Liverpool 4-0 Manchester United: Salah at the double as rampant Reds go top

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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.

Key Opta facts

- Liverpool are unbeaten in their last eight Premier League games against United (W5 D3) – no team has ever had a longer run without defeat against them in the competition (level with Chelsea between 2013 and 2016).

- United have conceded nine goals against Liverpool in the Premier League this season, the most they have ever shipped against a team in a single campaign. They have also conceded 76 Premier League goals in total against the Reds, more than they have vs any other opponent.

- This is the sixth time a team has done the Premier League double over United without conceding a goal, with Liverpool responsible for three of those (also in 2000-01 and 2013-14).

- Following his brace, Salah is the first player in Premier League history to score five goals against Manchester United in a single campaign.

What's next?

Liverpool take on Everton in the Merseyside derby on Sunday, while United are in action at Arsenal on Saturday.

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