Fans chant for Abramovich during Ukraine applause, anger Chelsea coach

“We do this because this is what we are also as a club. We show respect as a club and we need our fans to commit to this minute of applause. At this moment, we do it for Ukraine and there is no second opinion about the situation there.

“They have our thoughts and our support.”

Liverpool within three points of City

Sadio Mane’s 12th league goal of the season, tucked away midway through the first half, proved just about enough to secure the win as Liverpool narrowed City’s lead at the top to three points with both teams having 11 games left to play.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, asked if he would be taking a close interest in City’s game with fourth-placed Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday, said: “Of course we are interested in it, but we have no influence on it.

“We have to win the games we play. Those we do not play in we have no hand in it. We don’t think about it or talk about it, we just try to win our games.”

Liverpool’s seventh successive league victory and 12th in all competitions was hard-earned.

Sadio Mane was on target for Liverpool.

Sadio Mane was on target for Liverpool.Credit:Getty Images

Mane poked in Trent Alexander-Arnold’s volleyed cross after 27 minutes and the hosts had plenty of chances to give themselves some breathing space.

But West Ham, who remain fifth, squandered gild-edged chances as Pablo Fornals messed up an attempted lob after being played through, Manuel Lanzini sliced over the bar and Michail Antonio failed to convert a clear chance.

“In the end it was open, we needed a bit of luck, but you cannot win as many games in a row as we have without a bit of luck, you can’t do this by only winning when you are flying,” Klopp said.

Leeds United slipped further into trouble with a 1-0 loss at Leicester City under new manager Jesse Marsch, but Newcastle United’s resurgence continued with a 2-1 home win against Brighton & Hove Albion to move further away from trouble.

Ryan Fraser and Fabian Schar scored in the space of two minutes for Eddie Howe’s Newcastle side who then dug deep to extend their unbeaten run to eight games after Lewis Dunk pulled one back for Brighton in the 55th minute.

Brentford dealt a hammer blow to bottom side Norwich City’s hopes of escaping the drop zone and eased their own fears as Ivan Toney scored a hat-trick in a 3-1 victory at Carrow Road.

Aston Villa’s Brazilian midfielder Philippe Coutinho scored one goal and made another as they thrashed visiting Southampton 4-0, while Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha created the opener and netted a penalty in a 2-0 win at Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Basement side Norwich have 17 points after a desperately disappointing defeat by Brentford. Watford, who host sixth-placed Arsenal on Sunday, are on 19 points.

Kerr’s Chelsea lose Cup final

In the women’s game, Manchester City’s Caroline Weir scored twice as they came from a goal down to beat Chelsea 3-1 in the Women’s League Cup final, winning the trophy for a fourth time.

City celebrate their Cup win.

City celebrate their Cup win.Credit:Getty Images

Chelsea, who completed a clean sweep of domestic trophies last season, looked like they might capture their third successive League Cup when Sam Kerr did well to finish from close range in the 34th minute at Plough Lane.

However, Gareth Taylor’s City turned the game around shortly after half-time when Scottish forward Weir equalised with a low shot in the area before Ellen White pounced on a rebound in the 58th minute to give her side the lead.

Weir sealed victory in some style with a side-footed volley in the 69th as City won their first trophy in two years and ended a winless run of nine matches against Emma Hayes’ Chelsea.

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