Football

Liverpool rolls along despite covid absentees

Quick feet: Jota, right, bundles in Liverpool’s opener.

Quick feet: Jota, right, bundles in Liverpool’s opener.

Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold scored with a spectacular strike as it overcame the loss of three players to suspected positive COVID-19 tests and conceding an early goal to beat Newcastle United 3-1 in the Premier League on Thursday. Liverpool moves onto 40 points from 17 games, one behind leader Manchester City.

Chelsea, meanwhile, suffered another setback in its title challenge when it was held to a 1-1 home draw by an injury-hit Everton on Thursday, leaving the Blues four points adrift of City.

With Virgil Van Dijk, Fabinho and Curtis Jones ruled out for Liverpool, Jonjo Shelvey struck the opener for Newcastle against the run of play in the seventh minute, with a swerving, dipping drive past unsighted keeper Allison Becker at Anfield.

The lead lasted 14 minutes before Diogo Jota fired home the rebound after Martin Dubravka saved his initial header to level.

Mohamed Salah put Liverpool ahead four minutes later, equalling Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy’s record of 15 consecutive Premier League games with a goal or assist by blasting home the rebound form a Sadio Mane shot.

Dubravka could do nothing three minutes from the end of normal time as Alexander-Arnold took a touch on the edge of the box before firing a rocket into the top corner.

Chelsea, also missing its first-choice strikers due to COVID-19, failed to turn early dominance into goals before Mason Mount made the breakthrough in the 70th minute when he took a pass from Reece James and fired past Jordan Pickford.

The visitors drew level within four minutes when Anthony Gordon floated a looping free-kick to the far post and 19-year-old Jarrad Branthwaite stretched out a boot to turn the ball past goalkeeper Edouard Mendy.

The results: Chelsea 1 (Mount 70) drew with Everton 1 (Branthwaite 74); Liverpool 3 (Jota 21, Salah 25, Alexander-Arnold 87) bt Newcastle 1 (Shelvey 7); Leicester v Tottenham (postponed due to coronavirus) .


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Printable version | May 17, 2022 5:07:38 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/football/liverpool-rolls-along-despite-covid-absentees/article37980339.ece