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EPL: Liverpool thrash Palace, Arsenal lose again

Last updated on: December 20, 2020 09:35 IST
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Liverpool's Roberto Firminho celebrates with Andy Robertson and Takumi Minamino after scoring the third goal against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park in London on Saturday

IMAGE: Liverpool's Roberto Firminho celebrates with Andy Robertson and Takumi Minamino after scoring the third goal against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park in London on Saturday. Photograph: Adam Davy - Pool/Getty Images

Champions Liverpool are five points clear at the top of the Premier League after a 7-0 away hammering of Crystal Palace while Arsenal's troubles continued with a 2-1 defeat at second-placed Everton on Saturday.

 

Manchester City got back to winning ways with a 1-0 victory at in-form Southampton while Newcastle United were held to a 1-1 draw at home to struggling Fulham.

Liverpool have 31 points from 14 games with Everton five points behind and Tottenham Hotspur, who host Leicester City on Sunday, a further point back.

Liverpool's Takumi Minamino scores the opening goal. 

IMAGE: Liverpool's Takumi Minamino scores the opening goal. Photograph: Clive Rose/Getty Images

Juergen Klopp's side had not won away from home in the league since September but broke that dry spell in spectacular fashion, recording their biggest-ever top flight away win with Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah each scoring twice.

Japan's Takumi Minamino rewarded Juergen Klopp’s decision to start him ahead of Salah by scoring after just over two minutes and Sadio Mane then made it two when he twisted and fired home form the edge of the box in the 35th.

Liverpool's Jordan Henderson celebrates scoring their fourth goal with Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino  

IMAGE: Liverpool's Jordan Henderson, centre, celebrates scoring their fourth goal with Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino. Photograph: Adam Davy/Pool via Reuters

Firmino added a third just before the break, flicking home to finish off a superb Liverpool counter-attack that swept the length of the field, and Jordan Henderson added a fourth seven minutes into the second half as Palace, managed by former Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson, collapsed.

Firmino got his second with a brilliant chipped effort in the 68th and Salah came on to score with a header before brilliantly curling a shot into the top corner five minutes from the end.

"Everything is pleasing; everything is good about this game," said Klopp.

"It was really difficult to play against us today, I would say. And then they obviously all wore their finishing boots and when you have that it is really tricky," added the German.

IMAGE: Theo Walcott scores Southampton's first goal past Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno during the English Premier League match at Emirates stadium in London. Photograph: Peter Cziborra - Pool/Getty Images

Arsenal's worst start to a season in 46 years shows no sign of ending after another poor result for their under-pressure manager Mikel Arteta.

Colombian Yerry Mina grabbed the winner with a header from a corner on the stroke of halftime after a Nicolas Pepe penalty had brought the Gunners level following Everton’s opener from a Rob Holding own goal.

"It’s not good enough, it’s not good enough for the standards of this football club and this is the challenge," said Arteta.

IMAGE: Arsenal's Gabriel, right, walks off the pitch after being sent off for a second yellow card. Photograph: Peter Cziborra - Pool/Getty Images

Everton, with three straight wins, look back to their excellent early season form after a shaky spell.

“I think we're doing really well this season. We are in a good position in the table," said manager Carlo Ancelotti.

“We have shown in the past three games a lot of consistency and a lot of spirit, so you have to be pleased with what we are doing now," he said.

Manchester City's Raheem Sterling celebrates with Kyle Walker and Ferran Torres on scoring their first goal against Southampton at St Mary's Stadium, Southampton

IMAGE: Manchester City's Raheem Sterling, right, celebrates with Kyle Walker and Ferran Torres on scoring a goal against Southampton at St Mary's Stadium, Southampton. Photograph: Adrian Dennis/Pool via Reuters

Raheem Sterling got the decisive goal for Manchester City in the 16th minute, converting a low cross from Kevin De Bruyne while Southampton's injury-prone striker Danny Ings went off before the break with a hamstring problem.

City, who had been held at home by lowly West Bromwich Albion on Tuesday, again struggled in front of goal but continue to look solid at the back.

"Defensively we were excellent. Last season we struggled a lot. Ruben (Dias) has helped us a lot. John (Stones) in the last few games has been exceptional," said manager Pep Guardiola.

A Callum Wilson penalty for Newcastle cancelled out Matt Ritchie's own goal which had put Fulham ahead at St James' Park.

The result lifted Fulham out of the relegation zone as they moved one place up to 17th on 10 points from 14 games with a superior goal difference to 18th-placed Burnley who have two games in hand.

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