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Liverpool thrash Southampton as Villa win again in EPL clash

Liverpool forward Diogo Jota (L) scored twice against Southampton


Liverpool crushed Southampton 4-0 to put pressure on Premier League leaders Chelsea as Diogo Jota scored twice for Jurgen Klopp’s side to warm the Anfield faithful on a bitterly cold Saturday afternoon.

Liverpool’s third consecutive victory in all competitions since losing at West Ham moved them into second place.

The Reds sit one point behind Chelsea, who host Manchester United on Sunday.

Third-placed Manchester City would go back above Liverpool if they beat West Ham on Sunday.

Liverpool needed just two minutes to take the lead when Sadio Mane played in Andrew Robertson and the Scot’s cross was perfectly weighted for Jota to finish from close range.

Jota netted again in the 32nd minute with a simple finish from Mohamed Salah’s pass for his eighth club goal this term.

Having scored at least two goals in 17 successive matches in all competitions, Liverpool refused to take their foot off the gas.

Thiago Alcantara had ended a lengthy goal drought in the midweek Champions League win over Porto and the Spain midfielder was back on the scoresheet in the 37th minute when his shot deflected in off Lyanco.

Virgil van Dijk bagged Liverpool’s fourth in the 52nd minute, the Dutch defender volleying his first goal in 14 months from Trent Alexander-Arnold’s corner.

– Gerrard makes his mark –

Steven Gerrard earned his second successive win since taking charge of Aston Villa as the former Rangers boss masterminded a 2-1 victory at Crystal Palace.

Exposing Palace’s set-piece weakness, Villa went in front after 15 minutes when Matt Targett fired home 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 tackle on Cheikhou Kouyate, the midfielder initially being sent off before the decision was overturned after a VAR check.

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John McGinn compounded Palace’s frustration in the 86th minute as he grabbed Villa’s killer second from Anwar El Ghazi’s pass.

Marc Guehi’s 95th-minute goal was little consolation for Palace.

Dean Smith, the man Gerrard replaced at Villa, remains unbeaten as Norwich boss after the second-bottom Canaries drew 0-0 with Wolves at Carrow Road.

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