Salah Taunts Manchester United After Emphatic Victory
20 April 2022
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Liverpool opened a two-point lead at the top of the Premier League after inflicting another comprehensive victory over Manchester United.

Mohamed Salah’s first two goals since February 19 – making it nine in his last six matches against Liverpool’s big rivals – were supplemented by strikes from Luis Diaz and Sadio Mane but the 4-0 scoreline hardly told the whole story.

This was the first time since October 2009 Liverpool had won three successive league matches against United, beaten 5-0 at Old Trafford earlier this season, and pulled them clear of Manchester City, who play Brighton on Wednesday night.

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United, who had one shot on target, have now conceded more Premier League goals this season than 18th-placed Burnley, and defeat was a further blow to their top-four hopes.

Such were their injury problems – with Cristiano Ronaldo given compassionate leave after the tragic death of his newborn son – Phil Jones made only his third appearance of the season.

By the time Paul Pogba added to those woes by coming off after 10 minutes his side were already behind.

However, injuries appeared the least of their worries. Getting a touch of the ball was the more pressing concern as Liverpool dominated from the off.

Their two banks of five were either too disjointed or too inert to have any effect on proceedings and, as a result, their hosts – led by the majestic Thiago Alcantara – seized an initiative they never relinquished.

“When we have these attackers in front of us and you see not only how they score but in defensive situations they want to get involved. It makes us perform,” said Thiago afterwards.

“It is one of the strongest performances at Anfield. We are not worried about where the goals come from. We are happy with all the strikers and how we play.”

Salah added: “In midfield they make our life easier. We have a clean sheet here and there. Once we get the first goal, we want the second and the third. It was a top performance by us and hopefully we continue.

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“I score many goals for this club. Sometimes you have bad luck. The most important thing is the team winning. We just need to focus on ourselves and the rest is not in our hands.”

The confidence with which Liverpool approached what used to be their key game of the season was exemplified by goalkeeper Alisson Becker, who beat Bruno Fernandes with a Cruyff turn on his own penalty spot in only the fourth minute.

Less than 60 seconds later United were behind as centre-forward Mane dropped deep and was given 10 yards of space to play a through-ball pass and Salah crossed for Diaz to score the 400th goal under Jurgen Klopp from close range.

Mane had a shot deflected wide before providing an even more sumptuous pass to tee up Salah to score with a confident finish.- The National