Sports

Bradley shines in Liverpool win as Alvarez fires City past Burnley

Sports Desk, Feb 1 (EFE) – Conor Bradley shone in his home debut as Liverpool thrashed Chelsea 4-1 to cement their position at the top of the English Premier League, while title holders Manchester City maintained pressure on the side with a 3-1 win over Burnley on Wednesday.

Julian Alvarez celebrated his 24th birthday in style with a superb double as City overtook Arsenal in second place on goal difference and went within five points of Liverpool’s 51 with a game in hand.

The Reds were greeted by fans with a roar in the first home league game since New Year’s Day, and the charges of coach Jurgen Klopp were immediately up to their task.

Bradley, in only his second game in the Premier League and the first at Anfield, stood out with a great goal from the right wing and a magnificent assist on Dominik Szoboszlai’s goal.

The glittering show of the 20-year-old reassured Liverpool that, despite Alexander-Arnold now occupying a place in midfield, the full-back is in good safekeeping.

Before Bradley’s display, Diogo Jota, who rarely fails in this type of match, exposed Chelsea’s defense by shouldering past two defenders to reach the box and tuck in off his left foot to open the scoring in the 23rd minute.

Darwin Nunez already hit the post twice and would hit the woodwork twice more, including hitting a penalty on the sidebar in stoppage time of the first half.

But his misfortune did not affect Liverpool in their dominating display, thanks largely to Bradley, who raced down the right flank in the 36th minute to make it 2-0 with a cross-shot beyond the reach of Chelsea keeper Đorđe Petrovic.

Bradley then set up Szoboszlai with a cross to head home and extend the lead to 3-0 in the second half.

Christopher Nkunku closed the gap shortly, but Nunez, who was at the centre of most of the action, served the fourth to Luis Díaz to put the icing on Klopp’s 200th Premier League win as Liverpool coach.

Pep Guardiola, the only man who took fewer matches than Klopp to reach the milestone, orchestrated City’s win over Burnley by handing Alvarez yet another start while main striker Erling Haaland was still struggling to regain his full fitness.

The Argentine youngster repaid the coach with a brace, first heading home a Matheus Nunes cross before runningon to a forward pass from Kevin De Bruyne to guide it past the Burnley keeper.

Rodrigo made it 3-0 in the second half, firing it home from a Phil Foden pass.

Burnley, managed by former City skipper Vincent Kompany, pulled one back in injury time through Ameen Al-Dakhil to leave the field with some consolation.

Guardiola hinted that Haaland, who made a brief appearance in the game, and Alvarez could play together in the future.

“They [Alvarez and Haaland] can play together. Alvarez is an exceptional player,” he said. “It’s more of a headache for me, but they have to compete.”

Tottenham beat Brentford 3-2 in the other match of the night to remain in the top four with 43 points, only ahead of Aston Villa by goal difference.

am/tw

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