Liverpool returned to the top of the Premier League in very comfortable fashion as they eased to a 5-0 win over a miserable Huddersfield side at Anfield.
Liverpool 5-0 Huddersfield
Premier League, Anfield
April 26, 2019
Keita 1′ (assist – Salah)
Mane 23′ (assist – Robertson)
Salah 45+1′ (assist – Alexander-Arnold)
Mane 66′ (assist – Henderson)
Salah 83′ (assist – Robertson)
After Man City‘s victory at Old Trafford in midweek, all eyes were back on Anfield as the Reds welcomed Huddersfield looking to return to the top of the table.
The manager made two changes to his starting lineup as Dejan Lovren replaced Joel Matip and Daniel Sturridge came in for a rare start at Firmino’s expense, with the midfield from Sunday’s 2-0 win at Cardiff retained.
With a win paramount as Liverpool keep their sights on the title, the hope was that Huddersfield didn’t pose as an unlikely banana skin, but fortunately that was not the case.
- Klopp makes two changes; Firmino injured, Ox back in the squad
- Keita scores opener in just 15 minutes after slack Huddersfield passing
- Mane header doubles lead before Salah lob rounds off half at 3-0
- Another header from Mane brings No. 10’s tally to 20 in the league
- Ox returns for 13-minute midfield cameo after 367 days out
- Salah taps in for the fifth as Liverpool return to the top
Liverpool were gifted the perfect start by Huddersfield’s laughable possession play, with slack passing and excellent pressing allowing Mohamed Salah to play in Naby Keita for the opener after just 15 seconds.
The goal actually sparked Huddersfield into life, as they funnelled their attacks down Trent Alexander-Arnold‘s flank through Karlan Grant, with the Reds looking to slow things down when they got the ball back.
After this, Liverpool took control, with Robertson’s cutback almost leading to another through Jordan Henderson, but the captain’s left-footed strike soared over.
But on the cusp of half-time Klopp’s other full-back, Alexander-Arnold, played a lofted pass over a hapless Terence Kongolo as Salah cut inside and lobbed the advancing Jonas Lossl for 3-0.
The first 10 minutes of the second half were action-packed, beginning with an injury scare for Van Dijk—thankfully relieved soon after—and then a clear chance for Grant, before Sturridge’s finish at the other end was ruled out for offside.
After that the heavy wind began to play its part as both sides fought for fluency, and fortunately for Liverpool it worked in their advantage as Henderson’s high cross fell for Mane.
The Senegalese converted with his second header of the game for his 20th in the league this season, as he and Salah continue to vie with each other for the Golden Boot.
Anfield erupted on 73 minutes as Oxlade-Chamberlain replaced Sturridge for his first appearance in over a year, with Xherdan Shaqiri also coming on as Klopp shuffled his pack.
The No. 21 almost had a goal within minutes, but was thwarted by Lossl after showing some great close control in the box, while Mane went close to a hat-trick of headers as his effort struck the post.
Salah grabbed his brace before long, however, as Shaqiri found Robertson behind the defence and the left-back laid on the Egyptian King for a tap-in as Liverpool return to top spot.
TIA Man of the Match: Sadio Mane
Referee: Kevin Friend
Liverpool: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold (Gomez 88′), Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson; Wijnaldum (Shaqiri 73′), Henderson, Keita; Salah, Mane, Sturridge (Oxlade-Chamberlain 73′)
Subs not used: Mignolet, Matip, Milner, Origi
Huddersfield: Lossl; Smith, Schindler, Kongolo, Durm; Stankovic (Pritchard 81′), Hogg, Bacuna; Grant, Mbenza (Kachunga 88′), Mounie (Lowe 65′)
Subs not used: Coleman, Diakhaby, Jorgensen, Daly
Next Match: Barcelona (A) – Champions League – Wednesday, May 1, 8pm (BST)