By Kieran CANNING – Japan Today
Harry Kane’s dramatic double condemned Manchester City to a damaging 3-2 defeat against Tottenham as Mohamed Salah’s 150th Liverpool goal inspired a 3-1 win over Norwich that ignited the Premier League title race on Saturday.
City’s lead at the top is down to six points after a pulsating afternoon that could serve as a seismic shift in the Premier League’s battle for supremacy.
Pep Guardiola’s side were 12 points clear of second placed Liverpool just a few weeks ago.
But Jurgen Klopp’s men are now hot on their heels, holding a game in hand to potentially trim the gap to just three points and set the stage for a dramatic finale to the season.
Adding to City’s pain, it was Kane who blew the title fight wide open after the champions failed with four bids to sign him in the close-season.
“Tottenham have a lot of quality, they give the ball to Harry Kane. They are really good up front, Guardiola said.
“We had the chances. We couldn’t defend their crosses. We didn’t have the momentum.
“We didn’t need to lose a game to know how hard it is (to win the league). There are many games still to play.”
Tottenham had lost their last three games, but they snatched the lead in the fourth minute when Dejan Kulusevski marked his first start with a cool finish after Kane and Son Heung-min carved open the City defense.
City equalised in the 33rd minute thanks to the latest mistake from Tottenham keeper Hugo Lloris, who spilled Raheem Sterling’s cross for Ilkay Gundogan to convert.
Antonio Conte’s team went in front after 59 minutes when England captain Kane timed his run perfectly to finish Son’s cross.
City looked to have got out of jail through Riyad Mahrez’s 90th minute penalty, awarded after Cristian Romero blocked Bernardo Silva’s shot with his hands.
But Kane struck again with a header from Kulusevski’s cross deep into stoppage-time, handing City their first defeat in 16 league games dating back to a 2-0 home loss against Crystal Palace on October 30.
At Anfield, Norwich took a shock lead when Milot Rashica’s shot deflected in off Joel Matip three minutes into the second half.
But Liverpool’s deadly duo of Sadio Mane and Salah turned the game around with two goals in the space of three minutes.
Mane produced a stunning acrobatic finish to meet Kostas Tsimikas’ looping header.
Salah then raced onto goalkeeper Alisson Becker’s brilliant long ball, rounded Angus Gunn and left two Norwich defenders on the floor to become the second quickest player to 150 Liverpool goals behind Roger Hunt.
Diaz then produced a deft finish either of his two strike partners would be proud of to lift the ball over Gunn from Jordan Henderson’s defense splitting pass.
“No problem with complicated, that makes it so special when you win,” Klopp said of Liverpool’s comeback.
Chelsea’s 1-0 victory at Crystal Palace may have come too late to kickstart a title challenge.
However, they solidified their place in the top four as Hakim Ziyech slotted home Marcos Alonso’s cross a minute from time.
Arsenal moved into the hunt for the fourth and final Champions League place as Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka struck to see off Brentford 2-1.
The Gunners took the lead when Smith Rowe fired into the far corner two minutes into the second half.
Saka then rifled in a brilliant effort in off the post 11 minutes from time before Christian Norgaard netted in stoppage-time.
West Ham’s bid for the top four took another hit as they were held 1-1 at home by Newcastle.
Craig Dawson headed David Moyes’ men in front, but Joe Willock secured another vital point in Newcastle’s battle to avoid relegation.
Burnley secured just a second win of the season with a 3-0 victory at Brighton.
Watford secured a first success under Roy Hodgson as Emmanuel Dennis scored the only goal in a 1-0 victory at Aston Villa.
Everton are nervously looking over their shoulders after they were beaten 2-0 at Southampton.