Liver­pool go top of EPL

Jamaica Gleaner - - SPORTS -

... United end 4-match win­less run

THERE’S AN up­side to miss­ing out on the Cham­pi­ons League for Liver­pool and Chelsea. They have surged into the Premier League’s toptwo places while Eng­land’s par­tic­i­pants in Europe’s elite com­pe­ti­tion failed to win on their re­turn to do­mes­tic du­ties.

With no gru­elling mid­week Euro­pean games, Chelsea and Liver­pool con­served their en­ergy to pro­duce em­phatic do­mes­tic vic­to­ries. A day af­ter Chelsea routed Ev­er­ton 5-0, Liver­pool over­whelmed Wat­ford 6-1 yes­ter­day to move a point ahead of their Lon­don ti­tle ri­vals.

Manch­ester City lost top spot af­ter be­ing held by Mid­dles­brough on Satur­day, drop­ping to third. Arse­nal and Tot­ten­ham drew 1-1 in the north Lon­don derby yes­ter­day be­fore cham­pi­ons Le­ices­ter were beaten 2-1 by West Bromwich Al­bion.

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

Manch­ester United fol­lowed up their 2-1 loss at Fener­bahce in the Eu­ropa League by win­ning 3-1 at Swansea to halt a four-match win-less run in the Premier League.

Liver­pool oc­cupy top spot for the first time since May 2014 when the team came close to win­ning the ti­tle for the first time since 1990 be­fore a late col­lapse. Sadio Mané, Philippe Coutinho and Emre Can scored in the space of 16 first-half min­utes to put Wat­ford out of sight. Roberto Firmino, Mané and Ge­orginio Wi­j­nal­dum added fur­ther goals in the sec­ond half.

Liver­pool, which have now scored four or more goals in five league matches this sea­son, is a point in front of Chelsea and two ahead of Manch­ester City and Arse­nal.

PRETTY GOOD TEAM

“When I came here (in Oc­to­ber 2015), I asked for time and pa­tience and be­lief,” Liver­pool man­ager Jüer­gen Klopp said. “And af­ter 11 match days, ev­ery­one’s ask­ing for guar­an­tees and they are not there. The only thing we have is a pretty good foot­ball team.”

José Mour­inho was forced to watch from the stands as he served a touch­line ban, but he will have liked what he saw in south Wales.

There was a land­mark goal for one of the brash­est of play­ers. The first of Zla­tan Ibrahi­movic´’s two goals was the 25,000th in the Premier League since the com­pe­ti­tion’s in­cep­tion in 1992.

Paul Pogba also un­leashed a 20yard vol­ley for his sec­ond league goal since join­ing United in Au­gust from Ju­ven­tus for a world-record fee of €105 mil­lion.

AP

Liver­pool’s Roberto Firmino (cen­tre) cel­e­brates scor­ing his side’s fourth goal of the game with Philippe Coutinho dur­ing the Premier League match be­tween Liver­pool and Wat­ford at An­field yes­ter­day. Liver­pool won 6-1.

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