Liverpool crushed Southampton 4-0 to put pressure on Premier League leaders Chelsea, while Arsenal got back on track with a 2-0 win over Newcastle when Eddie Howe suffered his first defeat as Magpies manager . Diogo Jota twice pressed Jurgen Klopp’s team to warm up the Anfield believers on a bitterly cold afternoon. Liverpool’s third consecutive win in all competitions since losing to West Ham has moved them to second place. The Reds are one point behind Chelsea, who host Manchester United on Sunday.
Manchester City, in third place, will go back above Liverpool if they beat West Ham on Sunday.
Liverpool only needed two minutes to take the lead when Sadio Mane played in Andrew Robertson and the Scot’s cross was perfectly weighed for Jota to finish from close range.
Jota scored again in the 32nd minute with a simple rounding off of Mohamed Salah’s pass for his eighth club goal this quarter.
After scoring at least two goals in 17 consecutive games in all competitions, Liverpool refused to take their foot off the petrol.
Thiago Alcantara ended a long goal drought in the middle of this week’s Champions League victory over Porto and the Spanish midfielder was back on the scoresheet in the 37th minute when his shot turned away from Lyanco.
Virgil van Dijk scored Liverpool’s fourth in the 52nd minute, the Dutch defender measuring his first goal in 14 months from Trent Alexander-Arnold’s corner.
Arsenal have seen their unbeaten run of 10 matches in all competitions come to a painful end in last weekend’s 4-0 draw against Liverpool.
But second-half goals from Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli at the Emirates Stadium made it four wins from their last five league games.
Written off after their poor start to the season, Mikel Arteta’s team is fifth, equal to points with West Ham in fourth place as they chase a place in next season’s Champions League.
“I’m happy with the points after losing to Liverpool. You have to win right away,” said Arteta.
Gerrard makes his mark
Courts were personally in charge for the first time after missing last weekend’s 3-3 draw against Brentford due to a positive coronavirus test.
While the Saudi-led consortium that Newcastle recently bought talked about mimicking the successes of Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain under Middle Eastern ownership, Howe’s only focus is to save the Magpies from relegation.
Former Bournemouth boss Courts will have to drag many improved performances from their unbeaten squad if they are to avoid a catastrophic move to the Championship.
Newcastle, who are already shrinking five points from safety, are at the bottom of the table ahead of key matches against fellow wrestlers Norwich and Burnley in the coming week.
“The match was decided in the incident with Callum Wilson and the penalty goal – a difficult call against us – then they pushed into the aftermath,” said Howe.
“Momentum in football is so important. We need to get that victory as fast as we can.”
Steven Gerrard has claimed his second consecutive victory since taking charge of Aston Villa as the former Rangers boss secured a 2-1 victory at Crystal Palace.
By exposing Palace’s set-piece weakness, Villa took the lead after 15 minutes when Matt Targett shot for his first league goal since 2019 after the hosts failed to clear Ashley Young’s corner.
Villa’s Douglas Luiz escaped a red card in the 72nd minute for a late dive on Cheikhou Kouyate, the midfielder was initially sent off before the decision was reversed after a VAR Test.
John McGinn exacerbated Palace’s frustration in the 86th minute when he grabbed Villa’s killer second from Anwar El Ghazi’s pass.
Marc Guehi’s goal in the 95th minute was little consolation for Palace.
Dean Smith, the man who replaced Gerrard at Villa, remains unbeaten as Norwich boss after the second-bottom of the Canary Islands drew 0-0 with Wolves at Carrow Road.
Brighton host the struggling Leeds in Saturday’s late game.
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