Liverpool 5 - 0 Huddersfield
Liverpool: Keita 1’, Mane 23’ 66’, Salah 45+1’ 83’
Only a win will do. And never has that thought been more true than Liverpool trying to go back top of the league with three to play against one of the worst sides in recent Premier League history. Roberto Firmino is out with a slight muscle concern, and is expected to be back for Barcelona midweek. In his stead is Daniel Sturridge. Also of note, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain back in the matchday squad, starting from the bench, for the first time in a year. Get. In. Dejan Lovren also comes in for Joel Matip. Regardless of the changes, Liverpool should be more than enough and then some for Hudderfield.
Goal! Wow. That didn’t take long. In the first twenty seconds Naby Keita forces an errant pass out of the back, which falls to Mohamed Salah, who finds Keita with the easiest of through balls, and the Guinean slots it. These are like, proper bad, y’all. Huddersfield actually respond to the pressure really well, even earning a few corners (without really threatening our goal).
2-0! Liverpool kind of took 15 minutes off after the opener, but have been turning up the pressure in the last few minutes. Eventually it was a Matip-esque rampage forward from Virgil van Dijk that opened up space for Robertson to pick out Sadio Mane in the middle of the box with a cross, and Sadio nodded home.
For the second time in as many matches, Jordan Henderson skies what should be an easy finish in front of goal after some brilliant build-up play. We love you in this more attacking position, Hendo, but come on. Aaand GOAL! Salah makes it three! Trent Alexander-Arnold picks out Salah’s run from deep with an inch-perfect ball over the top. Salah chips the keeper with a first time finish, just as the first half comes to a close.
Liverpool start the half as they ended, dominating Hudderfield. Mane takes a shot away from Sturridge, as is fully within his rights to do at this point in time. There’s a worrying moment when Van Dijk goes down with an apparent knock, but is quick to recover. Speaking of Sturridge, the striker manages to put the ball in the back of the net, but is correctly judged to be offside. I mean, with his pace gone, they really should let him play offside.
Holy shit, Salah nearly pulled out some Suarez-esque magic. He beats a defender with a bit of brilliance, and unleashes a venomous volley from distance with his left foot, beating the keeper, but going just wide of the near post. What an effort, though! But moments later Mane makes it 4! Hendo chips to the back post, finding Mane who heads home from a tight angle. Salah and Mane are now joint-top goal scorers in the Premier League!
Prepare for a bit cheer, because Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is about to come on (as will Xherdan Shaqiri). They come on for Sturridge and and Georginio Wijnaldum. Great moment, as Anfield rises to its feet for the long-injured midfielder. And it’s nearly a dream return! Salah plays him through on goal, but Ox cannot beat the keeper at the near post. Oh, if only.
Mane very nearly gets his hat trick of headers, but clatters one off the near post from close range. Close! Moments later Salah gets his second, Liverpool’s fifth! Shaqiri spots Robertson’s run, and he puts it on a plate for Mo. The Egyptian takes the lead in the race for the Golden Boot!
How nice was that? No stress in that match, literally from the first minute, with the Reds scoring early and often. Two more of those, please and thank you. Liverpool are on 91 points with two to play, and the two leading goal scorers in the league are both Reds. Robbo also moves to fourth in the league in assists with eleven for the season, with Alexander-Arnold up to nine (seventh best in the league). Anyway, your move, Manchester City. No pressure, it’s your title to lose.