Liverpool eases nerves with victory


Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah, right, attacks on Saturday during Premier League action against Bournemouth.

AFPLONDON (AFP-Jiji) — Liverpool returned to winning ways and the top of the Premier League table, while Manchester United climbed into fourth place on Saturday as English soccer paid tribute to the late Emiliano Sala.

First-half goals from Sadio Mane and Georginio Wijnaldum together with Mohamed Salah’s 48th-minute effort saw Liverpool to a 3-0 win over Bournemouth at Anfield.

Victory meant Liverpool, which had been second on goal difference, leapfrogged Manchester City by three points ahead of the reigning champions’ match at home to Chelsea on Sunday.

Meanwhile United’s revival under caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer continued with an equally comfortable 3-0 win at Fulham.

Liverpool had dropped points in successive 1-1 draws against Leicester and West Ham, sparking suggestions it was losing its nerve in a quest to end the club’s 29-year wait to be crowned champion of England once again.

Mane, however, eased the pressure with an early headed goal at Anfield.

Liverpool doubled its lead through Wijnaldum’s 34th-minute lob before Salah’s curling shot sealed victory.

“We knew we were not happy with our performance in the last two or three games,” Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said. “We want to play convincing football we want to perform.”

Meanwhile, Paul Pogba scored two goals — including a second-half penalty — either side of an Anthony Martial strike as United made it 10 wins in 11 game since former striker Solskjaer was put in temporary command.

Chelsea could regain a spot among the Champions League qualifying places against Manchester City.

But United, 11 points adrift of the top four when Jose Mourinho was sacked in December, are back in the hunt now.

“There are so many games left, but we hope to stay in the top four,” Solskjaer said.

Arsenal inflicted more misery on Huddersfield with a 2-1 win away to the bottom-of-the-table club.

Alex Iwobi and Alexandre Lacazette put Arsenal 2-0 up before halftime, with Sead Kolasinac’s own-goal too late for the Terriers.

Elsewhere, under-pressure Everton manager Marco Silva’s return to Watford ended in a 1-0 defeat thanks to an Andre Gray goal.

Everton’s loss was compounded when Kurt Zouma was sent off after the final whistle for complaining to referee Lee Probert.

Also, an emotional week for Cardiff ended with a dramatic 2-1 win away to Southampton that saw them climb out of the relegation zone just days after the death of transfer-window signing Sala was confirmed without him having played a game for the Welsh club.Speech

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