Liverpool can win the Premier League from its proverbial coach on Thursday after a 4-0 defeat of Crystal Palace at Anfield on Wednesday.
Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah, Fabinho, and Trent Alexander-Arnold all scored in the blowout, with Salah, Fabinho, and Andy Robertson collecting assists.
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The Reds’ 86 points are 23 points ahead of Man City, who can only gain 24 points more this season and visit Chelsea on Thursday.
Palace fails in a bid to improve its top seven stock and remains ninth with 42 points.
Three things we learned
1. On TAArget: Trent Alexander-Arnold didn’t have much luck with a number of chances from dead balls in the Merseyside Derby but made amends in the 23rd minute with a sensational spinning free kick you’d put against most others. Wayne Hennessey had little chance on the effort for 1-0.
2. Salah getting golden: Both Salah and Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang have 17 goals this season, two back of Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy. And what a goal it was (and pass by our Man of the Match).
3. When will Liverpool win the title?: If Man City beats Chelsea on Thursday, the Reds will have to wait until at least July 2 to win the Premier League. That match is at City and a draw would do the trick. If City wins, Liverpool’s next chance is July 5 at Aston Villa. A win or City draw/loss at Southampton would do the trick then.
Man of the Match
Fabinho —The Brazilian midfielder was one of Liverpool’s standouts in the edgy Merseyside Derby draw, and he was again on the money in a win with a beautiful assist and a venomous goal.
His pass to set up Salah’s goal was marvelous, showcasing a part of his game we don’t always get to see in focus due to his role in Jurgen Klopp’s XI. The goal, well, wow.
Remember: Fabinho regularly chipped in for double-digit combined goals and assists during his time with Monaco in Ligue 1.
Liverpool – Crystal Palace recap
Palace man Andros Townsend nearly assisted an early Liverpool opener only for Georginio Wijnaldum to rocket a shot wide of the frame.
Alexander-Arnold took his free kick with pinpoint accuracy to produce a wondrous opener.
Jordan Henderson volleyed a chance off the post minutes later and Palace blocked and cleared the rebound. Liverpool was ready to explode.
Palace allowed us to prove the existence of Alisson Becker and the Liverpool half of the pitch when Max Meyer took advantage of a Joe Gomez flub and carried the ball toward the 18 before curling wide.
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Salah made it 2-0 with his 17th PL goal of the season. Fabinho’s inch-perfect pass over the leaping Patrick van Aanholt found the Egyptian who dribbled toward the far post before cutting his shot inside the near one. Beautiful football.
Fabinho made it 3-0 in the 55th with a strike with maximum power.
Roberto Firmino, Mane, and Salah have combined for a lot of goals, but rarely have two of the players been in so deep to make their contributions. Firmino spotted Salah at the half line, and the Egyptian found Mane’s run in style.
Liverpool’s four-goal lead could’ve become five a few times, with Salah seeing a chance blocked and Neco Williams one saved.Follow @NicholasMendola