Liverpool reclaim top spot in English Premier League



LONDON — Liverpool reclaimed the lead in England with a hard-fought 2-1 victory over West Ham while Arsenal slumped to another defeat against a top-five team with a 3-0 loss at Everton Sunday.

In Italy, Roma moved within five points of Serie A leader Juventus after beating Cagliari 3-1 and Saint-Etienne lost ground in the race for a Champions League spot in the French league.

England Steven Gerrard scored twice from the penalty spot as Liverpool stretched its Premier League winning streak to nine matches and returned to the top of the table. For once, the free-scoring Reds had to battle hard to claim the three points ahead of their much-anticipated clash against Manchester City in a meeting between the two main title contenders.

Defender Guy Demel scored West Ham’s equalizer before Gerrard’s second-half winner.

“It is going to be a magnificent atmosphere at Anfield,” Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers said. “The supporters really urged us on today and we want to see if we can get 10 in a row.”

With five games remaining, Liverpool leads Chelsea by two points. Manchester City is four points off the pace but has two games in hand.

Earlier, Everton made Arsenal pay for their poor defending with strikes from Steven Naismith and Romelu Lukaku as well as an own goal from Mikel Arteta.

Arsenal has secured only two points from its last four matches as the Gunners remain in fourth place, but just one point above Everton, which has a match in hand and a better goal difference.

Spain Malaga midfielder Ignacio Camacho scored two goals and earned a penalty for a third to lead his team to a 4-1 win over Granada in the Spanish league.

Atletico Madrid leads the league by one point over Barcelona.