Liverpool 4-0 Manchester United: Salah at the double as rampant Reds go top
The Premier League has new leaders after Liverpool overcame Manchester United to displace Manchester City at the summit.
Mohamed Salah scored twice as Liverpool went top of the Premier League thanks to a resounding 4-0 victory over an abject Manchester United at Anfield on Tuesday.
Luis Diaz and Salah were on target inside 22 minutes to put Jurgen Klopp's side on course to leapfrog defending champions Manchester City, who will hope to return to the summit when they face Brighton and Hove Albion on Wednesday.
United failed to produce a single shot in the first half of a Premier League game for the first time in four years. On that occasion they came from 2-0 down to beat City 3-2, but there were scant signs of such a stirring fightback this time.
Sadio Mane made sure of that by adding a fine finish to his exemplary assist for Salah, who sealed Liverpool's first Premier League double over United since the 2013-14 season.
The Reds wasted little time in taking the lead, with Salah exposing United's lacklustre defence and squaring for Diaz to tap home after five minutes.
The fans joined together in a touching show of support for Cristiano Ronaldo in the seventh minute, with the United forward absent following the death of his baby son.
Paul Pogba was forced off with an injury and Liverpool doubled their lead when Salah added a fine finish to a slick move involving Diaz, Joel Matip and Mane.
United showed more gumption after a change of shape for the second half from interim boss Ralf Rangnick, with half-time introduction Jadon Sancho finally working Alisson with an effort.
Alisson did well to deny Marcus Rashford and Anthony Elanga in quick succession after the hour mark, but Liverpool extended their advantage in the 68th minute when Mane swept a delivery from Diaz beyond David de Gea and into the bottom-right corner.
Salah then looped the ball over De Gea with five minutes remaining as United were emphatically consigned to a third straight Premier League away defeat for only the fourth time in the history of the competition.
What does it mean? Liverpool back on top
Man City looked destined to cruise to the title when they held a 14-point lead over Liverpool as recently as January 15, even though the Reds had two games in hand.
But Liverpool have now won 11 of their 12 games since – their only dropped points being last week's draw with Pep Guardiola's side – to put themselves firmly in contention for an unprecedented quadruple.
Thiago keeps it ticking
Thiago Alcantara again absolutely bossed the midfield for Liverpool. He completed 105 of his 110 passes – both game highs – and lost possession just six times, which was the fewest of any Reds player. His seven duels won were also more than any other player on the pitch.
Salah back on song
A run of six appearances in all competitions without a goal came to an end for Salah. These were his first Liverpool goals since March 12 and a full two months since he last converted in open play in the top flight.
Liverpool take on Everton in the Merseyside derby on Sunday, while United are in action at Arsenal on Saturday.