Premier League: Liverpool keep Manchester City on toes
Liverpool forward Luis Diaz scored in the first half before Mohamed Salah struck from the penalty spot after the hour mark as the team comfortably beat Brighton & Hove Albion 2-0 in the Premier League on Saturday.
Liverpool’s win at Brighton’s Amex Stadium was their eighth straight victory in the competition as Juergen Klopp’s second-placed side cut the gap between themselves and league leaders Manchester City to three points.
City, who have 69 points, can restore their advantage when they travel to Crystal Palace on Monday.
“It’s always the same, you expect City to win every game when you watch them play,” Klopp said.
“The only thing we can do is win as many games as possible. We’re ready, we don’t need to call it a title race, we just want to win games,” he said.
Diaz put the visitors in front by heading in a lofted pass from Joel Matip, but collided with Brighton goalkeeper Robert Sanchez, who avoided a booking for his heavy challenge.
“He did what a striker had to do,” Klopp said of Diaz’ header. “I didn’t see it back but it was spectacular enough in the first moment. To get in there with his head it was really brave. A great goal.”
Salah scored from the spot in the 61st minute, following a handball by midfielder Yves Bissouma, for Liverpool’s 2,000th Premier League goal.
It was the Egyptian international’s 20th league goal of the season but he was substituted four minutes after scoring due to an apparent foot injury.
“He thinks it’s not serious but you can see when Salah is sitting down then something is not 100 per cent right.”
“I think it was the situation before when he hit the ball and got blocked — he wanted to shoot and got blocked and I think the foot got slightly over-stretched. We have to see.”
Liverpool endured some nervy moments towards the end of the match, but goalkeeper Alisson kept out efforts from substitutes Danny Welbeck and Solly March.
Brentford’s in-form striker Ivan Toney scored a superb late brace to bring up five goals in his last two league matches as they beat struggling Burnley 2-0 to move further away from the relegation zone.
Toney, who netted a hat-trick in Brentford’s 3-1 win over Norwich City the other day, headed in a fine left-footed cross from Christian Eriksen to put his team ahead in the 85th minute.
“I feel with a player like Eriksen you have to stay focused at all times. I don’t think I had a shot before I scored today (Saturday). I cannot thank him enough for being in the squad and helping us,” Toney said.
“I set a (goals) target. I’m not there yet but hopefully I can hit it before the end of the season.”
Toney’s second goal, in stoppage time, was a powerful penalty following a foul by centre back Nathan Collins, who was shown a straight red card for a clumsy tackle on the striker.
The result moved 15th-placed Brentford nine points above the drop zone in a boost to their quest to stay in the English top flight.