London: Leicester moved a step closer to fulfilling their improbable dream of winning the Premier League as Riyad Mahrez gave the surprise leaders a 1-0 win at Watford on Saturday.
Claudio Ranieri’s side extended their lead over second placed Tottenham to five points thanks to the latest moment of magic from Footballer of the Year contender Mahrez.
The Algeria winger lashed a fine finish past Watford goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes from just inside the penalty area in the 56th minute. With just nine games remaining, the unfancied Foxes are closing in on the most unlikely title triumph in the history of English football.
“An important win, a big battle,” said Ranieri, who eased injury fears over Mahrez after he limped off in the final minutes,” Ranieri added.Super-sub Benteke strikes for Liverpool
In another match, substitute Christian Benteke won and scored a 96th-minute penalty as 10-man Liverpool came from behind to win 2-1 at Crystal Palace on Sunday.
Joe Ledley’s 48th-minute strike and Liverpool midfielder James Milner’s second-half dismissal for two bookable offences looked to have set Palace on course for a first win in 12 league matches.
But a slip by Palace goalkeeper Alex McCarthy gifted Roberto Firmino a 72nd-minute equaliser, before Damien Delaney’s rash challenge on Benteke enabled the Belgium striker to net the winner with a last-gasp penalty.
Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool, who host Manchester United in the Europa League on Thursday, climb two places to seventh after recording a third successive league win for the first time in a year. It was a fifth consecutive home league defeat for Alan Pardew’s Palace, who remain nine points above the relegation zone in 15th place.