Liverpool returned to the top of the Premier League with a 5-0 demolition of relegated Huddersfield Town at Anfield on Friday night that left them on 91 points for the season.
Liverpool came into the match looking to reclaim top spot after Manchester City moved into first following a win over Manchester United on Wednesday, and they were in front seconds after the opening whistle when Naby Keita beat Jonas Lossl from a bad giveaway by the Huddersfield defence.
Keita’s goal, which came in the 15th second of the match, set a new record for the fastest ever scored by Liverpool in the Premier League.
The strike also made Salah the first African-born player to score 20 goals in consecutive seasons in the English top flight as Jurgen Klopp’s team had the result done and dusted by the break.
“We are happy with the points we have and now we are focused on the next game. We have a mindset that works and we try to create problems for each opponent by working hard,” Klopp said.
“It’s obviously an outstanding group of players, who did well against a Huddersfield side who are much better than the result shows. They had proper counter-attacks so we needed to be patient and we scored wonderful goals.”
Daniel Sturridge, in for the injured Roberto Firmino, looked to have made it 4-0 shortly after the restart when he turned home an Alexander-Arnold cross on a counter-attack, but the referee had the flag up for offside on the play.
Liverpool’s fourth, and Mane’s second, came shortly after though when the Senegal international backtracked to catch up to a Jordan Henderson ball into the box and head it past Lossl to extend the lead.
Klopp made two changes after the goal, giving Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain his first senior minutes since suffering a devastating knee injury against Roma in the Champions League one year ago and also bringing on Xherdan Shaqiri for the final 20 minutes.
Oxlade-Chamberlain nearly had a dream start to his return when Salah sprang him in the penalty area only for Lossl to stuff his close-range shot on the line and preserve the 4-0 scoreline, before Mane’s effort at a third headed goal came crashing back off the post.
Salah made it five as full-time approached, weaving through the Huddersfield defence to be first to a Robertson square ball in front of goal and tap home to edge in front of teammate Mane in the race for the Golden Boot with 21 and 20 goals, respectively.
Robertson now has 11 assists on the season to become the first Premier League defender with double-digit assists in a season since Antonio Valencia did it for Man United in 2011-12.
The three points puts Liverpool on 91 for the season with two games to play, but they’ll need Manchester City to drop points in one of their remaining three matches to have a chance at winning the Premier League for the first time since the 1989-90 season.
Published at Fri, 26 Apr 2019 01:52:00 +0000