Liverpool are racing clear at the top of the table and it will surely take a miracle for the Reds not to win their first Premier League title.

Jurgen Klopp's side face old rivals Manchester United on Sunday at Anfield, with the Red Devils the only team to have taken points off Liverpool so far this season.

Unbeaten in 38 Premier League matches, Liverpool are overwhelming favourites, though Ole Gunnar Solskjaer oversaw a 4-0 win over struggling Norwich City on Saturday.

Can United stall Liverpool's procession, or will Klopp's men continue their stroll towards Premier League glory?

Sadio Mane has beaten Liverpool team-mate Mohamed Salah and Manchester City's Riyad Mahrez to the CAF African Player of the Year award for 2019.

Mane was a standout player as Liverpool went all the way in the 2018-19 Champions League, while he has also enjoyed a strong start to the 2019-20 Premier League campaign.

The Senegal international placed in the top three in each of the previous three years, finishing runner-up to Salah in 2017 and 2018, and third in 2016, when Mahrez came first.

But this time Mane claimed the prize, ahead of Liverpool team-mate Salah and Mahrez, who won a domestic treble with City and captained Algeria to glory at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.

It is the first time since 2002 that a Senegalese player has claimed the award, with El Hadji Diouf winning it shortly after switching Lens for Liverpool.

While Liverpool's Champions League success undoubtedly helped Mane's chances, he also enjoyed a wonderful year individually.

In 36 Premier League outings in 2019, Mane scored 24 times and got six assists to leave Salah (18 goals and five assists from 34 matches) and Mahrez (seven goals and seven assists from 24 games) trailing in his wake.

Mane, Salah and Mahrez also formed part of CAF's star-studded Team of the Year.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was selected to lead the line, with Hakim Ziyech and Idrissa Gueye chosen in midfield, while Andre Onana takes the place in goal.

Kalidou Koulibaly, Joel Matip, Serge Aurier and Achraf Hakimi – who won the Young Player of the Year award – were the back four and Algeria's Djamel Belmadi was crowned Men's African Coach of the Year.

Jurgen Klopp described Liverpool's accomplishment of going a year without defeat in the Premier League as "exceptional" following the Reds' 2-0 win over Sheffield United on Thursday.

Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane got the goals for the Reds, who were dominant throughout at Anfield having opened the scoring in the fourth minute.

The victory means Liverpool will have passed a year unbeaten in the top flight by the time they are next in action on January 11, with their last defeat being a 2-1 loss to Manchester City on January 3, 2019.

Only two Premier League sides have ever enjoyed longer unbeaten runs in the league and Liverpool appear destined to claim their first top-flight crown in 30 years this term.

"It says a lot of positive things. I have not enough words for it, it is exceptional," he told BT Sport.

"We did not think about one year, 365 days or whatever, tonight. We thought about winning this game, that was the target and how it always was.

"The boys were 100 per cent focused, that's the important stuff. Keep this game unspectacular, that was the plan.

"Our New Year starts at the end of May, so we have season resolutions, not New Year resolutions."

The result restored Liverpool's lead at the top to 13 points and opposing manager Chris Wilder spoke of his admiration for them after the match, while also suggesting goalkeeper Dean Henderson was the only Blades player who did not under-perform.

"I wish Jurgen all best. I love everything about them. The physical and mental part of it is amazing," he said, before turning his attentions back to United.

"It was really below par performance, apart from the goalkeeper, he made two or three great saves and kept us in it.

"We had one or two chances but it was a really below-par performance. When you come into the Premier League you do expect one of these performances, so for it to be in our 20th or 21st game and it be the first time it has happened, I can take a little bit of comfort from that."

Liverpool will become only the third Premier League side to go unbeaten for more than a year after Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane inspired Thursday's 2-0 win over Sheffield United at Anfield.

The Reds last suffered defeat on January 3 last year in a 2-1 loss to Manchester City and, on the day before the first anniversary of that reverse, they had little difficulty dispatching the Blades to ensure they pass that marker.

Jurgen Klopp was forced into a pre-match change when Naby Keita suffered a groin injury, though it seemingly had little impact as Liverpool were ahead by the fourth minute thanks to Salah.

