Manchester City, Liverpool post wins to take title race to wire
Liverpool: A spectacular strike from Mohamed Salah helped Liverpool maintain their two-point lead over Manchester City in the Premier League title race with a win over Chelsea at Anfield on Sunday.
Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling had struck twice in the earlier game, propelling the defending premiers ahead of Liverpool with a 3-1 win at Crystal Palace.
However Liverpool held their nerve in the late kickoff, showing their superiority with an easy 2-0 win over Chelsea. Liverpool are now on 85 points with four games to go; City are on 83 with an additional match to play.
After a tight and tactical first half, Liverpool broke through in the 51st minute when Jordan Henderson picked out Sadio Mane at the back post and the Senegalese forward confidently headed home.
Anfield erupted two minutes later when Mohamed Salah scored a sensational second – the Egyptian receiving the ball on the right flank and cutting inside before unleashing an unstoppable drive from 25 metres out into the far, top corner.
Chelsea responded positively, though, with David Luiz picking out Eden Hazard with a ball over the top, the Belgian beating the advancing Alisson Becker only to see his shot bounce out off the post.
Moments later, Becker then had to be alert to keep out a Hazard shot from a Willian cross as Chelsea searched in vain for a way back.
Having missed an easy chance early on at Selhurst Park, Sterling put City ahead in the 15th minute when he ran on to Kevin de Bruyne’s inch-perfect pass from behind the halfway line and fired past goalkeeper Vicente Guaita.
The England international added a second for his 17th league goal of the season after the break, meeting Leroy Sane’s first-time cross into the box with a calm left-footed finish that wrong-footed Guaita as it rolled in.
Palace ensured an entertaining finish to the contest when Luka Milivojevic scored from a free kick with nine minutes to go after midfielder James McArthur was brought down on the edge of the penalty area.
City, however, sealed the deal with their third of the match as De Bruyne latched on to a poor pass from defender Aaron Wan-Bissaka before feeding substitute Gabriel Jesus who finished emphatically.