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PREMIER LEAGUE WRAP: Liverpool close in on title but Man City heap pressure on

Liverpool are within striking distance of securing their first Premier League title and their first English championship since 1990.

The Reds defeated Norwich City 3-2 at Carrow Road on Sunday to move five points clear of second-placed Chelsea, staying six points ahead of Manchester City, with just three fixtures remaining (four for City).

Young gun Raheem Sterling produced a stunning opener from 25 yards inside four minutes before placing a perfect ball through for Luis Suarez to notch up his 30th league goal of the campaign in the 11th minute.

Gary Hooper pulled one back for the Canaries when he slotted into an empty net after Simon Mignolet was unable to clear a long cross from the right flank but Sterling grabbed his second of the afternoon when he advanced into the area before seeing his effort bobble off Bradley Johnson and in over John Ruddy. Robert Snodgrass sent a scare through the Reds camp when he headed home in the 77th minute but the visitors managed to hold out for maximum points which further enhances their title pursuit.

Chelsea suffered a blow at the hands of bottom-placed Sunderland when losing 2-1 at Stamford Bridge despite scoring a 12th-minute opener courtesy of Samuel Eto'o but Connor Wickham replied for the Black Cats from close range six minutes later.

The Blues pressed and pressed for a winner but they were denied when Jozy Altidore was felled in the area, allowing Liverpool loanee Fabio Borini to convert from the spot.

On Monday night, City placed some semblance of pressure back on Liverpool by beating West Bromwich Albion 3-1 at the Etihad Stadium.

Early goals from Pablo Zabaleta and Sergio Aguero preceded Graham Dorrans' 16th-minute response but Martin Demichelis wrapped it up for the home side ten minutes before the break.

Elsewhere, Arsenal retained fourth spot thanks to a comfortable 3-0 victory over fellow FA Cup finalists Hull City thanks to a Lukas Podolski double, Everton stayed a point behind the Gunners in fifth by downing Manchester United 2-0 at Goodison Park to complete a winning double over the Red Devils as Tottenham scored twice in the second half to secure a 3-1 win over London rivals Fulham who remain in the relegation zone.

A Wilfried Bony brace, including an injury-time penalty, saw Swansea City inflict a fifth-straight defeat on Newcastle United with a 2-1 result at St James' Park, Crystal Palace edged West Ham United 1-0, Cardiff City and Stoke City drew 1-1 and Aston Villa and Southampton played out a 0-0 draw.

2013/14 Barclays Premier League - season scores

Tottenham: 3 (Paulinho 35', Harry Kane 48', Younes Kaboul 62') Fulham: 1 (Steve Sidwell 37', penalty miss: Sidwell 77') White Hart Lane, London - 35,841

Aston Villa: 0 Southampton: 0 Villa Park, Birmingham - 35,134

Cardiff City: 1 (Peter Whittingham (p) 51') Stoke City: 1 (Marko Arnautovic (p) 45+3') Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff - 27,686

Newcastle United: 1 (Shola Ameobi 23') Swansea City: 2 (Wilfried Bony 45+1', (p) 90+2') St James' Park, Newcastle-upon-Tyne - 51,057

West Ham United: 0 Crystal Palace: 1 (Mile Jedinak (p) 59') Upton Park, London - 34,977

Chelsea: 1 (Samuel Eto'o 12') Sunderland: 2 (Connor Wickham 18', Fabio Borini (p) 82') Stamford Bridge, London - 41,210

Norwich City: 2 (Gary Hooper 54', Robert Snodgrass 77') Liverpool: 3 (Raheem Sterling 4'/62', Luis Suarez 11') Carrow Road, Norwich - 26,857

Hull City: 0 Arsenal: 3 (Aaron Ramsey 31', Lukas Podolski 45'/54') KC Stadium, Kingston-upon-Hull - 24,762

Everton: 2 (Leighton Baines (p) 28', Kevin Mirallas 43') Manchester United: 0 Goodison Park, Liverpool - 39,436

Manchester City: 3 (Pablo Zabaleta 3', Sergio Aguero 10', Martin Demichelis 36') West Bromwich Albion: 1 (Graham Dorrans 16') Etihad Stadium, Manchester - 45,000

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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