Belfast Telegraph

Liverpool double act gets title dream back on track

 

Van the man: Virgil Van Dijk on target at Anfield last night
Van the man: Virgil Van Dijk on target at Anfield last night

By Robert Jones

Liverpool gave their Premier League title hopes a huge boost as Sadio Mane and Virgil Van Dijk each struck twice in a thumping 5-0 home win against Watford last night.

Jurgen Klopp's side had drawn four of their last five matches in all competitions, but answered their critics with a display full of verve and inventiveness.

Mane headed Liverpool into an early lead and put them 2-0 up in the 20th minute with a cheeky back-heel. Divock Origi added a third goal midway through the second half and Van Dijk scored with two headers in the final 11 minutes as Liverpool boosted their goal difference and stayed one point clear at the top.

Manchester City needed a second-half penalty from Sergio Aguero to beat West Ham 1-0 at the Etihad Stadium - their seventh straight win in all competitions since losing at Newcastle in January.

Chelsea bounced back from Sunday's Carabao Cup defeat to Manchester City - and the controversy over goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga's refusal to be substituted at Wembley - with a deserved 2-0 win over Tottenham.

Kepa was dropped for Willy Caballero and Chelsea put successive league defeats behind them as Pedro and Kieran Trippier's own goal secured them victory at Stamford Bridge.

Arsenal registered an eighth straight home league win after thrashing Bournemouth 5-1 and stay a point ahead of Manchester United in the race for a top-four finish.

Romelu Lukaku ended his nine-game goal drought by scoring twice in Manchester United's 3-1 win at Crystal Palace.

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