The solid performance of Manchester United-owned goalkeeper Dean Henderson – who was also aided by the post in the second half – helped keep the score down, but Mane wrapped the win up in the 64th minute at the end of a blistering move to restore Liverpool's 13-point lead at the Premier League summit.

The Reds were kept at bay for just four minutes, as George Baldock's slip allowed Andy Robertson to retrieve Virgil van Dijk's long ball and the left-back found Salah to convert.

Dean Henderson showed his quality soon after, however, producing a remarkable save to deny Salah a second as he turned Jordan Henderson's cross towards goal.

The left-hand post was the next object in Salah's way, as his teasing cross in the 61st minute missed everyone and came back off the upright – Dean Henderson grabbing it before it could then cross the line, though there was no stopping the Reds soon after.

Alisson quickly rolled the ball out to Robertson and he fed the ball up the line for Mane, who offloaded to Salah and received an incisive return pass into the box, before finishing past the goalkeeper at the second time of asking.

United should have pulled one back late on, but Oli McBurnie could not get enough on Jack O'Connell's cross and Alisson stopped it just before it could cross the line.

 

What does it mean? Reds' run roars on

Although Liverpool last lost on January 3, 2019, their unbeaten run technically began nine days later with a 1-0 victory over Brighton and Hove Albion.

With their next Premier League outing not until January 11, they have only one more match standing in the way of their streak surpassing a full year.

Salah simply super

Liverpool's Egyptian star did very little wrong on Thursday. Were it not for Dean Henderson's excellence, he would have almost certainly got a hat-trick, while he also provided the pass that teed up Mane.

Baldock's bad day at the office

The match started poorly for Baldock, as his slip allowed Robertson to set up Salah for the opener in the fourth minute. He never really recovered, struggling with the Scotland international and Mane throughout.

What's next?

Liverpool host Everton in the FA Cup third round on Sunday, when the Blades host non-League Fylde in the same competition. Both sides return to Premier League action the following weekend – the Reds going to Tottenham, while United welcome West Ham.

Mohamed Salah faces competition from Liverpool team-mate Sadio Mane and Manchester City's Riyad Mahrez in his bid to be named African Player of the Year for the third time in a row.

The Premier League stars have been named as the final three contenders for the award, which has belonged to Egypt international Salah for the past two years.

Algeria winger Mahrez won it while still at Leicester City in 2016 but Mane looks to be Salah's closest competitor after twice finishing as runner-up to his fellow Anfield favourite.

Mane has scored freely throughout 2019 and helped Senegal reached the Africa Cup of Nations final, which they lost to Algeria.

Cameroon's Ajara Nchout, Nigeria and Barcelona forward Asisat Oshoala, and last year's winner Thembi Kgatlana of South Africa are shortlisted for the African Women's Player of the Year award.

The winners will be announced at a ceremony in Hurghada, Egypt on January 7.

Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah is displaying a similar level of quality to Lionel Messi, according to former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.

Salah has won the Premier League's Golden Boot award for the past two seasons - although he shared it with club team-mate Sadio Mane and Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in 2018-19 - and the 27-year-old already has 13 goals to his name in all competitions this season.

The former Roma forward has also provided seven assists, a tally which includes teeing up Naby Keita's opening goal in Liverpool's 2-1 win over Monterrey in the Club World Cup semi-finals on Wednesday.

With the Egyptian stepping into a playmaker role as well as being an unerringly accurate finisher, Wenger believes Salah is now showing flashes of play on the same level as Barcelona superstar and 2019 Ballon d'Or winner Messi.

"I like his evolution," Wenger told beIN Sports. "Because he had touches [against Monterrey] of a playmaker.

"He created chances around the box that are exceptional, there were shades of Messi in him and I like that a guy who can score so many goals also becomes the guy who gives assists.

"That is a complete player. That's what we all admire and what we want from our players."

Wenger was speaking in a joint interview with Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp, who echoed the Frenchman's sentiment.

