal at Emirates Stadium failed to avert a first defeat for interim boss Freddie Ljungberg.

Adam Webster had opened the scoring before the interval and Brighton were able to celebrate their first Premier League away win over 'big six' opposition following Neal Maupay's 80th-minute header.

Arsenal, booed off at full-time, have faced 52 shots on target in home league games this season, four more than in the entire Invincibles campaign of 2003-04.

Freddie Ljungberg believes Arsenal just need to "dig out a win" for confidence after their poor run continued with a defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion.

Arsenal's winless run extended to nine games – their worst stretch since going 10 matches without a victory in 1977 – after suffering a 2-1 Premier League loss at the Emirates Stadium on Thursday.

But interim head coach Ljungberg feels one win could help turn Arsenal's season around, admitting his players looked "scared" during the first half against Brighton.

"That's the tough part. They looked very short on confidence, in the first half they were scared to get the ball, scared to move and were just standing still," he told a news conference.

"We need to talk about that but they need to, have to dig out a win and get some confidence because they can do it.

"They showed it in the second half, I think we did that really well for 20 minutes. It's hard to say that when you lose at home but they were very good in that spell."

After Alexandre Lacazette cancelled out Adam Webster's opener, Neal Maupay scored an 80th-minute winner for Brighton to leave Arsenal 10th in the table.

Ljungberg believes his team, who visit West Ham on Monday, are feeling the pressure amid their poor run of form.

"I think it's obvious that nervousness from the crowd can affect football players no matter what quality you have," he said.

"They're human beings like everyone else, they want to do well and they feel the pressure but that's something we need to work on.

"If we dig out a win, we can get there like I said. They showed that in the second half."

Freddie Ljungberg acknowledged Arsenal's players are going through a crisis in confidence after they slipped to a 2-1 Premier League defeat at home to Brighton and Hove Albion.

Neal Maupay's late header earned the Seagulls a deserved three points against Arsenal on Thursday, as Ljungberg's first wait for a win since taking over from Unai Emery on a temporary basis rolls on.

Arsenal are now winless in nine matches in all competitions – their worst run since March 1977 – and sit in 10th position, 10 points adrift of the top four.

Ljungberg conceded his side are suffering a severe lack of confidence, claiming "this is not Arsenal" was the message he issued to the players after a dismal first-half showing.

"It was tough. We didn't show up in the first half, didn't work hard and want to play. You can't start like that," Ljungberg told reporters.

"Second half we had a word and were better but we are suspect on the counter and we have no confidence. We gave them 45 minutes at home. I need to work on that and get confidence back into the boys.

"It's a concern for any coach, a lack of confidence. At half time we said 'This is not Arsenal, we have to give it a crack.' That's what I want to see from them.

"Of course it's disappointing but we've got to keep on going. The players are low on confidence, I think you can see that. There was a little bit of a reaction in the second half, but you've got to start games like that.

"We're in a difficult situation, we've lost a lot of games and the confidence has gone down. We started the game flat with no energy. It's my job to get them to be aggressive and play with energy."

Graham Potter, meanwhile, has now won both of his matches at the Emirates Stadium, having previously guided Swedish club Ostersunds to a 2-1 victory away to Arsenal in February 2018.

It is Brighton's first away win against Arsenal and ends a run of three successive defeats.

"It's a nice moment, a nice three points, gives us a bit of belief," Potter told Prime-Video. "I think we've played five of the big six away from home, we've got better.

"Played well against Liverpool, got nothing, but today I thought it was a good game from us. Not perfect, you can't be perfect, but we showed enough character, courage, bravery and quality as well.

"Hopefully it gives confidence and belief in the work we've been doing. We haven't been a million miles away. Sometimes you need to zoom out and see the bigger picture. Our performances mean that if we carry on improving we can pick up points in this league."

Arsenal's dismal run of form rolled on as Neal Maupay's superb header earned Brighton and Hove Albion a 2-1 victory at Emirates Stadium.

Alexandre Lacazette's 50th-minute equaliser on his 100th appearance for the club looked set to pave the way for Arsenal to claim their first win under caretaker boss Freddie Ljungberg.

Yet Brighton, who had deservedly taken the lead through Adam Webster in the first half, managed to wrest back control after David Luiz had a goal ruled out by VAR.

And it was Maupay who had the final say, as he brilliantly turned home Aaron Mooy's cross in the 80th minute to end Brighton's three-match losing streak and condemn Arsenal to their longest winless streak since 1977.

Freddie Ljungberg refused to criticise his inheritance from Unai Emery at Arsenal – hailing the departed head coach as a "great leader".

Ljungberg took charge of his first game as interim Gunners boss at the weekend, where they twice came from behind in an eventful 2-2 draw at Norwich City.

