Another game, another win for Liverpool. The runaway Premier League leaders stretched their unbeaten top-flight run to 364 days with an unfussy 2-0 win over upstart Sheffield United and restored the 13-point distance between themselves and second-place Leicester City in the table.
Liverpool’s march to their first English title in 30 years continued in their 2020 debut, and the Reds have now gone 51 straight Prem home games without defeat.
The promoted visitors have been one of the stories of the season so far, sitting in the top half of the table past the campaign’s midway point. But they were thoroughly outclassed by Jurgen Klopp’s side on Thursday.
Mohamed Salah got the hosts off to a fast start just over three minutes into the contest by taking advantage of an error by Blades defender George Baldock and converting a delicious feed from teammate Andrew Robertson:
Sheffield United was able to stay within touching distance well after halftime thanks in no small part to goalkeeper Dean Henderson, who made five saves, a couple of them excellent. One even drew a round of applause from Klopp.
Still, it was only a matter of time until high-flying Liverpool found its backbreaking second goal and dispatched Sheffield United. And while it took longer than expected to arrive for a side that has looked virtually unstoppable the past year, it was worth the wait.
Salah played the provider this time. Sadio Mane led a blistering counterattack up the left wing, laid the ball off for Salah in the middle and continued his run, with the Egyptian executing a perfect give to put Mane in alone on Henderson with one touch.
Mane did the rest:
Sheffield United had a glorious chance to pull one back later in the half only for Reds keeper Alisson Becker to make the stop. But the result was never really in doubt as Liverpool continued its utter domination of the planet’s most competitive circuit — with a game against relegation-threatened West Ham still in hand later this month.
After successfully navigating the festive period — a spell that included a quick jaunt to Qatar for the Club World Cup — the Reds face city rival Everton in FA Cup play this weekend. The Toffees are much improved under new manager Carlo Ancelotti, who took over from Marco Silva after a 5-2 drubbing by the Reds last month.
This match will be different, and Klopp could well rest some of his starters for the more important matches to come. Even if he does, it’s hard to bet against a Liverpool side that has all but forgotten how to lose.
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