Alisson Becker

Liverpool handle business in Wales (video)

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  • Wiljnaldum scores opener off corner
  • Milner converts Salah-won penalty
  • Cardiff cannot finish chances

Georginio Wijnaldum and James Milner scored to put Liverpool back atop the Premier League following a 2-0 defeat of Cardiff City on Sunday.

Neil Warnock‘s Bluebirds had their chances but simply lacked quality in finish. They remain three points back of Brighton and Hove Albion in the race to avoid relegation.

Liverpool is a point ahead of Man City before Wednesday’s Manchester Derby at Old Trafford.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino broke the Cardiff back line, but Neil Etheridge closed down to help force the Brazilian to fire over the goal.

It was mostly Liverpool’s game, but Oumar Niasse need nearly luck into an in-tight finish after Victor Camarasa flubbed a shot into his path. Alisson Becker tipped it over the bar.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

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Wijnaldum put the Reds on top about 12 minutes into the second half when he wrapped his right foot around a bounding set piece to send it flying past Etheridge.

Henderson’s would-be goal was blazed over the goal in the 61st minute. It wasn’t quite a sitter, but there was certainly some beckoning goal.

Cardiff’s Sean Morrison missed his second significant chance of the match off a 64th minute corner kick.

Roger East awarded a penalty kick to Liverpool when Morrison manhandled Mohamed Salah in the box. Milner rarely misses from the spot.

Etheridge made a tremendous save on Salah in the 90th.

[ MORE: Premier League stats ]

Late penalty puts Liverpool atop table (video)

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  • Mane opens scoring in 26th
  • Ex-Reds striker Babel stars in loss
  • Mane wins late penalty, Milner converts

James Milner‘s 81st minute penalty saved Liverpool blushes in a 2-1 defeat of Fulham at Craven Cottage on Sunday.

The Reds had a Sadio Mane-inspired lead, but had given it back through a comedy of errors Ryan Babel equalizer.

Liverpool goes atop the Premier League on 76 points, having played one more match than Man City (74 points).

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Some lively dribbling from ex-Liverpool man Ryan Babel cued up Jean-Michael Seri for a shot that sailed over the goal.

Andrew Robertson hit a cross too close to Fulham keeper Rico after some fancy dribbling of his own.

Liverpool was asking all the questions when Mane put them ahead, beginning the move on the left wing before passing to and receiving from Roberto Firmino for 1-0.

Mane joins three players chasing Sergio Aguero’s league-leading goal total of 18: Mohamed Salah, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and Harry Kane.

Mane has nine goals in his last nine PL matches, and 11 in 11 overall.

Liverpool was a bit lucky that a rash foul from Fabinho didn’t earn him as second yellow card and send the Reds down to 10 men at the break.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

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Fulham did not quit, and looked the better money for a second half goal. A first break saw Aleksandar Mitrovic nod into the goal only to see an offside flag deny the marker.

Babel was at the center of it all, and led a second break which ended with a Alisson Becker save on Andre Franck Zambo Anguissa.

That’s when calamity occurred in the center of the pitch. James Milner mishit a clearance, and Virgil Van Dijk casually headed back toward Alisson. The goalkeeper lost the ball in his feet, and Babel was on the doorstep to slot home.

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The stalemate lasted just a few minutes, as Milner converted a penalty conceded when Rico impeded Mane in the box.

Mohamed Salah had a chance to put the match to bed following a Mane-led run, but the Egyptian fired right at Rico.

Liverpool outlasts Burnley at Anfield

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  • Westwood scores disputed opener
  • Firmino scores in each half
  • Gudmundsson pulls one back in stoppage
  • Mane answers back to complete brace
  • Reds back within one of Man City

Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane scored twice as Liverpool came from behind to punish sloppy Burnley 4-2 at Anfield on Sunday.

Burnley took an early lead when Ashley Westwood‘s corner kick sailed past an obstructed Alisson Becker, but the Reds got their just desserts to move one point back of leaders Man City.

The Clarets are 17th, two points clear of the drop zone.

[ MORE: Full box score, lineups, stats ]

Burnley took a sixth minute lead out of nothing, and it’s a goal that never should have been awarded by referee

Roberto Firmino cut inside to rip a 14th minute shot at Tom Heaton‘s goal, but defender James Tarkowski blocked the effort.

Then Sadio Mane couldn’t quite turn a hard-hit Trent Alexander-Arnold cross on frame as the Reds continued their equalizer push.

Firmino put Liverpool level in the 20th minute, easily slotting home from inside the six when Tarkowski and Heaton made a mess of a Mohamed Salah pass.

Mane made it 2-0 in the 29th, his sixth-straight league home game with a goal, when he sent an arrow into the goal following a blocked clearance from Adam Lallana.

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Burnley kept it tight for the first 20 minutes of the second half, but the dam broke when Heaton’s poor kick led to Firmino’s second of the day.