It meant Arsenal remained without a Premier League win away from home since the first weekend of the season, while their previous top-flight triumph of any description came on October 6 against Bournemouth.

Brighton and Hove Albion will be the next team that look to prolong that slump when they visit Emirates Stadium on Thursday, but Ljungberg defended Emery, who led Arsenal to the final of the Europa League last season before promoting the former Sweden international to his first-team coaching setup.

"I've done two training sessions now and I don't want to talk about the coaches before," Ljungberg told a pre-match news conference.

"I think Unai did a great job and was a great leader, and a fantastic coach. That's not for me to judge. I look forward.

"The main thing for me was that when we were at Norwich, we hadn't won an away game since the first game of the season.

"I felt that the players could react and, in my opinion, we played well offensively. It was good. But now we go forward."

Indeed, Ljungberg felt Arsenal's problems at Carrow Road came in transition, with an under-fire defence frequently exposed as a result.

"The general feeling is probably the same as I had after the match: we started extremely well, played very well offensively but had a problem transition-wise, so they got shots on target and chances just from the transition of an eight-yard sprint, which we need to stop," he explained.

"So that’s something we will focus on. Other things is my feeling that we got in behind their midfield and behind their backline a lot.

"But if we play a transition game like we did, we won’t win any games, so that’s something that I can coach and try to improve."

In terms of the methods Ljungberg employs to seek that improvement, he can call upon the inspiration and advice of some highly respected names.

A star of Arsene Wenger's celebrated Arsenal 'Invincibles' team, he also forged a strong bond with Sven-Goran Eriksson when his countryman was England manager.

A whirlwind start to life in the Arsenal hotseat – Emery was sacked last Friday in the wake of a sapping Europa League loss to Eintracht Frankfurt – means the 42-year-old has not yet had chance to catch up with Wenger, but that is something he intends to arrange.

"I would really like to speak to him. I'm in contact with him, but I haven’t spoken to him because it's been a bit hectic, but it’s on my list to do so," Ljungberg said, before confessing he has already borrowed what he can from the Eriksson handbook.

"Sven is intelligent, I spoke to him a lot when he was the manager of England because he was watching our games.

"I know in the past, some stories of how he treated players and how he made them feel good and things like that. I have stolen a little bit of those ideas.

"He’s a great coach. It's been a long time, and I hope I can speak to him soon."

Liverpool have been drawn at home to Merseyside rivals Everton in the FA Cup third round, while holders Manchester City will start the defence of their title at home to third-tier Port Vale.

The Toffees face Jurgen Klopp's side on Wednesday in the Premier League and will make the short trip to Anfield for a second time this season during the first week of January.

Pep Guardiola's City thumped Watford 6-0 in last season's final and have been given a favourable draw to kick-start their 2019-20 campaign, with John Askey's League Two side pitching up at the Etihad Stadium.

Manchester United face a difficult away tie against Premier League rivals Wolves, who knocked them out of the competition last season's quarter-finals, while Arsenal welcome Championship leaders Leeds United to the Emirates Stadium.

New Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho takes his side to Middlesbrough, managed by former Spurs defender Jonathan Woodgate, and Chelsea host Nottingham Forest.

Ties will take place between January 3 and 6.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has told his players to forget about their 11-point lead at the top of the Premier League and focus on the visit of Everton.

The Reds capitalised on Manchester City's 2-2 draw at Newcastle with a 2-1 win over Brighton and Hove Albion at Anfield on Saturday.

It was Liverpool's 13th win from 14 league games this season and gives them an even bigger cushion over defending champions City, although Leicester can cut the gap to eight points on Sunday.

With just over a third of the season gone, Liverpool fans are already dreaming of ending their 30-year wait for the league title.

However, Klopp only has eyes for Wednesday's Merseyside derby with Everton.

"We don't think about the points gap or whatever," Klopp said in his post-match press conference.

"People told me tonight already that we are 11 points ahead but Leicester play on Sunday, so it still could be eight. That's how I see it.

"None of these 13 games we won were easy, we didn't feel that for a second. We only have to make sure we are ready always – and always for the next game.

"Result-wise, it is an incredible period for sure, but we don't want to think about the last 14 games – we actually are concerned about the next one, which is on Wednesday against Everton and is a big one."

Liverpool secured victory thanks to a brace of first-half headers from defender Virgil van Dijk. 

However, a red card for goalkeeper Alisson – who will miss the clash with Everton – and a goal from Lewis Dunk set up a tense finale.

Klopp hailed the contribution of second-choice keeper Adrian after he came off the bench at a chilly Anfield and made an important late save from Aaron Mooy.

"We had to bring on a frozen goalkeeper pretty much!" added the German.

"Everybody sitting here is probably not really warm yet, but imagine you go there in shorts, a really thin shirt and some gloves which are not made for keeping you warm.

