Salah and Mane strike twice as five star Liverpool dismantle Huddersfield to move top

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Naby Keita of Liverpool celebrates his opening goal with team mates Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane
Naby Keita of Liverpool celebrates his opening goal with team mates Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane

Liverpool moved back to the top of the Premier League table after demolishing relegated Huddersfield 5-0 at Anfield.

The Reds made a blistering start as Naby Keita pounced to score after just 15 seconds, before Sadio Mane nodded in Andrew Robertson’s cross for a second 22 minutes later.

Mohamed Salah clipped in a third on the stroke of halftime and Mane made it four soon after the restart, before Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain came off the bench to make his first appearance since April 2018.

Salah completed the route tapping in from another measured Robertson cross, and the result moves Jurgen Klopp’s side two points clear of Manchester City at the top of the table having played a game more, with City travelling to Burnley on Sunday.

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With the title race so finely in the balance between Liverpool and Manchester City, any thoughts that the Reds might slip up to Huddersfield were abolished almost immediately after kick off. Naby Keita snatched possession high in the Terrier’s third and slotted a cool finish low in off the post following Salah’s pass.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - APRIL 26:  Naby Keita of Liverpool (8) scores his team's first goal during the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Huddersfield Town at Anfield on April 26, 2019 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - APRIL 26: Naby Keita of Liverpool (8) scores his team's first goal during the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Huddersfield Town at Anfield on April 26, 2019 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

With any Anfield nerves eased after just 15 seconds, the Reds played with swagger and confidence ripping open their opponents almost at will.

Full backs Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson were named in the PFA Team of the Year, and the remainder of the first period showed exactly why.

Robertson’s pinpoint cross from the left was met by the rising Mane in what is now becoming a trademark headed finish for the Senegalese. Two-nil after just 22 minutes, and it only got worse for the travelling supporters.

Seemingly in combat with his teammate for assists, it was Alexander-Arnold who turned provider for Liverpool’s third. The England star clipped a ball into a dangerous area for Salah to chase, and the Egyptian lofted the ball over the onrushing Jonas Lossl in first half stoppage time.

Liverpool's Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Salah (R) scores the team's third goal during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Huddersfield at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on April 26, 2019. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. /         (Photo credit should read OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)
Liverpool's Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Salah (R) scores the team's third goal during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Huddersfield at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on April 26, 2019. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo credit should read OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)

Despite a Champions League semi-final against Barcelona on the horizon, Jurgen Klopp set his side out to cause further damage in the second period.

Mane scored his second and Liverpool’s fourth heading in from Jordan Henderson's cross to briefly become the Premier League's joint-top scorer, on 20 goals.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain came off the bench to rapturous applause and a warm welcome from both sets of fans after a year out with a knee injury. And his influence only quickened the tempo of the game.

Liverpool's German manager Jurgen Klopp (L) gestures with Liverpool's English midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain at the final whistle during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Huddersfield at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on April 26, 2019. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. /         (Photo credit should read OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)
Liverpool's German manager Jurgen Klopp (L) gestures with Liverpool's English midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain at the final whistle during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Huddersfield at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on April 26, 2019. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo credit should read OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)

Fellow substitute Xherdan Shaqiri should have made it five moments after coming on but it was Salah, marking his 100th Liverpool appearance, who eventually sealed the victory as he tapped in to regain top spot in the race for the golden boot.

The 5-0 win is Liverpool’s seventh in a row in the Premier League and on this form their remaining two fixtures - Newcastle away and Wolves at home - look like six more points for the Reds.

Two points clear with two to play, it’s still Manchester City’s to lose with Burnley, Leicester and Brighton the only thing standing in Pep Guardiola’s way as City look to become the first team to retain the Premier League in a decade.

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