Liverpool beat Man United’s Premier League best, while James Milner breaks top five

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Liverpool have now picked more points after 34 games this season than Man United have managed in any full campaign since the Premier League switched to 20 teams. 

A brace from Mohamed Salah and an excellent strike from Jordan Henderson were enough to put away a hard-fighting Brighton side on Wednesday night.

The win maintained the Reds’ perfect record at the Amex, and ensured the Seagulls’ wait for a victory over Liverpool, which has run since 1984, continues.

With Jurgen Klopp‘s side already champions, the ability to still pick up wins after the complacency scare at the Etihad is heartening, and suggests the carrot of an all-time points record is working.

Nine points are needed from the remaining four clashes—against Burnley, Arsenal, Chelsea and Newcastle—to ensure the Reds surpass City’s 100-point total from 2017/18 to record the highest tally of any top-flight side in English football history.

They have already beaten United’s best in the 20-team Premier League, however, with the Manchester side accruing 91 points in 1999/00 for their highest total in a 38-game season.

It would take another four points to eclipse Chelsea‘s best (95, in 2004/05) in the same period of time, while they have already passed Arsenal (90, in 2003/04).

Liverpool are now on 92, still 23 clear of City, which could therefore still see them finish with the biggest points gap ever between first and second—the current record is 19.

 

Milner breaks into the top five

BRADFORD, ENGLAND - Saturday, July 13, 2019: Liverpool's James Milner celebrates scoring the first goal during a pre-season friendly match between Bradford City AFC and Liverpool FC at Valley Parade. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Elsewhere on Wednesday night, James Milner leapfrogged the late Gary Speed into the top five in the all-time Premier League appearances list.

The 34-year-old is now on 536, behind only David James (572), Frank Lampard (609), Ryan Giggs (632) and Gareth Barry (653), with it still feasible for him to jump into fourth.

 

250 for the front three

BRIGHTON & HOVE, ENGLAND - Wednesday, July 8, 2020: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah (L) celebrates scoring the third goal, his second of the game, with team-mates during the FA Premier League match between Brighton & Hove Albion FC and Liverpool FC at the AMEX Stadium. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK government’s social distancing laws during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. (Pic by Propaganda)

An eye-catching milestone was also reached as Salah’s double made it 250 goals under Klopp for him, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino combined.

Salah has scored 94 of those, with Mane contributing 79 and Firmino hitting 77, and the manager reflected on their remarkable output in his post-match press conference.

“Two-hundred-and-fifty goals is really exceptional—imagine where I would be if these boys did not play for me!” he joked.

“Wow! The situation minus 250 goals…great!”

 

Keita’s sign of things to come

BRIGHTON & HOVE, ENGLAND - Wednesday, July 8, 2020: Liverpool's Naby Keita during the FA Premier League match between Brighton & Hove Albion FC and Liverpool FC at the AMEX Stadium. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK government’s social distancing laws during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. (Pic by Propaganda)

The trip to Brighton was a standout one for Naby Keita, who produced one of his best performances since joining the club in 2018 before being substituted on the hour mark.

It was Keita’s pressing that forced the first goal for Salah, and he set the tone all over the pitch with his relentless work off the ball and his tidy, incisive play on it.

Laying on the opener for the Egyptian King, Keita made it back-to-back assists in the Premier League for the first time—having also set up Mane in the 2-0 win over Aston Villa.

Given he had only previously set up two in the league prior to the visit of Villa, perhaps this is a signal of intent from our No. 8.

 

Fastest to 30

BRIGHTON & HOVE, ENGLAND - Wednesday, July 8, 2020: Liverpool's captain Jordan Henderson (C) celebrates scoring the second goal during the FA Premier League match between Brighton & Hove Albion FC and Liverpool FC at the AMEX Stadium. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK government’s social distancing laws during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. (Pic by Propaganda)

Not only have Liverpool broken United’s 38-game best with four to spare, and are on course to set a new all-time points record, they are also the fastest to 30 wins in a single season in English history.

That is across the whole of the Football League, from the top flight down, with Klopp’s side only dropping points on four occasions.

They can keep up their incredible season’s form on Saturday, with Burnley the visitors—and though the manager insists otherwise, no doubt records will be on their mind when the Clarets head to Anfield.

To mark the end of the 30-year wait for a league title, the ‘Liverpool Mishmash’ poster is now available to pre-order exclusively on This Is Anfield.

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