Liverpool moves to top of ta­ble

Toronto Star - - SPORTS/SCOREBOARD - THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

LON­DON— There’s an up­side to miss­ing out on the Cham­pi­ons League for Liverpool and Chelsea as they oc­cupy the Premier League’s top two places.

With no gru­elling mid­week matches in Europe, Chelsea and Liverpool con­served their en­ergy to pro­duce em­phatic do­mes­tic vic­to­ries.

A day after Chelsea routed Ever­ton 5-0, Liverpool over­whelmed Wat­ford 6-1 on Sunday to move a point ahead of its Lon­don ti­tle ri­val.

Liverpool’s vic­tory saw it oc­cupy top spot for the first time since May 2014.

Arse­nal, Tot­ten­ham and Manch­ester City all failed to win this weekend after play­ing in the Cham­pi­ons League in mid­week. City lost top spot after be­ing held by Mid­dles­brough on Satur­day, while Arse­nal and Tot­ten­ham drew 1-1 in Sunday’s north Lon­don derby.

“It’s a lit­tle phys­i­cal ad­van­tage for sure,” Arse­nal man­ager Arsene Wenger said about not play­ing in the Cham­pi­ons League, which boosts the prof­its and pres­tige of par­tic­i­pants.

What about the less il­lus­tri­ous Europa League where games are played on Thurs­day night?

Manch­ester United bounced back from its 2-1 de­feat at Turkey’s Fener­bahce by win­ning 3-1 at Swansea to halt a four-match win­less run in the Premier League. Southamp­ton, though, came back down to earth after beat­ing mighty In­ter Mi­lan by los­ing 2-1 to a Hull side in the bot­tom three.

JA­SON CAIRNDUFF/REUTERS

Wat­ford’s Eti­enne Capoue and Liverpool’s Emre Can con­test a high ball at An­field on Sunday. Liverpool won 6-1 to top the Premier­ship stand­ings.

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