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Liverpool just FOUR wins from first Premier League crown as Reds scrape past spirited West Ham

Liverpool need to win just four more league matches to wrap up their first ever Premier League crown having beaten a West Ham spirited side 3-2 on Monday night at Anfield.

Goals from Issa Diop and Pablo Fornals appeared to have put West Ham on course for an unlikely win after Georginio Wijnaldum had opened the scoring.

But second-half strikes from Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane saw the Reds get the three points and equal Manchester City’s 2017/18 record of 18 league victories on the bounce.

Liverpool rode their luck as the close in on the league title

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Liverpool rode their luck as the close in on the league title

Pre-match, Liverpool were expected to wipe the floor with their struggling opponents and the expectant Anfield crowd didn’t have to wait long for to get out of their seats with Wijnaldum putting them in front on nine minutes.

The Dutchman headed home Trent Alexander-Arnold’s brilliantly dug out cross from the right, although Hammers keeper Lukasz Fabianski will feel he could have kept it out having got a hand to it.

West Ham fans would have been fearing the worst at that point but there was no time for that fear to set in as they were level three minutes later.

Defender Diop headed in a corner from the right at the near post – Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker getting a hand to it but not enough to keep it out.

Diop’s equaliser silenced the Kop

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Diop’s equaliser silenced the Kop

Jurgen Klopp’s men were unable to get a proper rhythm and had few clear-cut chances in the first half, Salah coming closest with his shot being tipped over the bar.

And just short of ten minutes after the break, a huge shock, as West Ham took the lead through substitute Fornals.

The Spaniard did brilliantly to sweep home a hopeful Declan Rice cross from the right and silence the usually raucous Liverpool home.

A win would have taken West Ham out of the relegation zone

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A win would have taken West Ham out of the relegation zone

There was a sense that Liverpool needed some luck to get back into it and they ended up getting a huge slice with Salah finding the equaliser on 68 minutes, the Egyptian’s tame effort somehow squirming under Fabianski.

The home fans found their voice once again and the game was turned on its head with the Reds getting another piece of luck as Joe Gomez’s shot fell straight into Alexander-Arnold’s path, who hooked the ball past the onrushing Fabianski and Mane was on hand to tap in the winner.

Salahs fortuitous goal got Liverpool back into the game before Mane scored the winner

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Salahs fortuitous goal got Liverpool back into the game before Mane scored the winner

The result means Liverpool are just twelve points away from being champions of England as they hold a 22-point lead over last season’s winners Manchester City with eleven games left.

The earliest opportunity they can therefore win it is when they play Crystal Palace on March 21 as City only have three more league matches before then.

However, this could roll over to their following league fixture, which is actually at Man City, if Liverpool beat Chelsea in the FA Cup next week as the sixth round ties would take place in the weekend of the Palace clash. Below you can see Liverpool’s upcoming Premier League matches.

Liverpool’s road to PL glory

*Fixture date subject to change if Liverpool beat Chelsea in FA Cup

February 29 – Watford (A)

March 7 – Bournemouth (H)

March 16 – Everton (A)

*March 21 – Crystal Palace (H)

April 5 – Manchester City (A)

Liverpool have won their last 18 Premier League matches, equalling the record set by Man City two seasons ago and can beat the record when they face Watford on Saturday, which you can listen to LIVE on talkSPORT, kick-off 5:30pm.

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