Salah Fires Liverpool Seven Points Clear, Arsenal Rock Chelsea
Written by darling on January 21, 2019
Liverpool moved seven points clear at the top of the Premier League as Mohamed Salah’s double inspired a dramatic 4-3 victory over Crystal Palace, while Arsenal ignited their top-four bid by beating Chelsea on Saturday.
With second-placed Manchester City travelling to bottom-of-the-table Huddersfield on Sunday, Liverpool seized the chance to tighten their grip on the title race.
Jurgen Klopp’s side were pushed hard by Palace but Salah’s predatory instincts and a woeful mistake from Eagles goalkeeper Julian Speroni ensured Liverpool improved their unbeaten home league run to 32 games.
“He’s world class, simply world class,” Klopp said of Salah.
Liverpool’s haul of 60 points from 23 matches tops the Reds’ previous best tally of 59, set at the same stage of the 1893-94 and 1987-88 campaigns.
“We had to stay positive, being one down is not a massive blow. We just needed to win the second half,” Klopp said.
“We have 60 points now. It’s crazy.”
Palace, the last team to beat Liverpool in a Premier League game at Anfield, in April 2017, took a shock 34th-minute lead.
Wilfried Zaha picked out Andros Townsend, who drilled a crisp finish past Alisson Becker.R
Salah equalised 60 seconds after the interval, the Egypt forward slotting in his 18th goal of the season after Virgil van Dijk’s shot deflected into his path.
Liverpool went ahead in the 53rd minute when Brazilian striker Roberto Firmino, surrounded by defenders, still managed to unload a shot that deflected in off Palace’s Cheikhou Kouyate.
James Tomkins out-jumped Fabinho to head Palace level in the 65th minute, yet Liverpool were gifted the crucial third 10 minutes later thanks to a howler from Speroni.
James Milner’s cross prompted a nervous flap from Speroni, who tipped the ball high over his own head and Salah was on hand to convert on the line.
Milner was sent off in the 89th minute for a second booking, but Liverpool made it four in stoppage-time through Sadio Mane before Max Meyer capped a frantic finale with Palace’s third.