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West Ham forced Liverpool to a draw, opens up Epl race more

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Manuel Pellegrini almost delivered on his promise in favour of Manchester City as Premier League leaders Liverpool suffered an uncharacteristic defensive lapse as they only managed a draw against West Ham to boost the hopes of their title rivals.




The Reds extended their lead over second-placed Manchester City to three points but the odds strongly favoured them taking all three against the 12th-placed side.

It started well for Jurgen Klopp’s men when Sadio Mane fired past Lukasz Fabianski in the 22nd minute, although James Milner looked offside in the build-up.

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The Hammers showed enough threat in attack to suggest it would not be one-way traffic, and six minutes later they got a deserved equaliser when Liverpool’s defence failed to read Felipe Anderson’s disguised free-kick and spot Michail Antonio’s run into the area. The English winger finished off with a low angled drive which went in off the post.

Liverpool did not put the West Ham defence under severe pressure, with two efforts from Mohamed Salah and a header from Mane comfortably dealt with by Fabianski before Divock Origi shot straight at the keeper when he had a clear sight of goal right at the end.

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Russian: President Putin eases access to citizenship for east Ukraine residents.

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Source: Reuters

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed an order simplifying the procedure for obtaining a Russian passport for residents of the rebel-controlled Donetsk and Luhansk regions of eastern Ukraine, the Kremlin said on Wednesday.

Separatist rebellions broke out against Ukrainian rule in both regions in 2014. Moscow provided military help for the separatists, according to evidence gathered by Reuters, though Russian officials have denied providing material support.

Large swathes of the two regions are now under the de facto control of the Moscow-backed rebels, while Kiev says it is determined to re-assert its control, a position backed by most Western countries.

There was no immediate reaction from Kiev to Putin’s order. Ukrainian officials are likely to react angrily to any indication Moscow is drawing the rebel regions closer into its own orbit.

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Machester Derby – Epl’s Most important Match of the Season

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The Manchester derby today is arguably the most important match of the season as it will determine the comfort of Liverpool on the league table or the come back of Manchester City on top, while it also may determine the place of United in the European leagues next season.

Meanwhile, Manchester City have won five of their last seven Premier League fixtures at Old Trafford (D1, L1), having triumphed in only one of the first 14 visits. A seventh away win for City would be a new Premier League record for overall wins at Old Trafford by a visiting club

Manchester United have Luke Shaw available after suspension but Phil Jones limped off during the defeat at Everton and is not expected to be fit.

Ander Herrera, who has been out for four weeks with a thigh injury, was not part of the squad which arrived at the team hotel on Tuesday.

Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne will miss out after sustaining a hamstring problem last weekend.

Claudio Bravo is City’s only other injury absentee

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