Merseyside duo claim vital wins
A review of Sunday's action in the Barclays Premier League.
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Liverpool moved back to the top of the Barclays Premier League table as captain Steven Gerrard scored two penalties to see off West Ham 2-1 at Upton Park.
Referee Anthony Taylor took centre stage with key decisions to award Liverpool a second-half penalty after earlier allowing West Ham's first-half equaliser to stand.
The winning goal game via the boot of Gerrard from the spot in the 71st minute after Adrian was penalised for bringing down Jon Flanagan, with replays showing the West Ham goalkeeper touched the ball before the pair collided.
It was Gerrard's second penalty of the game, with the veteran midfielder having broken the deadlock in a closely-fought first-half after James Tomkins handled as Luis Suarez turned in the box.
But West Ham were back on terms as Guy Demel poked home in first-half added time when Simon Mignolet failed to gather Mark Noble's corner, under huge pressure from Andy Carroll.
Referee Taylor gave the goal, only to see his assistant was flagging. Replays of the incident, which were also inadvertently shown on the big-screen in the ground and seen by the players, showed Carroll's hand clearly connect with Mignolet's head, but after a conversation between the officials, the goal was allowed to stand.
Now Liverpool can prepare for an Anfield clash with Manchester City next Sunday, knowing another win, after securing their ninth in succession at Upton Park, would bring a first league title for 24 years even closer.
Everton produced an excellent performance to defeat Arsenal 3-0 at Goodison Park and move to within a point of fourth with a game in hand on the Gunners.
Roberto Martinez's men started strongly and were rewarded in the 14th minute when Romelu Lukaku's shot was saved by Wojciech Szczesny and Steven Naismith fired in the rebound.
Lukaku added a second with an excellent run and finish after 34 minutes, and Arsenal's chances of a fightback were effectively extinguished in the 62nd minute when former Everton midfielder Mikel Arteta turned the ball into his own net under pressure from Kevin Mirallas.
There was one bright spot for Arsenal when Aaron Ramsey returned to action as a substitute following a lengthy injury absence, but it was the Everton fans who were able to celebrate long before the final whistle as they sealed a sixth straight win to boost their Champions League hopes.