Premier League: Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp over the moon after going top again
Man Utd boss Jose Mourinho concedes the better side won at Anfield
Liverpool lead the pack again
Liverpool lead the Premier League once more after yesterday’s 3-1 victory against Manchester United at Anfield.
The Reds had ceded top spot to Manchester City on Saturday after the Sky Blues’s 3-1 win over Everton, but they resumed the leadership with a comfortable victory over their old rivals.
Sadio Mane gave the hosts the lead with a crisp volley midway through the first-half, only for Jesse Lingard to level after Reds’ goalkeeper Alisson made a mess of attempting to deal with Romelu Lukaku’s cross.
Over the moon
But Xherdan Shaqiri came off the bench to score two goals in the final quarter, leaving his manager a hostage to cliche.
“Over the moon about the performance,” exclaimed Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp. “The way the boys played was outstanding.”
The defeat leaves United in sixth place, eight points behind Arsenal and a whopping 19 shy of Liverpool. “The strongest team won,” conceded United manager Jose Mourinho. “They were better and stronger, they did everything better than us.”
Asked if United were still title contenders, Mourinho snapped: “Of course not. But we can still finish fourth. It’s not easy but for sure we are going to finish in the top six.”
Arsenal’s unbeaten run ends
Southampton dragged themselves out of the relegation zone by achieving what no other club has done since August – beating Arsenal.
The Gunners went to the south coast defending a 22-match unbeaten run, but they were deservedly beaten 3-2 by a spirited Southampton side who handed new manager Ralph Hasenhuttl (who replaced Mark Hughes earlier this month) a victory on his home debut.
“The whole team was amazing,” said Hasenhuttl. “It’s only the first step, we’ll try to keep working and keep improving.”
Man of the match
Charlie Austin scored the winner five minutes from time, artfully heading home Shane Long’s exquisite cross, but man of the match was Danny Ings whose two goals were just reward for an inspired performance.
Both Arsenal goals came from Henrikh Mkhitaryan but his was the only eye-catching performance in a strangely subdued display from the Gunners.
“As a club we know the position we’ve put ourselves [in] and with the squad we’ve got it’s not good enough,” said Ings. “But if we keep showing resilience and hard work we can turn it round. It shows we're moving in the right direction already.”
Arsenal manager Unai Emery had no complaints about the winning run coming to an end. He said: “Southampton deserved the result because they pushed and played with big ambition. This is football. Sometimes we could win that game but we lost it. We need to do some analysis on how we can improve and do better.”
Blues bag three points at Brighton
If Arsenal didn’t enjoy their day trip to the south coast Chelsea certainly did with a 2-1 win at Brighton. The victory consolidated their position in fourth spot and the Blues are now three points clear of the Gunners.
Star of the show for the visitors was Eden Hazard whose assist enabled Pedro to open Chelsea’s account on 17 minutes. The Belgian then got on the scoresheet himself, converting Willian’s through ball, and although Florin Andone pulled a goal back for Brighton midway during the second-half they never threatened to spoil Chelsea’s Sunday.
Mind the gap
“I like to score, but it’s not important for me,” said Hazard, when asked about his goal. “The most important thing is to win games.”
The victory was Chelsea’s first away win in three games and they remain two points behind Tottenham. “We want to be top of the league at the end of the season,” said Hazard. “We know Man City and Liverpool are good teams [and] we don’t want the gap to be big.”
Could do better
Hazard finished the match with his ankle wrapped in ice but Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri described it as “only a knock”.
As for his side’s performance, the Italian said: “We played very well for 60 minutes. We conceded a goal when we were in full control. I think that we could have won better.”
Premier League results
- Manchester City 3 Everton 1
- Crystal Palace 1 Leicester City 0
- Huddersfield Town 0 Newcastle United 1
- Tottenham Hotspur 1 Burnley 0
- Watford 3 Cardiff City 2
- Wolverhampton Wanderers 2 AFC Bournemouth 0
- Fulham 0 West Ham United 2
- Brighton & Hove Albion 1 Chelsea 2
- Southampton 3 Arsenal 2
- Liverpool 3 Manchester United 1
Premier League fixtures
Friday 21 December
- Wolverhampton Wanderers vs. Liverpool (8pm)
Saturday 22 December (3pm unless stated)
- Arsenal vs. Burnley (12.30pm)
- AFC Bournemouth vs. Brighton & Hove Albion
- Chelsea vs. Leicester City
- Huddersfield Town vs. Southampton
- Manchester City vs. Crystal Palace
- Newcastle United vs. Fulham
- West Ham United vs. Watford
- Cardiff City vs. Manchester United (5.30pm)
Sunday 23 December
- Everton vs. Tottenham Hotspur (4pm)