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October 28, 2018

Football: Liverpool go top as Bournemouth, Watford press on

Sports

 
October 28, 2018

LONDON: Sadio Mane scored twice as Liverpool took advantage of their title rivals’ inactivity to go three points clear at the top of the Premier League with a 4-1 win at home to Cardiff on Saturday as Bournemouth and Watford both continued their fine starts to the season.

Liverpool were the only club who started the weekend among the top five in action on Saturday, with reigning champions Manchester City not facing Tottenham Hotspur until Monday.

Meanwhile midweek European commitments also meant that Chelsea, like City and Liverpool yet to lose in the Premier League this season, were playing Burnley on Sunday, when in-form Arsenal travel to Crystal Palace and Manchester United welcome Everton to Old Trafford.

Mohamed Salah, now putting a stuttering start to the season behind him, fired Liverpool into a 10th-minute lead.

From a cross into the Cardiff box, Mane’s shot was blocked by Sean Morrison but Egypt forward Salah pounced on the rebound for his 33rd goal in 35 games at Anfield.

But as long as the lead was just 1-0, Cardiff were still in the game.

Mane, however, doubled Liverpool’s lead in the 66th minute when, running on to an Alberto Moreno pass, he smashed a shot into the top corner.

But Liverpool’s hopes of a club record 10th successive home clean sheet were dashed in the 77th minute when Callum Paterson turned in a cross deflected by Reds defender Virgil van Dijk.

However, two goals inside the final 10 minutes from substitute Xherdan Shaqiri and Mane put the result beyond doubt.

Bournemouth closed on fifth-placed Tottenham with a 3-0 win away to Fulham.

Callum Wilson won and then scored a 14th-minute penalty after he was brought down by Timothy Fosu-Mensah.

David Brooks then scored his third goal in four games to double the Cherries’ lead in the 72nd minute.

Minutes later, Fulham’s day went from bad to worse when captain Kevin McDonald was sent off for a second bookable offence following a late challenge on Brooks.

Wilson rounded out Bournemouth’s victory when he scored his second goal five minutes from time at Craven Cottage.

Watford were far too strong for Huddersfield in a 3-0 win at Vicarage Road. —AFP

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