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LIVERPOOL RECOVER, BEAT ASTON VILLA 2-0

LIVERPOOL RECOVER, BEAT ASTON VILLA 2-0

Sadio Mane helped Liverpool keep alive their bid to line a new Premier League points record because the champions beat Aston Villa 2-0 while struggling West Ham twice blew the lead during a draw at Newcastle on Sunday.

Back at Anfield for the primary time since clinching English title last week, Liverpool were lacklustre for long periods as they looked to recover from Thursday’s 4-0 thrashing at Manchester City.

Jurgen Klopp’s side hope to interrupt Manchester City’s Premier League record of 100 points and second-half strikes from Mane and Curtis Jones ensured they still have an opportunity to shatter that mark.

But Senegal winger Mane broke struggling Villa’s stubborn resistance within the 71st minute, smashing Naby Keita’s pass in off the underside of the crossbar from close range.

Mane’s 20th goal altogether competitions this season was followed by Jones’ 89th-minute strike.

Jones netted from 12 yards for his first Premier League goal, just 24 hours after the promising midfielder signed a replacement contract.

Liverpool needs 12 points from their remaining five games to surpass City’s 100-point total from 2017-18.

Villa remains within the relegation zone, one point from safety as they battle to avoid an instantaneous return to the Championship.

Second-placed City visits Southampton in Sunday’s late game.

At St James’ Park, Newcastle hit back twice after West Ham looked set to require control to secure a 2-2 draw.

Shock winners against Chelsea in midweek, West Ham were ahead within four minutes at Newcastle.

Michail Antonio’s clever flick allowed Pablo Fornals to seek out Jarrod Bowen with a fine pass, and when Jamaal Lascelles did not cut out his cross, Antonio pounced at the far post.

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Newcastle were level after 17 minutes because the influential Allan Saint-Maximin slipped in Emil Krafth.

Krafth’s driven cross was turned past Lukasz Fabianski by Miguel Almiron for the Paraguay midfielder’s eighth goal of the season.

Tomas Soucek restored West Ham’s lead when he lashed home after Declan Rice headed Ryan Fredericks’ corner against the crossbar.

But Newcastle equalised 92 seconds later as Jonjo Shelvey beat the West Ham offside trap, took Dwight Gayle’s pass and beat Fabianski from close range.

After earning their first away point since December, West Ham are four points beyond the relegation zone with five games left to ensure their top-tier status.

John Egan’s first top-flight goal gave Sheffield United a 1-1 draw at Burnley as both teams’ hopes of qualifying for the Europa League were dented.

James Tarkowski put Burnley ahead just before half-time, but Irish defender Egan netted with 10 minutes left, giving him a goal altogether four divisions in England.

United remain in eighth place, four points behind sixth-placed Wolves, while Burnley moves up to ninth, two points adrift of the Blades.

Burnley took the lead three minutes before half-time when Tarkowski netted after Jay Rodriguez headed on Dwight McNeil’s free-kick.

In the last half, Rodriguez brought an honest save from Dean Henderson, but McNeil shot wastefully wide from the rebound with just the keeper to beat.

It was a costly miss as United equalised within the 80th minute.

Ben Osborn’s cross was flicked on by Billy Sharp and Egan was left unmarked to fireside home with a fine finish at the far post.

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