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Match Reports


26 April 2019

Match Reports


26 April 2019

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A tough night in blustery conditions at Anfield as high-flying Liverpool sustained their challenge for the title by putting five past the Terriers.

Naby Keïta opened the scoring inside the first minute, and although Town briefly rallied and showed some positive glimpses, Sadio Mané got the first of his on the night, as did Mohamed Salah, to hand Liverpool a 3-0 lead at the break. Mané and Salah both doubled their respective tallies in the second-half to seal a comprehensive victory.

Karlan Grant & Jon Gorenc Stanković in for Elias Kachunga & Aaron Mooy were the only two changes made by Jan Siewert on Merseyside. Kache dropped to the bench, where there was also a spot for the returning Adama Diakhaby, although Mooy missed out completely having picked up a knock in training.

It was one of the alterations that got robbed of possession deep inside the Town half with just 15 seconds on the clock. Stanković was set upon by Keïta, and as the latter nicked the ball away to Mo Salah, the midfielder found a gap to exploit and found the back of the net via the post.

Not the start that Siewert had desired, but his men immediately set about restoring early parity. Stanković tried his luck at the other end, and his shot looked to have been looping in having taken a wicked deflection, the Slovenian had to settle for the side netting, and a corner, of which nothing would materialise.

The response was good. Karlan Grant and Isaac Mbenza lurked with intent on either flank, and it was Mbenza who initiated another potential Town opening. Played in by Terence Kongolo's slide down the channel, Isaac used his pace to round Andrew Robertson and deliver low for the figure of Steve Mounié, who in truth was marshalled well by Virgil van Dijk and therefore unable to reach it.

Van Dijk, meanwhile, did manage to connect this time on Liverpool's attacking phase from a delivery of their own. Trent Alexander-Arnold's corner invitingly flighted a corner towards the Dutchman, who could thankfully only head over.

One man who didn't head over, 23 minutes in, was Sadio Mané. The Senegal international hammered home past Jonas Lössl after being magnificently picked out by a peach of a left-footed cross by Andrew Robertson.

A number of key challenges from Christopher Schindler and Tommy Smith in crucial areas inside the area prevented Sadio Mané from capping a first-half brace, combined with wayward finishing from Jordan Henderson

Dejan Lovren made a timely interception of his own as Jonathan Hogg looked to square to Steve Mounié, as the Reds' killer instinct ensured that the advantage would be extended to three courtesy of Mohamed Salah.

Salah raced forward and looped over the on-rushing Jonas Lössl to effectively seal the points before the second half had even began to take shape.

Mané instantly pressed on the front foot for that brace. He hooked over from the edge of the area, as the blustery Mersey conditions played a pivotal role in the ball dropping kindly out of the sky.

Up the other end, Town had two great chances to pull one back. Firstly, Juninho Bacuna's sheer persistence presented a golden chance for Karlan Grant to tap home at the far post, but as the goal gaped, Karlan somehow couldn't connect.

Steve Mounié followed up by latching onto a perfectly weighted through ball, only to hesitate upon bearing down on goal which allowed Keïta to recover.

Despite being three down, the Terriers came out with a real grit in their teeth to give the ever-vocal following in one corner of Anfield something to shout about. Bacuna remained involved, forcing Alisson in the Liverpool goal to make a sprawling save to the right which prevented a long-range, dipping attempt from Juninho nestling in the top corner.

Salah also continued to be a menace going forward for Jurgen Klopp's side, and skilful touches brought about a shooting chance on the volley. The resulting effort rattled the side netting, however.

Mané had been threatening to add to his tally all night long, and it eventually arrived minutes after the hour mark. The forward drifted away from his marker at the back stick and delightfully headed Jordan Henderson's inch-perfect cross back across the face of goal and into the opposite right-hand corner.

Town hadn't been off the boil in any sense, but they were up against a Liverpool side playing with an evidently impressive purpose as the reward of a Premier League title is well within reach as the season comes to its conclusion.

Lössl showed great agility to deny home substitute Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who received a warm welcome after coming on to make his first appearance in just over a year, and Town's Dane between the sticks smartly reacted to clear away a low shot.

Mané seeked his hat-trick and was unfortunate by thundering a header off the post with Lössl stricken, as the Reds continued to advance giving the men from HD1 no respite whatsoever.

That notion was supported as Salah tucked home a fifth. Robertson's quick dash was found, and the Scot wasted no time in squaring for the un-marked Salah who was never going to miss from a yard.

TOWN (4-3-3)

Jonas Lössl; Erik Durm, Terence Kongolo, Christopher Schindler (c), Tommy Smith; Jonathan Hogg, Jon Gorenc Stanković (Alex Pritchard, 81'), Juninho Bacuna; Karlan Grant, Steve Mounié (Chris Löwe, 65'), Isaac Mbenza (Elias Kachunga, 87')


Joel Coleman, Zanka, Matty Daly, Adama Diakhaby


Alisson Becker; Andrew Robertson, Dejan Lovren, Virgil van Dijk, Trent Alexander-Arnold (Joe Gomez, 88'); Georginio Wijnaldum (Xherdan Shaqiri, 73'), Jordan Henderson, Naby Keïta; Sadio Mané, Daniel Sturridge (Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, 73'), Mohamed Salah


Simon Mignolet, Joel Matip, James Milner, Divock Origi


Kevin Friend

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