Liver­pool over­comes Coutinho in­jury, beats Sun­der­land 2-0

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -


Liver­pool over­came the loss of Philippe Coutinho to a se­ri­ous­look­ing first-half in­jury to beat Sun­der­land 2-0 and keep up its ti­tle chal­lenge in the English Pre­mier League yes­ter­day.

Coutinho was car­ried off on a stretcher in the 34th minute with his right leg in a brace af­ter a chal­lenge with Sun­der­land mid­fielder Di­dier Ndong. Divock Origi came on as Coutinho’s re­place­ment and put Liver­pool ahead in the 75th minute with a curl­ing shot into the far cor­ner. James Mil­ner con­verted a penalty in stop­page time to seal vic­tory af­ter Ndong tripped Sa­dio Mane.

Liver­pool, which started the 13th round of games in sec­ond place, has lost only once this sea­son. The ex­act na­ture of Coutinho’s in­jury wasn’t im­me­di­ately clear. The loss put an end to Sun­der­land’s mini-re­vival, af­ter back-to-back wins lifted the team off the bot­tom of the stand­ings. Sun­der­land man­ager David Moyes’ poor record at An­field con­tin­ued in­clud­ing his spells at Ever­ton and Manch­ester United, Moyes hasn’t won in 14 games.

The vis­i­tors con­ceded 78 per­cent of pos­ses­sion but man­aged to limit Liver­pool to a hand­ful of half-chances in the first half.

Part of Sun­der­land’s suc­cess in negat­ing the threat of Liver­pool, which scored 17 times in five pre­vi­ous home league matches, was Ja­son De­nayer’s man­mark­ing job on Coutinho. The one oc­ca­sion that the on-loan Manch­ester City de­fender lost his man re­sulted in Coutinho’s in­jury, as Ndong’s fol­lowthrough caught the right foot of the Brazil­ian, who was try­ing to jink past him.

Sun­der­land’s one chance be­fore the break fell to for­mer Ever­ton mid­fielder Steven Pien­aar but goal­keeper Loris Kar­ius just got out quick enough to block. Liver­pool’s frus­tra­tion fi­nally ended 15 min­utes from time when Jor­dan Hen­der­son picked out Origi on the left of the penalty area and the striker threaded a shot across a crowded box and in­side the far post.

Af­ter Mil­ner stepped up to score his fifth goal of the sea­son, Liver­pool man­ager Juer­gen Klopp had the lux­ury of hand­ing 17-year-old academy grad­u­ate Ben Wood­burn a de­but. — AP

LIVER­POOL: Liver­pool Sun­der­land 2

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