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WRAPUP 1-Soccer-Defoe double frustrates Liverpool, Aguero scores in Man City win
January 2, 2017 / 5:43 PM / 9 months ago

WRAPUP 1-Soccer-Defoe double frustrates Liverpool, Aguero scores in Man City win

LONDON, Jan 2 (Reuters) - Liverpool dropped two points in the Premier League title race as Jermain Defoe converted two penalties to earn struggling Sunderland a 2-2 draw against them at the Stadium of Light on Monday.

Ten-man Manchester City moved up to third as they beat Burnley 2-1 at home -- Gael Clichy and substitute Sergio Aguero scoring second-half goals after Fernandinho had been shown a red card before the interval.

Hull City’s relegation worries intensified when they lost 3-1 at West Bromwich Albion despite taking the lead, while Middlesbrough eeked out a point against champions Leicester City in a drab 0-0 draw at the Riverside Stadium.

Everton manager Ronald Koeman enjoyed a 3-0 victory over his former club Southampton, although the goals scored by Enner Valencia, Leighton Baines and Romelu Lukaku all came late on.

With leaders Chelsea not in action until they play Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday, Liverpool had the opportunity to close the gap on Antonio Conte’s side to three points and looked poised to do so as they twice took the lead.

Daniel Sturridge’s flicked header gave Liverpool a 19th-minute lead but Defoe levelled six minutes later after Ragnar Klavan tripped Didier Ndong.

Sadio Mane’s close-range finish in the 72nd minute looked to have sealed the points for Liverpool but Mane was penalised for handball six minutes from time and Defoe kept his cool to dispatch another penalty to take his league goal tally to 11.

“I don’t know exactly what I saw,” Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp said of his team’s display. “We can play better football.”

Fernandinho’s 32nd-minute lunge on Burnley’s Iceland midfielder Johann Berg Gudmundsson was deemed two-footed by referee Lee Mason and he did not hesitate to show a red card to the Brazilian who has been sent off three times in his six games.

Burnley were unable to capitalise on their numerical advantage though and City actually improved after the break when David Silva and Aguero were introduced off the bench.

Clichy, who had managed only one league goal in more than 100 Premier League games for City, gave his side the lead in the 58th minute with a precise shot past Burnley keeper Tom Heaton.

Four minutes later Aguero grabbed his 11th league goal of the season with a superb finish from a tight angle.

Ben Mee halved the deficit 20 minutes from time and there were a few late jitters as City held on.

Sixth-placed Manchester United are at West Ham United in the day’s late kickoff. (Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Clare Fallon)

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