Liverpool took a step closer to the English Premier League title with a dominating 4-0 win over Southampton, which helped them open up a huge 22-point gap at the top of the table. The other big two clubs of English football, Chelsea and Manchester United had to be content with draws although the nature of both contests were poles apart.
United looked lacklustre during their goalless draw against Wolverhampton, whereas Chelsea were engaged in an entertaining game against Leicester City with both teams hitting the net twice.
The Liverpool juggernaut continues with Mohammed Salah scoring a brace, and goals from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and skipper Jordan Henderson. After the goalless first-half, Chamberlain wrong-footed McCarthy to open the scoring, before Henderson doubled a lead converting a Roberto Firmino pass and drilling the ball into the top of the net.
Apply the finishing touches, Salah made the most of Firmino’s hat-trick of assists to score first in the 72nd minute and later into stoppage time. The Reds are on 73 points with 25 games and need another 21 from remaining 14 matches to assure themselves of a maiden EPL title for the first time since 1990.
“I have never seen it, to be honest. If I was asking from the outside, I would ask the same questions. It’s not that I feel stronger and stronger and stronger after each win, it’s not like this. It is just one great celebration, then it’s relief, settle and go again,” Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said.
“We are not perfect, not even close to being perfect; we just try to make the best of our skills in the best possible way. The boys have done that now for a while pretty good and that’s why we have these kind of numbers – but it doesn’t feel a second like it’s really special. It just feels the hardest work.”
United’s goalless draw is their third consecutive winless result in the season. Their new signing Bruno Fernandes featured in the starting line-up but had a quite game, besides a troubling Wolves a couple of times. He gave United their best chance when he fired a shot but was kept out by Rui Patricio. Fernandes had another chance, this time with a free-kick near the hour-mark but Patricio saved it uncomfortably.
“It was a game as you expected really. We dominated the game, had loads of possession, they gave us problems on counter attacks and set plays,” said Solskjaer.
“Bruno is a top player,” said United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. “It’s the first game. First half everyone was getting the ball into feet and Bruno is one of those who, when he gets into feet, he wants players moving in front of him and we didn’t [do that]. He’ll be a top addition.”
Defender Antonio Rudiger scored a brace in Chelsea’s enthralling 2-2 draw against Leicester. After an uneventful first half, Rudiger opened the scoring headed The Blues in front off a corner from Mason Mount. Harvey Barnes and Ben Chilwell scored twice in 10 minutes to put the 2016 EPL winners ahead but Rudiger came to spoilt Leicester’s party again sending a loopy header past Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel in the 71st minute.
“We were the better team in the first half, in terms of how we moved the ball, and we created some gilt-edged chances. In the second half we weren’t so fluid and they created some good chances themselves,” Chelsea boss Frank Lampard told BBC Sport after the match.
“Toni Rudiger and Andreas Christensen were really good. Toni was aggressive – the second goal is a really great header – so I’m really pleased with him.”