Reds take top spot, Arse­nal held

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport Starts Here -

LIVERPOOL swept to the top of the Premier League as Sa­dio Mane’s dou­ble in­spired a 6-1 rout of Wat­ford, while Tot­ten­ham res­cued a 1-1 draw at north Lon­don ri­vals Arse­nal yes­ter­day.

Jur­gen Klopp’s side have emerged as gen­uine ti­tle con­tenders and they moved one point clear of sec­ond placed Chelsea thanks to a scin­til­lat­ing goal spree at An­field.

The Reds took the lead in the 27th minute when Sene­gal winger Mane met Philippe Coutinho’s cor­ner with a header that looped past Wat­ford goal­keeper Heurelho Gomes.

Just three min­utes later, Roberto Firmino picked out Coutinho on the edge of the penalty area and the Liverpool for­ward fired home with a fine low strike.

Klopp’s team were three up two min­utes be­fore halftime as Emre Can ar­rived un­marked at the far post to head in Adam Lal­lana’s cross.

The goals kept com­ing and Firmino added the fourth in the 57th minute, the Brazil­ian fin­ish­ing off Lal­lana’s cross, be­fore Mane got his sec­ond in the 60th minute with a clin­i­cal closerange ef­fort from Firmino’s pass.

Daryl Jan­maat notched his first goal for Wat­ford in the 75th minute, but there was still time for Liverpool to com­plete the de­mo­li­tion in the 90th minute through Ge­orginio Wi­j­nal­dum’s tap-in.

Liverpool have won seven of their last eight league games and go into the international break with grow­ing be­lief they can win the club’s first English league ti­tle since 1990.

At the Emi­rates Sta­dium, Harry Kane marked his re­turn from in­jury with the equaliser as Tot­ten­ham kept their hated neigh­bours from the Premier League sum­mit.

Arse­nal took the lead in the 42nd minute when Tot­ten­ham de­fender Kevin Wim­mer headed a free-kick into his own net.

But Eng­land striker Kane, who had been side­lined for seven weeks due to an­kle lig­a­ment dam­age, equalised for Tot­ten­ham from the penalty spot early in the 51st minute after a foul on Mousa Dem­bele by Lau­rent Ko­scielny.

The re­sult pre­vented Arse­nal from climb­ing above Chelsea and Manch­ester City and open­ing up a six-point gap over Tot­ten­ham, who re­main fifth, three points below Arsene Wenger’s men and four points off first place.

Wenger was an­gered by Tot­ten­ham’s penalty and said: “From where I sit, it looked harsh. It didn’t look a de­lib­er­ate foul or that he was dan­ger­ous to score.”

De­spite his frus­tra­tion over the spot-kick, Wenger ac­cepted the re­sult was “fair” and Tot­ten­ham boss Mauri­cio Po­chet­tino agreed.

“It’s dif­fi­cult to say one team de­served it more than the other,” Po­chet­tino said.

Wenger has now gone five league games with­out beat­ing Spurs, while Mauri­cio Po­chet­tino is the first Tot­ten­ham man­ager to avoid de­feat in his first five top-flight North Lon­don der­bies.

Although Spurs have now gone seven games with­out a win in all com­pe­ti­tions, they have avoided de­feat in their open­ing 11 league games for only the third time in the club’s his­tory.

Else­where, Hull staged a sec­ond half fight­back to end their bar­ren run with a 2-1 vic­tory over Southamp­ton at the KCOM Sta­dium.

Southamp­ton went in front in the sixth minute when Cur­tis Davies fouled Maya Yoshida and Char­lie Austin belted the re­sult­ing penalty straight down the mid­dle.

But Robert Sn­od­grass’s ex­cel­lent fin­ish from 12 yards drew Hull level in the 61st minute and for­mer Tot­ten­ham de­fender Michael Daw­son put the Tigers ahead when he glanced in a free­kick two min­utes later.

Hull re­main in the rel­e­ga­tion zone, but their first win in nine league games, end­ing a run of six suc­ces­sive league de­feats, at least of­fered hope they could avoid the drop. — Su­perS­port

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