Liverpool continued their hot run in the English Premier League as they beat Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 to open a 16-point lead at the top. Roberto Firmino’s first-half goal proved to be the winner as the Spurs, without Harry Kane, seemed to be struggling and were pushed down to eights in the EPL standings.
Manchester United moved to fifth with their thrashing of Norwich City. The star for the Red Devils was Marcus Rashford, who, playing his 200th game for the club, scored twice – one on either side of half-time and became the third-youngest player to reach the landmark for the club.
Liverpool were on the attack from the word go. Virgil van Dijk almost scored the opener but his close-range header was saved by Paulo Gazzaniga. After back and forth ball possession, the opening goal came in the 37th minute with Mohamed Salah assisting Firmino inside the box for the latter to score.
Lucas Moura and Son Heung-Min produced a couple a long-range efforts but neither converted. Spurs were a lot more improved in the second half though. Spur Serge Aurier produced a good save from Alisson, followed by a Lo Celso coming close to scoring with a counter attack, but Liverpool held on and managed to keep their one-goal lead.
“I’m over the moon about the result, but we have to talk about the performance,” manager Jurgen Klopp said later. “One team deserved to win and that was us. To win at Tottenham is pretty special. That the game wasn’t decided after 50-60 minutes was our fault. We should have scored more goals. “We were on the ground towards the end. A couple of our players were slightly exhausted, but we fought through that.”
United took 27 minutes for their opening goal when Rashford was able to reach a corner from Juan Mata and slot the ball past goalkeeper Tim Krul. Krul gave United a penalty when he came down heavily on Brandon Williams and Rashford converted to score his 19th goal of the season.
Two-goal lead became a three-goal lead just two minutes later when Anthony Martial connected a header from another wonderful cross from Mata, before Mason Greenwood, who came on as a substitute scored United’s fourth, shortly after he came on.
“Very happy,” Ole Gunnar Solskjaer told BBC Sport. “I am sure the opposition are talking about Man Utd as a very hard working team. That is what I want from my team.
“We reacted today. We can bounce back, and we are taking more than two or three steps forward before one back, because behind the scenes we know we are doing good work. Fantastic effort by Marcus getting to 200 games so quickly. He got through most of the game. He is struggling a little bit so we took him off. He kept his cool.”