"Very good, very good experiences [with Salah] but the most positive was on the training ground – sensationally good," Klopp said. "On the pitch he's great, really, really good."

Liverpool take on Copa Libertadores champions Flamengo in the Club World Cup final on Saturday.

Jurgen Klopp lauded the "very decisive" Naby Keita and believes there is even more to come from the Liverpool midfielder after reaching the Club World Cup final.

Keita opened the scoring in Liverpool's 2-1 semi-final win over Monterrey on Wednesday to continue his fine run of form.

The Guinea international has netted in three straight games, while he has already matched his goal tally of last season with the three strikes.

Klopp praised Keita and said the 24-year-old could get even better for the Premier League leaders.

"Naby, what a player, very decisive, super goal, another super chance," the Liverpool manager told a news conference.

"That's his strength, in small spaces he feels quite comfortable, so that helps us a lot. The runs in behind when we are already high up the pitch, that's an exceptional skill of his that he goes there.

"He scored already a goal like this, had another chance in a similar situation. But Naby is a player who can score goals. It is not the highest number of games he's played for us, but he's scored a lot of goals already, important goals as well.

"Absolutely brilliant how he did that, and there is so much more to come. Maybe if you know Naby a bit longer you would say, 'OK, that looked really good but there is still some space'. That's absolutely brilliant news for us."

Mohamed Salah's wonderful pass set up Keita's opener, but Liverpool needed a 91st-minute winner from Roberto Firmino after Rogelio Funes Mori had equalised for Monterrey.

With plenty of attention on Egypt international Salah in Qatar, Klopp said he was happy with his star forward's performance.

"First of all the pass for Naby's goal was from Mo, that much to your thesis that he couldn't play the final ball," he said. "The ball for [James] Milner's chance was from Mo as well.

"We are all human beings and the attention on Mo in this part of the world is obviously massive.

"I thought he played a sensationally good game for everything that happened around [him]. When you go out for a warm-up and everyone is only looking at you, I wouldn't feel too comfortable with that. He deals really well with it.

"He was always a threat, he played a really good game, until the last minute he was there for the balls in behind, stuff like this.

"They tried to defend him from time to time with two guys… that's really aggressive but that's how life is, he has to deal with it. But I'm really happy with Mo's game."

Liverpool will aim to win their first Club World Cup title when they face Flamengo in the final on Saturday.

Kevin De Bruyne's barnstorming performance for Manchester City in Sunday's 3-0 win over Arsenal unsurprisingly secures him the starring role in FIFA Ultimate Team's latest Team of the Week.

De Bruyne produced a masterclass at Emirates Stadium, scoring twice and creating another for Raheem Sterling.

The Belgian's driving runs from midfield were a constant feature, while each of his goals were truly quality efforts. He almost got a third, too, only for a wonderful save to help another thunderous strike onto the post.

De Bruyne is the star man in an impressive attacking unit in this week's FIFA 20 squad, with Liverpool's Mohamed Salah leading the line after netting a brace in the Reds' 2-0 victory over Watford.

Salah is joined in attack by Borussia Dortmund's Jadon Sancho following fine displays against Mainz and RB Leipzig, collecting two goals and two assists across those games.

Philippe Coutinho is the other standout attacking name in the starting XI, while Jan Vertonghen offers a strong option at the back.

Below, we take a look at the latest squad in full.