Alexander-Arnold crossed for Mane in the 82nd minute, but the Senegalese star’s sliding effort bounded off the bar.

Gudmundsson scored in stoppage time to allow a few nerves at Anfield, but Mane answered the bell quickly to restore the 2-goal cushion.

Stars and duds from Manchester United 0-0 Liverpool

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Manchester United and Liverpool played an engaging if sloppy draw at Old Trafford on Sunday.

[ MORE: Match recap | JPW’s 3 Things from OT ]

The point may well give the Reds its Premier League title when all is said and done, but Liverpool was poor in attack against a United side which used all three of its subs inside of 42 minutes.

Luckily, it’s goalkeeper was wonderful. And United showed supreme composure in the face of much consternation.

Stars (Ratings in parentheses)

Alisson Becker (8) — Made a couple of fine interventions, but his best moment came when the otherwise strong Virgil Van Dijk was fooled by a Romelu Lukaku pass. Alisson slid toward Jesse Lingard, patient with his arms to control the Englishman’s bid to dribble around him.

Luke Shaw (10) — Pretty much perfect at left back, putting Mohamed Salah in his proverbial pocket. Also delivered a number of fine crosses and set piece bids.

Romelu Lukaku (8) — United’s big striker needed to play right wing with Marcus Rashford limited and wobbling around up top. He made some big tackles and sent a terrific cross into the mix that could’ve prodded a surprise winner on the edge of stoppage time.

Virgil van Dijk (7) — Even though he was fooled by Lukaku’s pass to Lingard, VVD was quite good in the face of a strong first half from United’s injured attack.

Andreas Pereira (8) — We could put Scott McTominay here, too, but the midfielder got away with at least one likely penalty. Pereira came into the game cold against a brilliant attack and had no problems adjusting to a crucial match against a heated rival.

Paul Pogba (5) — Had enough defensive moments to prod him further up the ratings scale, but days like today are made for extraordinary players to do legendary things with the ball. The Frenchman didn’t have one.

Duds

Mohamed Salah (4) — The Egyptian has been poor against top teams this season, and was nearly invisible for large stretches of the match. Take away a 1-goal, 1-assist match against Arsenal, and he has not been on the scoresheet against a Top Six side this season.

Sadio Mane (3) — The first time I noticed Mane was in a 50-50 with Romelu Lukaku deep in Liverpool’s end. It was the 77th minute.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (5) and Jurgen Klopp (5) — Solskjaer whiffed when he brought an unfit Jesse Lingard into the match and had to bring him off before halftime. And Klopp’s decision to put Daniel Sturridge in for Roberto Firmino instead of moving Mohamed Salah up top against United’s center backs was baffling and did nothing.

Lukewarm Liverpool back atop table after Manchester United draw

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  • Lingard subs on, off as United uses all 3 subs before half
  • Liverpool goes atop table
  • Reds manage just one shot on target

With the odds in its favor at Old Trafford, Liverpool’s attack was tepid in a scoreless draw with Manchester United on Sunday.

The draw pushes the Reds a point clear of Manchester City in the race for the Premier League title.

United drops into fifth with its 52nd point of the season.

[ MORE: JPW’s from OT | Stars+Duds ]

Liverpool earned the first bit of danger, when David De Gea had to deal with Ashley Young‘s poor pass and gave away an early free kick which came to nothing.

Marcus Rashford slipped in hitting a shot toward Alisson Becker in the seventh minute.

An unlikely source won a dangerous free kick for Liverpool, as Joel Matip’s fine dribble saw Ander Herrera foul the Cameroonian defender outside the box.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

United was hit with another midfield injury as Ander Herrera joined Nemanja Matic on the sideline, meaning the Red Devils midfield was Scott McTominay, Andreas Pereira, Juan Mata, and Paul Pogba with 70-plus minutes to play.

Then Mata was felled! Unreal scenes, with Jesse Lingard coming into the match despite Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s pre-match comments that he wasn’t fit for a 90-minute grind. Well, how about 64?

Paul Pogba tore into a right-footed effort that Virgil Van Dijk headed out for a corner in the 37th, and the big center back dealt with the set piece, too.

Alisson then made a terrific sliding intervention when Lukaku fooled Van Dijk to slip Lingard on goal.

United had to use its third sub in the 42nd minute, as Lingard limped off the pitch.

Alexis Sanchez replaced him, and promptly found Lukaku at the back post. Alisson collected the resulting header.

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A second half free kick saw Pogba nod tamely to Alisson, but the Frenchman was offside as well.

Georginio Wijnaldum missed a headed chance off a 70th minute corner, and a second corner went for nought when Joel Matip couldn’t turn the ball on frame. Scott McTominay was the marker in both cases, and both players called for penalties against the Scotland international.

Matip conceded an own goal on a Luke Shaw free kick, then exhaled deeply when the offside flag was raised.

[ MORE: Premier League stats ]