Liverpool closing in on EPL crown

English Premier League

Liverpool edged closer to the English Premier League title after narrowly beating bottom-of-the-table Norwich City 1-0 on Saturday evening.

Reds manager Jurgen Klopp made only one change, as Naby Keita made his first start of the new year in place of Fabinho, while Sadio Mane and James Milner recovered from their injuries to feature on the bench.

Liverpool got off to a slow start, allowing Norwich to find spaces to link up on counter-attacks but their efforts were not yet yielding clear opportunities.

However, Daniel Farke's troops had a glorious chance to break the deadlock ten minutes before the break after Lukas Rupp went one-on-one with the Reds goalkeeper Alisson but instead of going for goal, he opted to pass to Teemu Pukki and the Brazilian goalkeeper intercepted the pass.

Klopp's charges were unable to find their attacking rhythm in the latter stages of the first stanza while the Canaries were defending well.

Liverpool came close to breaking the deadlock just before the hour-mark but Norwich goalkeeper Tim Krul made a double-save to deny Mohamed Salah's initial low strike and Keita on the rebound.

The Canaries almost found the breakthrough in the last 16 minutes after Alexander Tettey's shot towards the near post and beat Alisson but the effort came off the near post.

Second-half substitute Mane finally broke the deadlock for Liverpool with 12 minutes left after controlling Jordan Henderson's long ball at the near post to fire a powerful strike past Krul.

Roberto Firmino should have doubled the lead for Klopp's men in the last four minutes after Trent Alexander-Arnold's cross caught the whole defence and Krul square but the Brazilian forward guided the ball glaringly wide near an open goal.

Norwich were a threat on the break in the closing minutes but the Reds held on to win their 17th game in a row and went 25 points clear at the top of the log.