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Liverpool suffer Alexander-Arnold injury blow

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Trent Alexander-Arnold is expected to be out for at least a month, as Liverpool’s young right back injured knee ligaments in their 1-0 win at Brighton on Saturday.

Alexander-Arnold, 20, tweaked his knee in the warm up and although he played the entire 90 minutes for the Premier League leaders, the severity of his injury only became apparent in the past few days.

Per a report from the Liverpool Echo, no surgery is required but TAA is expected to miss the upcoming Premier League games against Crystal Palace, Leicester City, West Ham and Bournemouth.

He could be back for their UEFA Champions League last 16 first leg clash against Bayern Munich on Feb. 19.

Jurgen Klopp now has some serious defensive injuries to deal with as Dejan Lovren and Joe Gomez remain out, while Joel Matip was only fit enough to be on the bench at the weekend as Fabinho was forced to play at center back alongside Virgil Van Dijk at Brighton. The decision to allow Nathaniel Clyne to leave on loan to Bournemouth in January seems like a bit of a mistake at this stage.

James Milner could slot in to do a job at right back for the game against Palace on Saturday (Watch live, 10 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) but all of a sudden Liverpool’s defensive depth is being stretched to its limits.

Klopp’s men are out of both the FA Cup and League Cup and that may be a blessing in disguise as they remain four points clear atop the Premier League table, but with a serious injury backlog to overcome.

Stars and duds from Man City 2-1 Liverpool

(AP Photo/Jon Super)
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Great saves, hard tackles, jangly nerves, and pretty goals combined to help Liverpool’s visit to Manchester City live up to expectations at the Etihad Stadium on Thursday.

[ RECAP: Man City 2-1 Liverpool ]

Who were the stars of the show, and who didn’t bring their A, B, or C game? See below.

STARS

Sergio Aguero — If his run and finish on the goal was the only thing he did on the day, he’d be a star of this one. Aguero met Bernardo Silva‘s pass and seized the yard given to him by Dejan Lovren, smashing into the goal. But it wasn’t the only thing he did, as Aguero’s run into the box on the winner forced Trent Alexander-Arnold to follow him and give Sane space to score. He couldn’t beat Alisson a second time and also needlessly gave away stoppage time possession with a foolish 60-yard bid, but all will be forgiven (except maybe by Pep Guardiola).

Fernandinho — From Moment No. 1, the Brazilian enforcer was stuck into tackles and playing on the right side of the line by the thinnest of margins. Jurgen Klopp put three industrious shopminders in the center of the park to Man City’s one until Fabinho was introduced in the 57th. The one won.

Trent Alexander-Arnold — Unsure he’ll ever be a strong defender, but that wasn’t his job in the second half as the marauding right-sided player led the attack on several occasions. His pinpoint cross to Andrew Robertson set up Firmino for the equalizer, and he was left out to lunch on Man City’s second goal.

Just missed the list: Leroy Sane, Raheem Sterling, Bernardo Silva, Fabinho, Ederson, Alisson Becker.

DUDS

Danilo — Lost track of the ball on Alexander-Arnold’s cross to Robertson like a little leaguer outfielder back tracking his first deep fly ball. For a man playing as a defensive upgrade to Kyle Walker, he’s there to avoid mistakes. He didn’t.

Dejan Lovren — Caught flat-footed by Aguero on City’s opening goal, he also was one of the reasons Trent Alexander-Arnold was cooked by Leroy Sane for the second. Not too good.

Just missed the list: Jordan Henderson, Georginio Wijnaldum.

Title hopes alive! Man City upends Liverpool

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  • Liverpool millimeters from 1-0 lead (video)
  • Aguero puts Man City ahead
  • Firmino ties it, 64′
  • Sane registers winner 8 mins later

What a game, and it may have just kept the Premier League title race open for business.

Sergio Aguero and Leroy Sane scored for reigning champions Manchester City, who ended Liverpool’s unbeaten Premier League season with a 2-1 win at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

The win brings City back into second place, four points back of Liverpool.

Roberto Firmino scored the Reds’ lone goal.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

The tackles and fouls came hard and fast, with Man City’s Fernandinho plowing into Sadio Mane and Jordan Henderson putting a foot into ex-Liverpool man Raheem Sterling.

Liverpool thought it had gone ahead after an incredible team play found Mohamed Salah putting Mane on goal, but the Senegalese player’s shot hit the post and City’s harried clearance was saved from own goal status by John Stones at the line.

How close was it? Both teams seemed to stall in progression as referee Anthony Taylor looked at his watch.

Dejan Lovren then went in the books with a professional foul to get in the way of a Sergio Aguero break. David Silva oversaw the free kick, but his lofted ball to Aguero found the Argentine offside.

Sterling cued up David Silva for a shot inside the Liverpool box, but the Spaniard needed an extra touch and saw his effort blocked by the Reds defense.

