LONDON   -   A stirring effort from Chelsea was not enough to stop Liverpool from maintaining their pristine record at the top of the Premier League.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang again proved to be Arsenal’s saviour as his late free-kick earned the 10-man Gunners a hard-fought victory over Aston Villa.

West Ham United beat a toothless Manchester United 2-0 at home to move into fourth place as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side ended the game without an established striker after Marcus Rashford came off injured. At Selhurst Park, a last-gasp Diogo Jota equaliser earned Wolverhampton Wanderers a 1-1 against Crystal Palace.

Jürgen Klopp’s side restored their five-point lead over Manchester City thanks to goals from Trent Alexander-Arnold and Roberto Firmino but they were made to sweat by the hosts, who were a team transformed when N’Golo Kanté turned up the heat in the second half.

Chelsea threw everything at the division’s pacesetters during those dying stages and they almost stole a point from 2-0 down, only for Mason Mount to spurn a glorious opportunity as the minutes ticked away.

In the end, Liverpool held on and were able to celebrate a rare and precious win at the home of one their big six rivals. Klopp’s side are made of stern stuff, whereas Chelsea remain a work in progress under Frank Lampard, who is still waiting for his first home win.

Dean Smith’s visitors had twice led at the Emirates Stadium only to fall to a 3-2 defeat as Aubameyang struck with six minutes remaining. John McGinn had given Villa a surprise lead but, despite Ainsley Maitland-Niles’ dismissal late in the first half, club-record signing Nicolas Pepe equalised from the penalty spot.

Villa stunned the home crowd once more as they regained the lead just 89 seconds later, Wesley turning home, only for Callum Chambers to hit his first Arsenal goal since August 2016 and Aubameyang to provide the winning moment to take Unai Emery’s side into the Premier League top four. Maitland-Niles passed up a fine early opportunity as he was picked out inside the box but could only send his strike high over Tom Heaton’s crossbar.

In west London, Ukrainian forward Andriy Yarmolenko put West Ham ahead at the end of a drab first half with a confident first-time finish into the bottom corner, with Aaron Cresswell sealing victory with an outstanding free kick in the 84th minute. The visitors, who were missing Paul Pogba, Anthony Martial and Luke Shaw through injury and lost teenage striker Mason Greenwood to illness, looked sluggish throughout the game and lacked spark and creativity.

United created no chances of note before the interval but Juan Mata missed a glorious opportunity early in the second half when he missed the target from close range, while Harry Maguire was later thwarted by West Ham keeper Lukasz Fabianksi. Their slim hopes of getting back into the game were rocked when Rashford came off with a suspected muscle injury, leaving winger Daniel James to operate as a lone striker for the final half an hour.

At Selhurst Park, Crystal Palace’s wait for a first Premier League win of the season continued. A mistake by Joel Ward five minutes into stoppage time allowed Jota to score from close range, earning Wolves a fourth draw from their six games. They had to do it the hard way though as they played the final stages with 10 men after Romain Saiss was shown a second yellow card for a foul on Wilfried Zaha. Palace, who could have gone sixth with a win, took the lead a minute after halftime when Ward’s powerful shot was headed into his own net by Leander Dendoncker.

results

Crystal Palace 1-1 Wolves

West Ham 2-0 Man Utd

Arsenal 3-2 Aston Villa

Liverpool 2-1 Chelsea