TEAM OF THE WEEK

GK: Benjamin Lecomte (Monaco) - 86

CB: Raul Albiol (Villarreal) – 85

LB: Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham) – 88

LB: Theo Hernandez (Milan) – 84

RM: Pizzi (Benfica) – 86

CM: Jose Campana (Levante) – 83

CM: Leandro Paredes (Paris Saint-Germain) – 83

LW: Phillipe Coutinho (Bayern Munich) – 88

CAM: Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) – 94

ST: Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) – 92

LF: Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund) – 86

SUBSTITUTES

GK: Hendrik van Crombrugge (Anderlecht) – 79

LB: Lucas Olaza (Celta Vigo) – 81

CM: Dan Gosling (Bournemouth) – 81

CM: Borja Valero (Inter) – 82

LW: Gervinho (Parma) – 82

RW: Steven Berghuis (Feyenoord) – 83

ST: Youssef El Arabi (Olympiacos) – 81

RESERVES

LWB: Pascal Schurpf (Luzern) – 75

CAM: Omar Govea (Zulte Waregem) – 79

ST: Florian Niederlechner (Augsburg) – 80

ST: Jordan Rhodes (Sheffield Wednesday) – 78

ST: Conor Chaplin (Barnsley) – 74

Mohamed Salah felt Liverpool's players were not protected from Monterrey's "very aggressive" tactics in the Reds' Club World Cup semi-final victory on Wednesday.

Liverpool advanced to the Club World Cup final in Doha with a 2-1 success as substitute Roberto Firmino scored a 91st-minute winner midweek.

Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool had taken the lead through Naby Keita, but a side missing influential defender Virgil van Dijk through illness were pegged back by Rogelio Funes Mori, with the Champions League holders requiring an in-form Alisson to remain on level terms thereafter.

Salah felt the Reds were good value for their win, though he was unhappy with Chilean referee Roberto Tobar's handling of the game and Monterrey's tactics.

The Mexican side had two players booked - Jesus Gallardo and Leonel Vangioni - to Liverpool's one caution, but Klopp's side committed 13 fouls to their opponents' nine.

"I think it was a tough game," Salah told a news conference.

"They were very aggressive against us and all of us were complaining about our legs and they were really aggressive.

"I think the referee doesn't protect us too much. But I'm not here to complain about it.

"I think in the end we showed our quality and we won in the last minute. I think we deserved it."

Egypt international Salah was the star attraction for the crowd in Qatar and he was awarded the man-of-the-match award having set up Keita's opener and played a big part in Firmino's winner.

"I think all the stadium today was Egyptian," Salah added.

"I can hear that today. I feel support everywhere, I'm happy about that.

"I always feel love when they call my name, I feel support from them. I'm happy to hear that from them."

Former Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure thinks Mikel Arteta could become one of the game's best head coaches amid talk of an imminent appointment at Arsenal.

Arteta is said to be on the verge of being named as successor to Unai Emery, who was sacked at the end of November following a run of seven games without a win in all competitions.

Interim boss Freddie Ljungberg has overseen just one victory in five matches, with last Sunday's 3-0 home defeat to Manchester City leading to calls for the Gunners to accelerate their plans to appoint a permanent boss.

Arteta, assistant to Pep Guardiola at City, could be named the next man at the Arsenal helm in the next 24 hours and Toure has high hopes for the 37-year-old, having worked with him at the Etihad Stadium before his exit in 2018.

"I think he's going to be a very, very good manager because I worked with him for a couple of years, and I saw him doing things, and I think he's going to be good," Toure told Omnisport.

"Man City do have a lot of possibilities. Just money-wise. I want Arsenal to spend more, but he's going to be one of the best if he can do what he wants to do."

Arteta has enjoyed great success with City since becoming Guardiola's assistant in 2016, helping them to two Premier League titles, two EFL Cups and the FA Cup.

This season has been more problematic, though, with City 14 points behind Premier League leaders Liverpool after only 17 matches.

Toure, three times a league champion at City, thinks his old club have been unfortunate this term with injuries to centre-backs and striker Sergio Aguero in particular.

"Unlucky, very unlucky," he said. "They always have major players out with injuries, but it's part of the game – sometimes you lose key players in key moments.

"But for me, the best player will always be Kun Aguero. They miss him a lot, but they're going to come back from injury, and they will work it out.

"I think he's a player that everybody wants to play with. If you're a good player, then you want to play with these kinds of players. Aguero's been great for me, he's been the player I wanted to play with.

"And maybe if I get the chance, I can coach that sort of player because he's so clever, he's so short, but he's a goalscorer and I love him."

Toure has plenty of admiration for Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool, though, particularly forwards Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah.

"I think what Klopp is doing, and what Liverpool are achieving over the last few years is amazing. I think they're going to win the Premier League this season for sure," he added.

"Salah has been doing very well over the last two years, but Sadio Mane this year has been great. It's difficult to choose between those two because they have different qualities."

