6 Premier League talking points with Liverpool near title and Man Utd treble joy

The Manchester derby was certainly the attention-grabbing fixture of the weekend in the Premier League.

But there was plenty of controversial calls, magic moments and defining results on Saturday and Sunday.

Liverpool’s narrow win over Bournemouth and Manchester City’s defeat at Old Trafford means the Reds are within touching distance of the title.

Three teams, meanwhile, sit on 27 points at the other end of the table, with the race to avoid relegation as tight as possible.

VAR is never not involved in the action, and Chelsea called on the old boys to teach Everton a lesson at Stamford Bridge.

With Leicester vs Aston Villa still to come on Monday night, Starsport has picked out six big talking points from the weekend’s action.

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United's treble derby delight

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s United have officially become City’s bogey team, having beaten them not once, not twice, but three times this season.

In fact, those three derby triumphs have all come in the space of just three months.

United prevailed 2-1 winners in the Premier League at the Etihad back in December, and then won 1-0 away in their Carabao Cup semi-final second leg.

Goals from Anthony Martial and Scott McTominay inflicted another damaging defeat on Pep Guardiola’s men today.

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Liverpool closing in on title

The Reds fought from behind to see off Bournemouth 2-1 at Anfield in the Saturday lunchtime kick-off.

Another underwhelming display from Jurgen Klopp’s team off the back of their FA Cup loss at Chelsea means they really are stumbling towards the finish line.

A massive 25-point gap, though, can hardly see them take too much criticism. Two wins would now see Liverpool win the league.

And if City fail to beat Arsenal and Burnley before Liverpool even next kick a ball, the title will be theirs.

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Race for top-four intensifying

Chelsea attacking trio Olivier Giroud, Willian and Pedro turned back the clock to bully Everton into submission on Sunday.

The three forwards all scored as the Blues won 4-0 to move within two points of Leicester in third, but United then ruined Frank Lampard’s weekend by beating City.

A win for Sheffield United over Norwich and draw for Wolves against Brighton means only two points separates fifth to seventh.

With nine games to go, Champions League football is there for the taking for a handful of sides.

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Relegation battle going to wire

West Ham and Watford typically followed up pivotal victories last weekend by both falling to 1-0 defeats on Saturday.

The Hammers missed a bucket load of chances against Arsenal leaving David Moyes wondering how they hadn’t thrashed their rivals, while Watford went from beating Liverpool 3-0 to losing 1-0 at Crystal Palace.

That sort of inconsistency is why they are both level on points with 18th-placed Bournemouth, showing just how tight the battle for relegation is.

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Home is where the heart is

Newcastle were the only away team to win from any of the nine Premier League matches this weekend.

And the Magpies made hard work of that too, taking until the final 10 minutes to see off 10-man Southampton.

Brighton and Tottenham each held Wolves and Burnley to respective draws, while every other home team picked up three points.

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VAR and ref in the mix again

Can’t get away from VAR, no matter what. This weekend had a twist, though, as the monitor properly came into effect at St Mary’s.

Moussa Djenepo saw red following a pitchside review after initially being awarded a yellow card for a studs up tackle.

Elsewhere, Sergio Aguero was denied an equaliser for City at Old Trafford and VAR determined he was fractionally offside.

Alexandre Lacazette was relieved Arsenal’s call went the other way as Mesut Ozil managed to stay onside to help set up their winner against West Ham.

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