Liverpool beats Burnley to stay top of Premier League
LIVERPOOL, England (AP) — Diogo Jota, Luis Diaz and Darwin Nunez — Liverpool's starting front three while Mohamed Salah is out injured — all scored for the Premier League leaders in a 3-1 win over Burnley on Saturday.
The Reds responded to Manchester City’s extremely brief return to the league's summit, after its 2-0 victory against Everton hours earlier, with a triumph that tested their mettle even more than their stretched resources.
While the three points reestablished Liverpool's two-point advantage, the less-than-convincing nature of victory against the league’s next-to-last side was not quite befitting the occasion of the hosts' biggest league crowd of 59,896 after the full opening of the Anfield Road stand.
For a time it appeared Liverpool, which was without goalkeeper Alisson Becker and defender Joe Gomez because of illness as well as the injured Salah, was still suffering a hangover from the defeat at Arsenal last week.
It took the familiar right boot of Trent Alexander-Arnold, setting a new mark of 58 for Premier League assists by a defender, and the equally reliable head of Jota to put them ahead at a corner in the 31st.
The sloppy concession of an equalizer, when Dara O’Shea headed in at a corner on the stroke of halftime, posed further problems as did the withdrawal of Alexander-Arnold — only recently returned from a knee injury — at the break.
It was the England international’s replacement, Harvey Elliott, who set up headed goals for Diaz in the 52nd and Nunez in the 78th to ease the pressure.
However, had on-loan Chelsea forward David Fofana been as clinical as he was scoring twice last weekend, then not only would Liverpool be looking up at City but questions would have started to be asked about their ability to match their long-time rivals.
Liverpool should have Salah and Dominic Szoboszlai back from injury in the next couple of weeks.
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