LONDON (AP) – It’s as if someone has turned back time. In this scenario that looks like 35 years ago, Liverpool and Everton occupy the top two places in the English Premier League.
Mohamed Salah made sure to have the final say in Liverpool’s merciless 7-0 beating of Crystal Palace on Saturday. And thanks to Yerry Mina, Everton did not lose footing and is five points behind.
Salah had been relegated to the bench at the start of the match. He ended up entering as a substitute and contributing a couple of targets.
The Egyptian star, leading scorer in the Premier League, was left out of the starting lineup hours after an interview in which he flirted with a possible transfer to Spanish soccer and complained that he was not captain of the Reds. It is unknown whether the decision to bank him was a mere coincidence regarding those statements.
The fact is that, after entering the court in the second half, Salah scored the last two goals, during a three-minute stretch at the end of the duel.
“We needed fresh legs today,” explained Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp. “It’s an extremely intense period … Placing him in the last half hour was a pretty good idea.”
The German Klopp was kept out of the controversy over Salah’s interview with the Spanish daily AS.
“That is a difficult question, but right now I can say that everything is in the hands of the club,” he replied. “There is nothing to say from me.”
In his fourth season with Liverpool, Salah has two more left on his contract.
Brazilian Roberto Firmino also contributed two goals, at 44 and 68 minutes. Takumi Minamino led the way to the win with a score at 3 minutes, while Sadio Mané scored at 35 and Jordan Henderson scored at 52.
Liverpool reached 31 points, with which it commands the Premier League.
Everton exacerbated Mikel Arteta’s penalties. Arsenal fell 2-1 on their visit to the Toffees and thus put together seven matches without winning in the Premier, just on the day that the Spanish strategist completed a year in charge.
While Arsenal fell to 15th place, Everton, for whom Arteta also played, climbed to second place thanks to their third win in eight days.
Everton made excellent returns from very little activity against the opposing goal. Rob Holding opened the scoring by scoring at his own door to give the home team the lead.
Ivorian Nicolás Pepé equalized at 35 for Arsenal, from a penalty, but Colombian Mina scored with a header just before halftime.
Everton has not been a champion since 1985 and 1987. Between those two seasons, it ranked second, behind monarch Liverpool.
It can be overtaken by Tottenham or Leicester, who collide this Sunday. Staying in the top four would be a significant achievement not just sportingly but financially for an Everton that reported losses of 140 million pounds ($ 185 million) in its final fiscal year (partly due to the pandemic).
Manchester City returned to winning ways, with 1-0 over Southampton.
Raheem Sterling sent a Kevin de Bruyne cross into the networks at the dawn of the confrontation, and Citizens who have struggled to score goals this time made sure the meager production was enough.
City had managed insipid draws in their two previous games. He reached 23 points and is sixth in the contest.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.