"We kept on fighting and Adrian especially helped us a lot.

"With his cold feet, he couldn't shoot the ball as far as he wanted. In the end, it kept it a bit interesting but it's only important that we won the game and that's what we did."

Brighton head coach Graham Potter praised the positive endeavour shown by his side, who made life difficult for Liverpool in the closing stages.

"I thought it was a performance of great heart, courage and quality against a fantastic team, and at times the Anfield crowd had to get behind their side because we were really in the game, especially after the sending-off," Potter said.

"It's never easy when you are playing against the European champions and the top team in the Premier League but, at the end, we were pushing strong."

Jurgen Klopp hailed the contribution of substitute goalkeeper Adrian to a "special win" after Liverpool beat Brighton and Hove Albion 2-1 despite the late dismissal of Alisson.

Two first-half headers from Virgil van Dijk put the Premier League's runaway leaders on course for a routine success on Saturday, but Liverpool ended up hanging on at Anfield after Alisson was sent off in the 76th minute for handling outside his penalty area.

Adrian was caught out from the resulting free-kick as Lewis Dunk drilled the ball home with the keeper out of position and still setting up his wall.

However, the hosts still claimed three points - equalling their record unbeaten top-flight run in the process - as Adrian denied Aaron Mooy and then avoided embarrassment by regathering the ball after a weak Pascal Gross header had squirmed out of his grasp.

"I'm pretty sure Virgil, of course, with the two goals is probably man of the match, but Adrian is for me man of the match," said Reds manager Klopp.

"Because coming in, in a game like this, and making two saves. One was tricky. And even the goalie kicks, of course, are difficult and anybody who ever did that with completely cold feet, it's just not possible.

"We should have probably done that differently but we were not prepared for that situation, so I am completely happy."

Klopp was seemingly less enamoured that Dunk's goal stood, adding: "I think when you have a little bit of sense for human beings, you don't do it like this.

"It was very clever, of course, of Brighton, but a goalie is coming in, setting the wall, trying to get in contact with the players, and they are all trying to settle a little bit and get used, in a second, to each other.

"He [the referee] let it go like this. He's happy with that and I cannot change it but for me it's not 100 per cent right."

Liverpool's determination not to drop points did delight Klopp, who said: "The boys threw everything on the pitch. I love that. It's unbelievable how much the boys want to win and so it made it a really special win.

"Brighton are a really good football-playing side. They had a lot of possession. We had to work really hard against that and I love that the boys were ready to do that in such an intense week." 

The result means Liverpool are 11 points clear at the top of the table, albeit Leicester City can cut that lead when they face Everton on Sunday.

The Liverpool juggernaut now looks unstoppable. And worryingly for their title rivals, the majority of Saturday's victory over Brighton and Hove Albion was largely completed while in cruise control.

Jurgen Klopp's side only got out of third gear in the final quarter-of-an hour as three points were safely banked, despite a few late jitters, thanks to two soaring headers from centre-back Virgil van Dijk.

It had all the hallmarks of the kind of win etched out by the great Anfield sides of yesteryear.

Liverpool were dubbed the 'Red Machine' during the heyday of their 1980s dominance when they swept all before them and required an annual tab with Brasso to polish the silverware in the bulging trophy cabinet.

It might only be the end of November, with just over a third of the Premier League season gone, but the engine on the current version is, for the most part, purring along nicely.

A slight tweak here, a little fix there is all that is required between now and the end of the season for Liverpool to end that agonising 30-year wait for their 19th league title. 

Only something spectacular will see this championship charge splutter and grind to halt.

The Reds are now unbeaten in 31 league games home and away, and equalled a club record set under Kenny Dalglish between May 1987 and March 1988.

This was Liverpool's 14th successive league victory at Anfield, their second-best winning sequence on home turf.

Klopp's pre-match team-talk would have required little extra spice as the news filtered through to the dressing room of Jonjo Shelvey's late equaliser as Manchester City were held to a 2-2 draw by Newcastle United.

The Kop were in full voice but the mood was underpinned by two things. Expectancy plus a demand for victory and nothing less. Liverpool's response to that request was clinical in its efficiency.

First, Van Dijk climbed to meet Trent Alexander-Arnold's curling free-kick to head the ball home, leaving flat-footed Brighton defender Adam Webster as helpless as a schoolkid against a Harlem Globetrotter.

Six minutes later, the Netherlands centre-back left Lewis Dunk with a similar feeling as he timed his run to meet an Alexander-Arnold corner and powerfully nodded into the net.

Liverpool are head and shoulders above their opponents. Since start of last season, they have scored 29 headed goals in the top-flight which is 10 more than any other team.

Their season's tally makes impressive reading.

