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AFP
February 11, 2019

Liverpool return to top as Man United go fourth

Sports

AFP
February 11, 2019

LONDON: Liverpool returned to winning ways and the top of the Premier League table while Manchester United climbed into fourth place on Saturday as English football 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, who 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 away to Fulham.

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

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

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

In London, 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.

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 half-time, 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.

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.

The Argentinian’s body was formally identified by an English coroner on Thursday, a day after it was recovered from underwater aeroplane wreckage in the Channel.

Cardiff wore special shirts embroidered with a yellow daffodil, the national emblem of Wales and the team colour of French side Nantes, Sala’s former club, with a minute’s silence observed prior to kick-off.

Bluebirds captain Sol Bamba’s second-half volley gave Cardiff the lead only for Jack Stephens to equalise in stoppage-time.

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