Belfast Telegraph

Fast start was crucial and it was great to see Ox back: Henderson

Goal fever: Scorers Naby Keita, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane celebrate Liverpool’s win with Daniel Sturridge
Goal fever: Scorers Naby Keita, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane celebrate Liverpool’s win with Daniel Sturridge

By Robert Jones

Jordan Henderson hailed a "brilliant performance" from Liverpool as the Reds piled the pressure back on Manchester City in the Premier League title race.

Jurgen Klopp's side are now two points clear of the reigning champions after an emphatic 5-0 destruction of Huddersfield Town at Anfield.

Naby Keita's goal after 15 seconds got the ball rolling while Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah both netted a brace.

In another boost for Liverpool, England midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain made his long-awaited return from injury.

Oxlade-Chamberlain had been sidelined for a little more than a year with a serious knee injury but was introduced after 72 minutes to a rapturous reception at Anfield.

Skipper Henderson said: "It was another brilliant performance. Teams that have been relegated can be dangerous because they have nothing to lose and they go out and play, but we got a great start. We scored some fantastic goals and kept a clean sheet so it was a good night.

"They had a couple of corners and set-plays but we managed to deal with it well and go on to dominate the game.

"I'm delighted for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. He worked so hard to get back to where he is now and when he came on he looked as if he had never been away. I wish that chance went in for him, but we are all delighted to have him back because he's an important player.

"We are looking forward to the Barcelona trip. It's a tough place to go but we have a great belief in ourselves and we are looking forward to showing what we can do."

Liverpool have now amassed more points that Arsenal's unbeaten 'Invincibles' team of the 2003-04 and have 12 points more than the Manchester United treble-winning team of 1998-99.

Huddersfield have now lost 28 Premier League matches this season - they have never lost more league matches in a single Football League campaign in the club's history - also 28 in 1987-88 in the second tier.

Robertson acknowledged the Reds had been favourites ahead of the game.

He said: "We were expected to win but it's all about going out and doing it."

The Scottish full-back said Liverpool would try to keep winning to add to the pressure on City.

He added: "All we can do is keep winning games and keep the pressure on them."

It is the 29th time that the lead has changed hands at the end of a day this season, the outright post-war top-flight record, overtaking 28 times in 2001-02.

On Roberto Firmino's injury, Klopp stated: "Do not believe 3% of what is on social media. I had no argument with Mo Salah after the Chelsea game of all games, and Roberto Firmino is not out for the season.

"After training he felt it a little bit and this morning he still felt it. It's a small tear but it's Bobby so I would say it is likely he is fit for Barcelona because he is a machine.

"It's good we showed we can play without him."

Belfast Telegraph


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