Virgil van Dijk was not included in Liverpool's squad to face Monterrey due to illness, while Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino were named on the bench.

Liverpool travelled to Qatar with just two fit first-team centre-backs in Van Dijk and Joe Gomez, and with the former ruled out Jordan Henderson was selected to partner his fellow England international in defence for Wednesday's semi-final.

Jurgen Klopp picked Divock Origi to spearhead an attack that included Xherdan Shaqiri and Mohamed Salah, resting Mane and Firmino with an eye on a potential final against Flamengo on Sunday.

James Milner was selected to start at right-back for his 200th Liverpool appearance, meaning Trent Alexander-Arnold was on the bench with two goalkeepers - Adrian and Andy Lonergan – Neco Williams and Curtis Jones.

Adam Lallana, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain formed the midfield three with Fabinho and Georginio Wijnaldum out injured.

Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane are "fantastic" but would not be as successful without the likes of Virgil van Dijk and Alisson behind them, according to Santiago Solari.

Liverpool's formidable front line have been key to helping Jurgen Klopp's side establish a 10-point lead at the top of the Premier League, scoring 22 goals and supplying 13 assists cumulatively.

The trio will no doubt be central to the Reds' chances of winning the Club World Cup, with a semi-final against Monterrey on Wednesday preceding a potential meeting with Flamengo for the trophy.

Solari, who led Madrid to Club World Cup success in 2018, believes Salah, Firmino and Mane are only able to shine so brightly because of the quality backing them up on the pitch.

"They are fantastic of course. These three strikers almost every game score," Solari told Omnisport.

"They're always a threat to any defence. It's about the team when you're successful. They wouldn't be who they are without such a solid midfield and defenders like Van Dijk or a goalkeeper like Alisson. So football, it's all about the team."

Solari was unsure if Klopp can be considered the world's leading coach, but he had no doubt Liverpool have proven themselves to best team on the planet. However, he was unwilling to write off Flamengo as potential Club World Cup champions.

"You never know who's the best manager but you can say who's the best team. Liverpool have proven to be the best team in the last two years," said Solari.

"They're trying to repeat this year. They're Champions League champions and they're playing very well. That will have a lot to do with the manager whom I respect a lot. He's very charismatic.

"I think most important of all, he got Liverpool to play football. It represents the way fans feel. Aggressive, high tempo, I love Klopp and this Liverpool side."

He added: "This tournament is always full of surprises. It's not always the favourite who wins it. In many occasions the South American teams won.

"Independiente won this tournament, Racing, River Plate in 1996. Yes, there's always room for surprise and we'll see who gets to the final."

Points were dropped by several Premier League sides with top-six aspirations on a weekend when leaders Liverpool were rescued by Mohamed Salah's finishing as they extended their winning streak and their cushion at the top.

The Reds beat Watford 2-0 at Anfield to move 10 points clear of Leicester City, who were held to a 1-1 draw at home by struggling Norwich City.

There was also frustration for a top-four side at Stamford Bridge, where Chelsea failed to score for the second time in three Premier League home games as they succumbed 1-0 to Bournemouth.

Manchester City suffered no such slip-up when they travelled to Arsenal on Sunday, as a 3-0 win for the third-placed defending champions moved them to 14 points behind Liverpool.

Tottenham nudged up to fifth after beating Wolves 2-1 to offer further evidence that Jose Mourinho has addressed some of the problems his side faced on the road under Mauricio Pochettino.

Take a deep dive into the big stories of the weekend in our Premier League Data Diary.

REDS STREAK RANKS THIRD AFTER TRICKY HORNETS TEST

Goals from Mohamed Salah and some wayward Watford finishing ensured Liverpool claimed a 2-0 win at Anfield to extend their unbeaten Premier League run to 34 games.

Only Arsenal (49 between May 2003 and October 2004) and Chelsea (40 between October 2004 and October 2005) can boast longer undefeated sequences in the competition, and the Reds have won their last 16 league games at Anfield.