It was Aguero who would dent the scoreboard, racing to the corner flag for a celebratory kick moments after he thought he’d won a penalty off Virgil Van Dijk.

Bernardo Silva played Aguero’s near post run perfectly, and the Argentine had a yard from Lovren to blast past a slow-to-react-at-close-range Alisson Becker. 1-0, City.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

City pushed for a second goal at the start of the second half, but Liverpool’s defenders proved stout.

Sterling saw a penalty appeal denied in the 52nd minute, as Anthony Taylor waved away the claim after Andrew Robertson blocked the Man City man from getting to his cutback.

Trent Alexander-Arnold was more adventurous as the game wore on, and blasted a shot into the outside of the goal.

A City error set Roberto Firmino up for an equalizer bid, but Vincent Kompany cleared the 63rd minute danger.

Firmino got the leveler within a minute, Alexander-Arnold crossing to fellow full back Robertson. The Scottish left back nodded across goal, and Firmino met the chance with his head for an easy-enough finish.

City went back ahead with a sensational finish by Sane, who took a pass from Sterling and carved out some room inside the 18 to drive a low pass off the far post and home. The angle was his only avenue into the goal.

Alisson bailed out his backs when Aguero was played 1v1 with him in the 83rd minute. And Ederson came close to meeting the quality of that stop with a flick of Salah’s bid to level the score in the 84th.

Bernardo Silva took the ball off Lovren and forced Alisson into another save, and Sterling rocketed his chance for a first goal against his former mates wide of the goal.

Liverpool breezes past Newcastle United

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  • Lovren scores in 1st half
  • Salah wins, converts penalty
  • Shaqiri, Fabinho add insurance

Liverpool clobbered Newcastle United 4-0 on Boxing Day at Anfield, moving six points clear of second place Tottenham Hotspur.

Dejan Lovren, Mohamed Salah, Xherdan Shaqiri, and Fabinho scored for the Reds, who are now unbeaten in 20-straight Premier League matches. They have a seven-point advantage on third place Man City.

Newcastle is five points clear of the drop zone, but began a daunting run of fixtures at Anfield.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Matt Ritchie supplied a terrific cross over the head of Virgil Van Dijk in the 8th minute, but Joselu failed to turn it on goal and Liverpool were off the hook.

The Reds quickly answered with a chance of its own, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane teaming up to find Xherdan Shaqiri. The Swiss midfielder missed the mark.

Lovren put Liverpool ahead when Jamaal Lascelles‘ poor clearance of an Andy Robertson cross was lashed into the top of the goal from 16 yards.

The Reds were off-and-running, with Anfield behind them, and it was all Martin Dubravka could do to stop Mane from making it 2-0 when the keeper sprawled in front of the Senegalese man’s effort.

Ritchie took a ball off of Robertson following a partially-cleared cross, stinging a shot wide of the far corner from 20_plus yards.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Paul Dummett got a hold of Salah and the Egyptian wizard hit the deck to ask for a penalty. He got it, and converted, for 2-0 in the 48th.

Shaqiri then put it to bed — not like Newcastle looked in danger of scoring more than once in the half — when Trent Alexander-Arnold‘s smart pass along the six capped off a long spell of threats from the hosts.

Fabinho got in front of Mohamed Diame to finish the scoring.

England rocks USMNT in Rooney send-off

AP Photo/Alastair Grant
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The United States men’s national team largely failed to show up at Wembley Stadium as England blasted the Yanks 3-0 on Thursday.

Callum Wilson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, and Jesse Lingard scored for England, who celebrated the career of Wayne Rooney before, during, and after the game.

The Yanks’ next game is Tuesday against Italy in Belgium, while England faces Croatia in the final match of the UEFA Nations League group stage.

[ MORE: Player ratings | 3 things ]

Brad Guzan was busy early, and defiant when his sliding intervention in the box felled Callum Wilson.

England wouldn’t be held for long, as the USMNT was truly poor in the first half hour of the match aside from a Christian Pulisic-inspired chance.

But it wasn’t just star play for Pulisic, who didn’t really look up to it until the second half.

He gave the ball away and the Three Lions attacked down the left flank. Pulisic’s lackadaisical tracking allowed Lingard an acre space to curl a delightful first goal around Guzan.

It was 2-0 within moments, this time with Jadon Sancho laying off for Alexander-Arnold to hit past Guzan, with Jorge Villafana sleepwalking on the left flank.

The U.S. was wasteful in possession, with Wil Trapp a minor bright spot in breaking up play. Julian Green forced Jordan Pickford into a rare save.

The second half was much better for the USMNT, and substitute Wayne Rooney was stymied by the hands of Brad Guzan in a bid for a goal in his final England match.

Wilson then scored on debut, side-footing a cross off the post and past a flailing Guzan. Rooney then had a stoppage time chance to beat Guzan, but the ex-Aston Villa keeper stooped to collect the ball.