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Liverpool Stay in Title Hunt with Derby Win

Liverpool reduced the gap behind themselves and Premier League leaders Chelsea to six points as they beat local rivals Everton in the Merseyside derby following Sadio Mane’s 90th-minute winner.

Heading into stoppage time, it looked like both sides were going to take a share of the spoils in the final Premier League encounter before Christmas but for Liverpool’s £34 million summer signing from Southampton. He was quick to react to a Daniel Sturridge strike which hit the post and fell into the path of the Senegalese forward before he beat Joel Robles in the hosts’ goal.

Jurgen Klopp’s side made a poor start to December as they let a 3-1 lead slip away to Bournemouth in the opening game of the month where they ended up losing 3-4. A week later they were held to a 2-2 draw by West Ham at Anfield to drop further points in the hunt for the title this season.

The win at Goodison Park though now brings up their second consecutive win as the reds were comfortable 3-0 winners at Middlesbrough just days earlier to put themselves in second place in the league standings.

Liverpool can be backed at 11/2 on a number of betting sites to win the Premier League title this season. The Merseyside club are bidding for their first league title since 1990 and their fans are confident that long wait could come to an end following the 2016/17 campaign.

The reds must keep on winning over Christmas and in the New Year to stay in touch with Chelsea who recently equalled a club record run of 11 consecutive wins in the league. Antonio Conte’s side are now just three wins away from the Premier League record of 14 victories on the spin which was set by Arsenal in 2002.

Klopp was dealt a big blow recently when he lost the service of Philippe Coutinho for a number of weeks. The Brazilian, along with his compatriot Roberto Firmino and Mane have proved a dangerous combination for any opposition this season so far.

If the Liverpool pick up another injury over the next couple of weeks, Klopp may be tempted to dip into the January transfer window which opens next month to provide some cover in his squad. Liverpool have been linked with Inter Milan striker Mauro Icardi who has been in excellent goalscoring form since signing for the Serie A club in 2013 from Sampdoria. The 23-year-old has scored 14 goals already this season an Inter side who are struggling in the table and are already 15 points adrift of Juventus in Italy.

For Icardi to come into the club, Liverpool may have to let go of the services of Sturridge. The England international has struggled with injuries during his time at Anfield and has not been a regular starter since Klopp arrived at the club.

The benefit Liverpool and Chelsea have over their title rivals this season is that they have no European football to worry about. That is likely to help both of their bids when the knockout stages of the Champions League and Europa League begin in February.