A stirring second-half showing and a stunning strike from Mohamed Salah saw Liverpool record a crucial 2-0 win over Chelsea on Sunday.
Manchester City’s 3-1 over Crystal Palace earlier in the day meant Liverpool started the game in second place.
But a quick-fire double early in the second half at Anfield saw Liverpool break Chelsea’s stubborn resistance.
Sadio Mane’s simple header from Jordan Henderson’s inch-perfect cross put Jurgen Klopp’s team ahead, before Salah’s thundering 25-yard drive just two minutes later ensured Liverpool returned to the top of the Premier League table.
The win moves Liverpool onto 85 points, two points ahead of City having played one game more than Pep Guardiola’s team.
Before kick-off, a minute’s silence was held to commemorate the forthcoming 30th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster, while Liverpool fans also paid tribute to former captain Tommy Smith who died earlier this week.
And the Reds started on the front foot. After five minutes, Salah should have perhaps done better with a bouncing volley from Mane’s cross which forced a save from Kepa Arrizabalaga.
During the opening period, Chelsea carried some threat without creating clear opportunities. Both Eden Hazard and Willian disappointed with poor shots from separate Chelsea break aways.
The clearest chance of a lively first half fell to Mane in the 38th minute but the Senegalese forward fired high and wide from Salah’s cutback.
Five minutes into the second half, Mane scored the goal Anfield craved.
Henderson won the ball inside the Chelsea box before chipping a cross to the back post, where Mane headed home.
Just two minutes later, Salah produced a stunning drive to double Liverpool’s lead. Cutting in from the right, he unleashed a rocket of a left-foot shot which flew past Kepa.
Hazard spurned two glorious opportunities in as many minutes as Chelsea briefly threatened to rally.
Just before the hour mark, after latching onto a lofted ball, the Belgian slid a low shot past Alisson which rebounded back off the post.
Less than two minutes later, as Salah had done at the same end in the first half, Hazard scuffed a volley from Willian’s cross which Alisson was able to parry away.
A disappointing afternoon for Chelsea was made worse by a first-half injury suffered by centre-back Antonio Rudiger.
Chelsea sit fourth, in the final Champions League spot, but with Manchester United and Arsenal within three points of them with games in hand.
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