MX23RW : Friday, September 24 01:05:31| >> :120:14438:14438:
Apr 26, 2019 at 8pm UK at Anfield
Attendance: 53,249
Liverpool
5-0
HuddersfieldHuddersfield Town
Keita (1'), Mane (23', 66'), Salah (45', 83')
FT(HT: 3-0)

Result: Five-star Liverpool thrash Huddersfield Town to regain top spot

Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah score two goals apiece as Liverpool thrash relegated Huddersfield Town 5-0 to regain top spot in the Premier League table.

Liverpool have regained top spot in the Premier League table courtesy of a convincing 5-0 thrashing of relegated Huddersfield Town at Anfield this evening.

The Reds broke the deadlock inside 15 seconds as Naby Keita gave them a perfect start to the match, and they were three goals to the good by half time with Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah both getting in on the act.

Mane and Salah then added another goal apiece in the second half as the Liverpool duo moved clear in the Golden Boot race, wrapping up a 10th consecutive win which puts the pressure back on Manchester City ahead of their trip to Burnley on Sunday.

Naby Keita celebrates scoring with Mohamed Salah during the Premier League game between Liverpool and Huddersfield Town on April 26, 2019© Reuters

With the destination of the title still out of their control courtesy of Man City's midweek derby win at Old Trafford, Liverpool knew that only victory would do to pile the pressure back on the champions, and they wasted no time in setting themselves on course for the three points.

Indeed, Keita's opener was Liverpool's fastest ever goal in the Premier League era, arriving after only 15 seconds when the midfielder caught Jon Gorenc Stankovic in possession before receiving the ball back from Salah and picking out the bottom corner.

It was also the Reds' 100th goal across all competitions this season, and number 101 almost arrived immediately afterwards as Salah cut inside and stung the palms of Jonas Lossl from the edge of the box.

Naby Keita opens the scoring early doors during the Premier League game between Liverpool and Huddersfield Town on April 26, 2019© Reuters

Even after two minutes it appeared to be a case of how many Liverpool would get, but Huddersfield responded brightly and were the better side for much of the opening 20 minutes as they kept the hosts pinned back into their own half.

Jan Siewert's side could not provide the moments of quality when it mattered, though, with both Stankovic and Isaac Mbenza wafting tame efforts towards goal from promising positions inside the opening six minutes.

Liverpool soon regained their composure and took control of the contest, and both Salah and Virgil van Dijk failed to hit the target with half-chances before the hosts did double their advantage.

Van Dijk was involved as he carried the ball out of defence before giving it to Andrew Robertson, whose cross was perfect for Mane to glance home his first of the night.

Sadio Mane nabs the second during the Premier League game between Liverpool and Huddersfield Town on April 26, 2019© Reuters

Salah and Daniel Sturridge then fired long-range efforts well off target as Liverpool patiently looked for a third goal, which should have arrived two minutes before half time when Robertson's low ball into the box was only cleared as far as Jordan Henderson, who blazed his finish over the crossbar.

The hosts did make it three before the interval, though, as Salah raced on to a long pass forward from Trent Alexander-Arnold and lifted his finish over Lossl, who had come racing off his line to try to sweep up the danger.

It was a landmark goal for the Egyptian on his 100th appearance for the club, as he became only the third Liverpool player to score 20 or more goals in back-to-back Premier League seasons and the first man to reach that milestone in this term's race for the Golden Boot.

Mohamed Salah scores the third during the Premier League game between Liverpool and Huddersfield Town on April 26, 2019© Reuters

The Reds showed no sign of letting up in the second half either, and they could have added a fourth within four minutes of the restart when both Sturridge and Mane went for the same ball, with the latter lifting his finish over the bar.

Huddersfield have not scored against Liverpool since 1962, but they were almost gifted a rare goal shortly afterwards when Dejan Lovren's clearance bounced off Juninho Bacuna and almost fell into the path of Karlan Grant, who was inches short of turning the loose ball home.

Liverpool went straight up the other end and had the ball in the back of the net two minutes later, but Sturridge - called into the team in place of the injured Roberto Firmino - saw his celebrations correctly cut short by the linesman's flag.

Bacuna then forced Alisson into his only serious save of the contest with a long-range strike, and for the closing half-hour it was all Liverpool as they pushed on for more with goal difference still a potential decider in the title race.

Keita drilled one effort wide from range before Salah almost lit up Anfield with a goal-of-the-season contender, lifting the ball over one defender, flicking it past another and then unleashing a 25-yard half-volley which rippled the side-netting as it flashed past the top corner.

A fourth goal seemed inevitable, and it arrived in the 66th minute as Mane temporarily joined Salah on 20 league goals for the season with another header, this time latching on to Henderson's delivery and putting his finish across goal into the far corner.

Sadio Mane scores the fourth during the Premier League game between Liverpool and Huddersfield Town on April 26, 2019© Reuters

Liverpool's comfort level allowed Jurgen Klopp to hand Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain his first competitive action for more than a year in the final 15 minutes, and a perfect night would have been capped off had the returning midfielder added the finishing touch after twisting into a shooting position inside the box just two minutes after his introduction.

It sparked a flurry of late Liverpool chances, and Mane should have completed a hat-trick of headers moments later when he was found unmarked at the back post only to plant his effort against the upright with the goal gaping - a chance arguably easier than the two he scored.

Lovren then lashed a volley off target before Salah rounded off the scoring with a history-making finish, tapping home a low Robertson cross for his 69th Liverpool goal - more than any other player has managed in their first 100 games for the club.

Mohamed Salah kisses the ground after making it five during the Premier League game between Liverpool and Huddersfield Town on April 26, 2019© Reuters

Salah seemed determined to complete his hat-trick and fired a wild strike high and wide late on, but in the end he had to settle for the two goals which make him the leading Premier League scorer this season on 21.

The result also sees a record-setting 29th change of leadership in this remarkable title race, with Liverpool again now sitting top with only two games of their season remaining but ultimately still relying on Man City to drop points.

Liverpool have now won 10 games in a row for the first time since May 2006 and have passed the 90-point mark in the Premier League - a tally no other team has achieved without then going on to win the title.

Huddersfield, meanwhile, equal their club record of eight successive league defeats from 1955 and are now just one loss short of equalling the Premier League record in a single campaign with two matches still remaining.

LIVERPOOL (4-3-3): Alisson; Alexander-Arnold (Gomez 88'), Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Wijnaldum (Shaqiri 73'), Keita, Salah, Sturridge (Oxlade-Chamberlain 73'), Mane

HUDDERSFIELD (4-1-4-1): Lossl; Smith, Schindler, Kongolo, Durm; Stankovic (Pritchard 81'); Mbenza (Kachunga 87'), Hogg, Bacuna, Grant; Mounie (Lowe 65')

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Roberto Firmino celebrates getting an equaliser during the Premier League game between Manchester City and Liverpool on January 3, 2019
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