Leaders Liverpool stumble, Chelsea collapse

LONDON (Reuters) – If more proof were needed of how unpredictable the Premier League can be it was provided on Wednesday as Liverpool blew a chance take a vice-like grip on the title race and Chelsea suffered their worst league defeat in 23 years.

After champions Manchester City’s shock loss at Newcastle United on Tuesday and Manchester United’s home draw with Burnley, Liverpool caught the bug at home to Leicester City.

Victory would have sent Juergen Klopp’s side seven points clear of City with 14 games remaining but they could only draw 1-1 despite Sadio Mane giving them a third-minute lead.

Chelsea collapsed to a 4-0 thrashing at Bournemouth as the Premier League’s supposed lesser lights continued to cause mischief at the top end of the table.

Liverpool, seeking a first title since 1990, have still increased the gap over City from four points to five but it was night of jitters at a freezing Anfield.

To make matters worse Leicester’s scorer Harry Maguire had been fortunate to still be on the pitch after a professional foul on Mane with the score 1-0 to the home side.

Liverpool also had a strong penalty claim waved away in the second half when Naby Keita was fouled by Ricardo Pereira.

“If that is not a real chance and goalscoring situation, I do not know what is,” Klopp said of Maguire’s escape.

Of the penalty claim he said: “It was probably the clearest penalty situation we have had. The ref was in the best position on the pitch. You will have to ask him why he didn’t give it.”

Mane’s opener came after a superb passing move but thereafter Liverpool’s inspiration ran dry and Maguire scored from close range shortly before halftime after the hosts failed to deal properly with a free kick.

“We have a point more, not exactly what we wanted, but it is fine,” Klopp said of the draw.

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