Five more consecutive home wins would see Jurgen Klopp's men match the record (21) set by Bill Shankly's title-winning Liverpool side between January and December 1972.

Salah's double takes his goal tally to 84 in 126 appearances for Liverpool, eclipsing Luis Suarez's record of 82 goals in 133 games for the Reds.

Watford have taken just nine points from 17 league games this season, and the omens for them are not good: all of the nine teams to accumulate nine points or fewer after 17 Premier League matches have been eventually relegated.

 

HONEYMOON PERIOD A DISTANT MEMORY FOR LAMPARD

After seeing Chelsea lose just two of his first 12 Premier League games in charge, Frank Lampard watched his charges slip to a fourth defeat in five against Bournemouth on Saturday.

The 1-0 reverse at Stamford Bridge came courtesy of Dan Gosling's first league goal since April and left the Blues with just one fewer home defeat (five) in all competitions this season than they suffered in 62 games over 2017-18 and 2018-19 combined.

Chelsea have lost two of their last three top-flight home games, as many as they had in their previous 28 at Stamford Bridge, and failed to score in both of those defeats.

Since their promotion in 2015, no side has won more Premier League away game at Chelsea than Bournemouth (three, level with Liverpool).

 

MOURINHO'S MEN MAKE PROGRESS ON THE ROAD

Prior to Jose Mourinho's arrival as Tottenham boss, Spurs had failed to win a Premier League away game this season. But since he took charge they have won two out of three in the league on the road.

Lucas Moura's spectacular solo goal gave them the lead at Molineux and the Brazilian has now scored three goals in five top-flight appearances under Mourinho.

Wolves pulled level after 67 minutes of a scintillating game, Adama Traore scoring his fourth goal in 26 appearances in all competitions this season - twice as many goals as he scored in his previous 82 matches.

But Jan Vertonghen restored Tottenham's lead in second-half stoppage-time, inflicting a third home league defeat for Wolves in 2019 while extending Mourinho's record of not losing Premier League games when his side score first to 54 games since October 2015.

 

CHAMPIONS CRUISE AGAINST SHOT-SHY GUNNERS

Arsenal shipped three goals in 40 first-half minutes as they lost 3-0 at home to Manchester City, which left the Gunners with one win from their last nine Premier League matches.

Freddie Ljungberg's men are without a win at home in six games across all competitions - the club's longest such run since an eight-game streak between December 1994 and February 1995.

Kevin De Bruyne produced a masterclass at the Emirates, scoring either side of Raheem Sterling's tap-in, which he set up, to take his goal involvement tally to 19 in the league this season (seven goals and 12 assists).

Sterling's effort was his seventh away goal in the league this season - his joint-highest return on the road in a single campaign (also seven in 2017-18).

While City were prolific, Arsenal mustered just one shot on target all game - their joint-fewest in a Premier League game at Emirates Stadium (one v Everton in 2010, and v Chelsea in 2015 and 2016).

Liverpool kept their first home clean sheet of the Premier League season in a 2-0 win over Watford as Mohamed Salah's double rescued the off-key Reds.

The manner in which Jurgen Klopp's men can win when out of sorts must be hard to swallow for second-placed Leicester, who drew 1-1 at home to Norwich City, and third-placed Manchester City, who travel to Arsenal on Sunday.

Chelsea failed to put pressure on the top three as they succumbed to a 1-0 home defeat to Bournemouth, but Sheffield United moved up to fifth after brushing Aston Villa aside in a 2-0 win.

Chris Wood's goal was enough to bring Burnley's three-match losing streak to an end and condemn Newcastle United to a first defeat in four league outings.

 

Watford make Reds work for 16th straight home win

New manager Nigel Pearson left Anfield with every reason to be proud of his Watford side's performance on an afternoon when the Hornets had enough chances to claim a shock victory against the Premier League leaders.

Abdoulaye Doucoure and Etienne Capoue were guilty of wasteful finishing that let Liverpool off the hook and Salah made Watford pay in spectacular style.

The Egypt international curled a spectacular opener into the top corner after 38 minutes and then wrapped up a hard-fought win with a cheeky tap-in in the last minute.

