Liverpool beat Norwich to go five clear in title race

2014-04-20 15:44

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Liverpool took a giant step towards their first title in 24 years with a 3-2 win at a plucky Norwich City today, opening up a five point lead over second-placed Chelsea with three matches remaining.

Two goals from Raheem Sterling and Luis Suarez's 30th league strike of the season helped them to their 11th consecutive Premier League victory and ensured them a top four finish and qualification for next season's Champions League, the first time they have reached Europe's elite club competition since 2009-10.

They moved to 80 points, five ahead of Chelsea who suffered a shock 2-1 defeat by last-placed Sunderland yesterday, while third-placed Manchester City, on 71 points and with two matches in hand, play West Bromwich Albion on Monday.

Norwich failed to roll over for their higher placed opponents. After Gary Hooper had scored for Norwich early in the second half, Robert Snodgrass's 77th minute goal ensured a nervy finish for the visitors who had appeared to be heading for a comfortable win at 3-1 up.

The loss keeps Norwich mired in the relegation battle in 17th place, two points above Cardiff City and Fulham and three ahead of Sunderland.

Liverpool have not finished top since 1990, two years before the Premier League began, and they can put themselves on the brink of ending that drought when they meet Chelsea at Anfield next Sunday.

Meanwhile, Arsenal moved a step closer to securing the final Champions League place with a decisive 3-0 victory over Hull at the KC Stadium in the Premier League today.

After an even start that saw the sides trade chances, the visitors started to assert themselves and opened the scoring through Aaron Ramsey in the 31st minute. The Wales international did well to control a through ball from Santi Cazorla before slotting his shot past Steve Harper in the Hull goal.

Arsenal doubled its lead in the 45th when Lukas Podolski struck a fierce low shot into the bottom corner. The Germany international added his second of the game in the 54th when Harper deflected a close-range shot from Ramsey into his path.

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