Played 14, won 12, drawn two and 38 points was City's haul at the same stage last season. Liverpool were a further two points behind and would push their rivals all the way to the last day.

Played 14, won 13, drawn one and 40 points is Liverpool's position this time around. However, City are 11 points behind and facing a struggle to still be in the title race by next May let along the final round of fixtures.

Liverpool made things a little nervy for themselves when goalkeeper Alisson was sent off with 14 minutes remaining for handling outside the penalty area and Dunk pulled one back for Brighton.

One of the few question marks over Liverpool this season has been their defence – they have now not kept a clean sheet for 12 games.

But the embodiment of the confident swagger of Klopp's side is Van Dijk. Jordan Henderson might hold Liverpool's captain's armband but the Dutchman is the spiritual leader of the side. 

Van Dijk is never outpaced. Van Dijk is never outmuscled. Van Dijk is never ruffled.

He organised, marshalled and kept his composure in last few minutes. Brighton were not going to be allowed to pass and get an equaliser – no matter what. 

Klopp's own Red Machine might still need some fine tuning and there will be the odd bump in the road, but after going so close last season it appears they will reach their destination this time.

Liverpool remain on course for a first ever Premier League title after a nervy 2-1 win over Brighton and Hove Albion, while Manchester City could only manage a 2-2 draw at Newcastle United.

Jurgen Klopp's side endured a tense finish at Anfield after goalkeeper Alisson was dismissed with 14 minutes remaining, but they held on for a 13th win in 14 games this season.

City, meanwhile, were far from their fluid best at St James' Park and were denied a vital win by Jonjo Shelvey's superb late strike.

Jose Mourinho racked up a second consecutive Premier League win since taking over at Tottenham, Dele Alli proving to be the star man in a 3-2 win over Bournemouth, while West Ham pulled off a surprise 1-0 victory over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

REDS SURVIVE ALISSON RED CARD

Runaway leaders Liverpool survived a nervy finale to equal their longest unbeaten run in the top flight and capitalise on City's slip-up.

A Trent Alexander-Arnold free-kick set up the opener for Van Dijk in the 18th minute and the same combination soon provided a second goal as Brighton were found wanting at a corner.

Brighton were given an unexpected lifeline when Alisson was sent off for handling outside his box – meaning he will miss Wednesday's derby clash with Everton – and Lewis Dunk caught out replacement goalkeeper Adrian with a quick free-kick.

The Seagulls could not find a late equaliser, though, and while Leicester City can cut Liverpool's advantage at the summit to eight points by beating Everton on Sunday, there looks to be no stopping a team who have now gone 31 league games unbeaten, matching their record streak from May 1987 to March 1988.

CITY'S TITLE HOPES SLIP AWAY

City's hopes of claiming a third consecutive Premier League title suffered a fresh blow, with Shelvey's late intervention leaving them 11 points behind leaders Liverpool.

Pep Guardiola's side looked set to cruise to all three points when Raheem Sterling scored his eighth Premier League goal of the campaign midway through the first half, but they were pegged back by Jetro Willems' fierce drive three minutes later.

Kevin De Bruyne restored City's lead with a sumptuous half-volley in the 82nd minute, the Belgium international using his chest to control a headed clearance before unleashing a stunning effort that crashed in off the underside of the crossbar.

Newcastle bounced back in style to ensure a share of the spoils two minutes from time, though, when Shelvey whipped home from 25 yards after Christian Atsu had picked him out with a short free-kick.

MOURINHO'S PERFECT START CONTINUES

Tottenham beat West Ham and Olympiacos in Mourinho's first two matches and were good value for their latest triumph at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, despite another late collapse.

The hosts made a slow start but took the lead midway through the opening period through Alli, who slotted the ball underneath Aaron Ramsdale after being teed up by Son Heung-min's first-time pass.

The England international scored a second early in the second half before Moussa Sissoko added a third with his first league goal in his past 69 appearances.

Harry Wilson pulled two goals back for Bournemouth in the closing stages - one of which was a superb free-kick - but Tottenham held on for back-to-back league wins for the first time since April to climb to fifth, six points off a Champions League place.

PRESSURE EASES ON PELLEGRINI AFTER FINE WIN

Aaron Cresswell scored the only goal of the game as West Ham eased the pressure on Manuel Pellegrini and ended their seven-game Premier League winless streak at Chelsea.

The Hammers became only the second side to win at Chelsea in the league this season and Frank Lampard's side, who lost at Manchester City a week prior, could have few complaints about the result.

Cresswell scored the winner early in the second half and West Ham could have extended their lead before surviving a late rally from the hosts to secure their first victory since they beat Manchester United on September 22.

Crystal Palace, meanwhile, beat Burnley 2-0 at Turf Moor courtesy of goals from Wilfried Zaha and Jeffrey Schlupp.

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