Mohamed Salah’s second-half penalty was enough to give Premier League leaders Liverpool a 1-0 win away to Brighton on Saturday that saw them go seven points clear at the top of the table.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp admitted it had been “no opera” watching his side struggle on the south coast in a match that was goalless until Egypt forward Salah scored from the spot after being brought down in the box by Pascal Gross.
“It was very hard but that is how it is,” Klopp, looking to guide the Reds to their first English title of the Premier League era, told Sky Sports.
“It wasn’t an opera of football but it was a really nice song.”
Second-placed reigning champions Manchester City, fresh from a 9-0 rout of Burton Albion in the first leg of a League Cup semifinal, will look to close the gap at home to Wolves – who knocked Liverpool out of the FA Cup – on Monday.
“It means nothing,” said Klopp of Liverpool going further clear of City. “We know that the difference tomorrow and Monday night could be different.”
Saturday’s early kick-off saw teenage midfielder Declan Rice score his first West Ham goal in a 1-0 win at home to London rivals Arsenal.
Victory, in front of a London Stadium record crowd of over 59 000, cemented the Hammers’ place in the top half of the table.
Rice’s 48th-minute strike saw the midfielder give himself an early present ahead of his 20th birthday on Monday.
West Ham’s Marko Arnautovic waved to home fans when substituted in the 71st minute which suggested the Austria forward, linked with a move to the Chinese Super League, may have played his last game for the club.
“We will see what happens in the next days,” said Manuel Pellegrini, the Hammers manager, when asked about Arnautovic’s future.
Defeat dented Arsenal’s bid for Champions League football ahead of next week’s clash at home to Chelsea.
The fourth-placed Blues will be six points clear of the Gunners if they win at home to relegation-threatened Newcastle in Saturday’s late kick-off.
“This afternoon is a bad result for us,” said Arsenal manager Unai Emery.