Salah joins elite 40-goal Reds club
LIVERPOOL: Mohamed Salah scored his 30th Premier League goal of the season as Liverpool eased past Bournemouth 3-0 to close in on a topfour finish yesterday.
Third-placed Liverpool needed only seven minutes to take the lead when Sadio Mane beat Asmir Begovic from a rebound after his initial header had been saved by the visiting keeper.
Bournemouth stayed in the game despite Liverpool’s dominance, but Salah made the points safe in the 69th minute when, with his back to goal, he glanced in Trent Alexander-Arnold’s long pass with an astute header.
In doing so, Salah became only the third Liverpool player to score 40 goals in all competitions in a single season, joining Ian Rush, who managed it twice, and Roger Hunt.
There was still time for Roberto Firmino to add to Liverpool’s tally with a late third goal, cutting in from the left and firing a low right-footer past Begovic.
Earlier, Chelsea scored three time in nine frenetic second-half minutes to win 3-2 at Southampton, who are now five points from safety after relegation rivals Crystal Palace beat Brighton & Hove Albion by the same score at Selhurst Park.
With Huddersfield Town winning 1-0 against Watford and 17th-placed Swansea City drawing 1-1 with Everton, the Saints are in real danger of losing their five-year Premier League status.
If they do, they will rue yesterday’s game at St Mary’s in which they were coasting at 2-0 until Olivier Giroud came on as a 61st-minute substitute.
First Giroud expertly met a cross from Marcos Alonso, who was lucky to be on the pitch after stamping on Shane Long in the first half, and then fired in a low shot for his first league goals for Chelsea.
In between, Eden Hazard scored from close range as Southampton conceded three goals for the fourth successive game.
“As has been the case all year, apparently we’ve got a soft underbelly,” said Saints manager Mark Hughes, who is in danger of suffering his first-ever managerial relegation.
“When the momentum shifts against us we can’t get a platform and wait until the momentum swings our way again.”
The action was just as furious at Selhurst Park with all the goals coming in the opening 34 minutes.
Wilfried Zaha scored his first-ever league double as Palace twice took a two-goal lead, but each time Brighton, who had previously scored only seven times away all season, narrowed the difference through former Palace favourite Glenn Murray and a sublime finish from Jose Izquierdo.
The win left Palace in 16th place, six points clear of Southampton.
Huddersfield’s win came in injury time via a Tom Ince shot, a goal that sparked wild celebrations among the players and home fans.
AT A GLANCE Yesterday: Southampton 2, Chelsea 3; Burnley 2, Leicester City 1; Crystal Palace 3, Brighton & Hove Albion 2; Huddersfield Town 1, Watford 0; Swansea City 1, Everton 1; Liverpool 3, AFC Bournemouth 0; Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester City (late kick-off) Today: Newcastle United v Arsenal (2.30pm SA time kick-off); Manchester United v West Bromwich Albion (5pm)
Tomorrow: West Ham United v Stoke City (9pm)
Tuesday: Brighton & Hove Albion v Tottenham Hotspur (8.45pm)
TWO GOOD: Chelsea’s Olivier Giroud celebrates scoring the winner against Southampton at St Mary’s Stadium yesterday.