Champions Liverpool have stayed on track to break a number of English Premier League records as they beat relegation-threatened Aston Villa 2-0.
Sadio Mane and substitute Curtis Jones scored the goals in the second half to extend their lead to 23 points over Manchester City, who were playing at Southampton in Sunday’s late match.
West Ham picked up a vital point in their battle for survival in a 2-2 draw at Newcastle while Sheffield United drew 1-1 with Burnley.
Liverpool bounced back from their mid-week drubbing at Manchester City to win their 24th home game out of 24 this season and remain on course to beat City’s record of 100 points.
It took them time to break through in their first home game since clinching the title, with Villa holding out until the 71st minute when Mane opened the scoring. Jones, who signed a new five-year contract on Saturday, secured the win with the second late on.
“A very difficult game for different reasons,” Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp said, citing the wind and Villa’s organization.
“We had to stay on track and do the right things and in the second half we had more of the good moments.
“I’m fine – we are where we are because we win difficult games.”
Villa remain third-bottom, one point from safety, leaving manager Dean Smith disappointed and knowing that they have a hard battle ahead of them.
“It’s a tough task but we’re still in it that’s for sure,” he said.
“We need to keep the belief in the dressing room, it’s some achievement to come here and play as we did but we have to maintain the belief. I thought we more than matched them.”
Michail Antonio and Tomas Soucek scored West Ham’s goals in their 2-2 draw at Newcastle and though the hosts equaliSed twice, the draw means the Londoners are now four points above Villa and the bottom three with five matches to go.
West Ham led through Antonio’s fourth-minute goal but Miguel Almiron levelled on 17 minutes.
Soucek restored West Ham’s lead midway through the second half but Jonjo Shelvey equalized again for Newcastle.
At Burnley, John Egan produced a brilliant volley for Sheffield United from a short corner 10 minutes from time after James Tarkowski had put the home side in front five minutes before the break.
United remain eighth with their European hopes in the balance while Burnley move up to ninth, two points behind.
“We were disappointed not to be up at half-time let alone being down and chasing the game,” United manager Chris Wilder said.
“I didn’t think it was a game full of quality, dry pitch, blustery conditions. It’s always difficult coming here. They’re a decent side.”