Football

Liverpool extend EPL points record after 5-0 win over Huddersfield

Reds' 91-point tally would have been enough to win them the EPL title in 20 of 27 previous seasons

EPL
LIVERPOOL HUDDERSFIELD
5 0
(Naby Keita 1, Sadio Mane 23, 66, Mohamed Salah 45+1, 83)  

Winter returned to Anfield on Saturday morning (April 27, Singapore time) but while the temperature dropped, the standards of Juergen Klopp’s side certainly did not as Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah both struck twice in a 5-0 thrashing of relegated Huddersfield Town.

Liverpool kept the pressure up on English Premier League title rivals Manchester City, moving to the summit on 91 points, two more than City, but Pep Guardiola’s side will regain top spot with a win at Burnley on Sunday.

Despite the wind, rain and freezing temperature, Liverpool had little trouble collecting their seventh league win in a row and, with a trip to Newcastle United and home game against Wolverhampton Wanderers to come, Klopp’s side could well keep that streak going until the end of the season.

A 91-point tally was enough to win 20 of the 27 EPL titles and Klopp’s side could end the campaign with just a solitary league defeat to go with several other records – but none of that will count for much if Pep Guardiola’s side do not drop points in their three remaining matches.

“Ninety-one points. Wow, that’s crazy. It’s only possible because the boys play like they do, the attitude they have,” Klopp said.

“You cannot ask for luck or destiny, you have to work for it. We said we want to write our own history, that’s what we’re doing. The boys are outstanding,” he added.

Liverpool, who face Barcelona in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final on Thursday morning, were without forward Roberto Firmino who was rested due to a slight muscle strain.

But Klopp’s side do not lack for firepower even without their Brazilian striker.

Salah and Mane now have 21 and 20 goals each this season – making them the top two scorers in the EPL.

EARLY GOAL

It took 14 seconds for Liverpool to go in front with Huddersfield defender Jon Gorenc Stankovic giving the ball away to Salah just outside the box and the Egyptian fed Naby Keita who slotted home off the inside of the post.

Mane headed in the second in the 23rd minute, meeting a trademark Andy Robertson cross from the left after Virgil van Dijk had started the move with a surge out from the back.

On the stroke of half-time, Salah put the game beyond Huddersfield when he latched on to a long pass forward from Trent Alexander-Arnold and knocked the ball past the advancing Jonas Lossl.

Huddersfield, who opted against massed defence and tried to be positive, started the second half in determined fashion, creating three promising openings, but Liverpool soon took back control.

Mane scored his second and Liverpool’s fourth in the 66th minute, heading in a deep cross from Jordan Henderson and he went close to a hat-trick in the 78th minute when he headed a Xherdan Shaqiri cross against the post.

Salah made it 5-0 with a simple close-range tap-in from a low Robertson cross.

“All in all it was great, a really brilliant performance,” said Klopp. “Composure and everything that you need was there. So really happy.

“It’s obviously an outstanding group of players, who did well against a Huddersfield side who are much better than this result shows. They had proper counter-attacks so we needed to be patient and we scored wonderful goals”.

To add to a very positive evening, midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain returned to action as a substitute, his first appearance since suffering a knee injury a year ago. – REUTERS

liverpooljuergen kloppHUDDERSFIELDMohamed SalahSadio Mane