The satisfaction Jurgen Klopp took from an ugly win was dulled by an injury to Georginio Wijnaldum, who suffered a muscle strain that looks set to rule him out of Liverpool's trip to Qatar for the Club World Cup.

Liverpool have now won 16 straight home Premier League games, with their lead up to 10 points.

Four defeats in five for Lampard's Blues

Bournemouth arrived at Stamford Bridge in the midst of a five-game Premier League losing streak but emerged with all three points after Dan Gosling's late goal clinched a surprise 1-0 victory over Chelsea.

Any hopes the Blues had of a return to strong domestic form following their 2-1 midweek victory over Lille began to fade as chances went begging while Bournemouth grew in confidence.

As the Cherries piled forward, Jefferson Lerma's looping header into the box six minutes from time found Gosling unmarked and he lifted the ball over Kepa Arrizabalaga and over the line.

Chelsea had 18 shots at goal throughout the match but failed to force an equaliser and Frank Lampard's men trudged off the field with a record of one win and four defeats in their last five Premier League outings.

Foxes come up short as winning streak ends

Teemu Pukki's third goal in four Premier League matches gave Norwich City the lead at King Power Stadium, where Leicester City's eight-match Premier League winning streak came grinding to a halt.

The Finland international fired Norwich ahead after 26 minutes, but their advantage did not last long, with Tim Krul palming Jamie Vardy's header into his own net seven minutes before half-time.

Daniel Farke's Norwich fought hard for their share of the points in a second half that saw Leicester heap pressure on their goal, attempting 12 shots on goal.

Ben Chilwell's cross forced a late corner from which substitute Harvey Barnes fired agonisingly wide for the hosts, who remain second in the table.

Blades up to fifth after victory over Villa

Any doubts over which of this season's promoted sides has the best chance of a top-half finish appeared to be resolved at Bramall Lane, where Fleck scored both of Sheffield United's goals in a 2-0 win over Aston Villa.

Chris Wilder's men have proved themselves extremely tough to beat and Villa's hopes of inflicting what would have been only United's second defeat in 10 league games suffered a blow when Scotland international Fleck finished a neat passing move with a goal after 50 minutes.

Fleck coolly slotted home his second 23 minutes later before Jack Grealish hit the crossbar with a penalty, leaving Villa winless in four Premier League matches and in trouble towards the foot of the table.

Jurgen Klopp said Georginio Wijnaldum missing Liverpool's Club World Cup bid was "the more likely scenario" after the midfielder sustained a hamstring injury against Watford.

Wijnaldum left the field after just under an hour of Liverpool's 2-0 victory at Anfield, the fly in the ointment on an otherwise satisfactory afternoon's work for the Premier League leaders.

Klopp said that injuries are his side's major concern as they look to maintain their lead at the top of the table while negotiating a trip to Qatar during a packed December schedule.

"It looks like with each game you lose one player and that's not too cool," Klopp told BT Sport. "That's our main problem.

"The fixtures are like they are, we know that, but losing players in this type of situation is not cool. We'll deal with it but it makes life not easy."

Asked whether Wijnaldum had a chance of travelling to Qatar with the squad on Sunday, Klopp said: "I have no idea. Today we'll make an assessment and make a decision.

"If he cannot train and has to do rehab then he'll stay here and that's the more likely scenario at the moment."

Despite having to cope without the injured Joel Matip, Dejan Lovren and Fabinho, Klopp dismissed the suggestion that fatigue is currently an issue for Liverpool.

The Reds' performance against Watford was at times disjointed and only poor finishing prevented the Hornets from taking a first-half lead.

But Klopp praised his side's response and the performance of goalkeeper Alisson, saying: "The most important thing you have to show in this period of the season is resilience. The boys were ready for a big fight.

"They [Watford] had a completely new set-up and did really well. They had their chances.

"Could the game have been easier for us? Of course, if we keep the ball smarter and move passes around.

"The boys are not tired but it's intense to be constantly in charge of a game. We have to defend at some moments with passion instead of organisation because that was not always perfect, but when we did let them in Ali [Alisson] was there."

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