Premier League | Liverpool’s title defence in tatters

Brighton stuns champion; City on a roll; Leicester moves to third

In keeping with a bizarre Premier League season lacking the usual home comforts Liverpool’s grip on its title was loosened further as it was beaten 1-0 at Anfield by Brighton and Hove Albion on Wednesday.

Steven Alzate’s scruffy 56th-minute goal was enough for Brighton to record a deserved first league win over Liverpool since 1982 and leave Jurgen Klopp’s champions trailing Manchester City by seven points having played a game more.

City won 2-0 earlier at Burnley to make it 13 straight victories in all competitions and Pep Guardiola’s side will head into Sunday’s clash at Liverpool in confident mood.

Goals by Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling secured a routine three points for City, which moved on to 47 points from 21 games.

Incredibly all five of Wednesday’s fixtures ended as away wins, continuing one of the main themes of England’s top flight being played in empty stadiums during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Leicester City climbed above Liverpool into third place with a 2-0 win at struggling Fulham with James Maddison creating the goals for Kelechi Iheanacho and James Justin.

Bouncing back

West Ham United bounced back from defeat by Liverpool to move into fifth spot with Jesse Lingard scoring twice on his debut in a 3-1 win at Aston Villa.

Everton is sixth after an entertaining 2-1 victory away to Leeds United — Gylfi Sigurdsson and Dominic Calvert-Lewin on target for Carlo Ancelotti’s side.

It was only the second day in English top-flight history in which a programme of at least four fixtures produced a clean sweep of away wins — the other occurring in 1991.

Less than 40% of Premier League matches have been won by home teams this season with away wins now more common.

Graham Potter’s Brighton is now 10 points above the relegation zone in 15th place after he got the better of Jose Mourinho in a 1-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday and now proved more than a match for the celebrated Klopp.

The results: Aston Villa 1 (Watkins 81) lost to West Ham 3 (Soucek 51, Lingard 56, 83); Burnley 0 lost to Manchester City 2 (Jesus 3, Sterling 38); Fulham 0 lost to Leicester 2 (Iheanacho 17, Justin 44); Leeds 1 (Raphinha 48) lost to Everton 2 (Sigurdsson 9, Calvert-Lewin 41); Liverpool 0 lost to Brighton 1 (Alzate 56).

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