LONDON — Leicester and Arsenal both lost Saturday to tighten the top of the Premier League as more pressure was heaped on Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal.
Leicester's 10-game unbeaten run ended with a 1-0 loss to Liverpool while Arsenal were thrashed by Southampton 4-0.
The results leave Leicester top on 38 points, two more than Arsenal and just three clear of Manchester City, who routed Sunderland 4-1.
Christian Benteke's goal sent Leicester to just their second defeat of the season.
"We started to play too late," Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri said. "Liverpool pushed from the beginning and for this season they deserved to win.
"We tried to do our best but maybe in the first half we were too nervous to play our football."
Leicester's loss earlier Saturday left Arsenal with a chance to go top by beating a Southampton team winless in five.
But it was the Saints who took the lead in the first half from a 30-yard wonder strike by right-back Cuco Martina.
"It was a disappointing result and I have to say well done Southampton," Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said.
"The title is down to consistency to fight in every single game and produce a performance.
"Today was a very physical game and we didn't play well enough."
Shane Long then scored twice and Jose Fonte added a goal as Southampton broke the game open in the second half.
"It was a fantastic performance against a good Arsenal team – that's a big complement to the players," manager Ronald Koeman said.
Manchester United's 2-0 loss at Stoke brought more questions for van Gaal about his future.
Goals from Bojan Krkic and Marko Arnautovic handed United a fourth straight loss in all competitions for the first time since 1961.
United are winless in seven games, their worst spell since the 1989-1990 season, and fall to sixth place.
"The circumstances now play a bigger role and will in the next game also," van Gaal said. "We have to cope with that and look for the solution.
"It is very difficult as I'm also part of four losses and I have to cope with that.
Raheem Sterling, Yaya Toure, Wilfried Bony and Kevin de Bruyne scored as Manchester City warmed up for their trip to Leicester on Tuesday with an easy win.
Chelsea drew 2-2 with Watford in Guus Hiddink's debut as caretaker manager as Oscar missed a second-half penalty when he slipped.
Diego Costa scored twice for Chelsea while Troy Deeney and Odion Igahlo had the Watford goals.
"At the end it is a fair result," Hiddink said. "You have to have respect Watford because they have been on a winning streak and have very decent strikers.
"But in the end I think we could have made a little bit more."
Harry Kane scored a brace as Tottenham beat Norwich 3-0 to take sole possession of fourth place and close within six points of Leicester.
Crystal Palace are up to fifth after a 0-0 draw at Bournemouth, Swansea beat West Brom 1-0 to move out of the relegation zone, Everton beat Newcastle 1-0 and Aston Villa drew 1-1 with West Ham.
Story: Bob Bensch / DPA
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