London, Jul 8 (efe-epa).- Liverpool beat Brighton & Hove Albion 3-1 Wednesday to show that with the Premier League title in the bag, their focus now is on setting new records for wins and points.
The Reds, who last week became the team to clinch the championship with the most games remaining, are poised to surpass the existing marks for wins, 32, and points, 100, both established by Manchester City in 2017-2018.
And while Brighton have yet to achieve mathematical safety, they remain 15th, 9 points above the drop zone.
Liverpool went ahead in the 6th minute, as Naby Keita stole the ball deep in Brighton territory and left it for Mohamed Salah to hammer home.
The hosts’ struggles in clearing the ball proved costly again just two minutes later. The loose ball ended up at the feet of Jordan Henderson and the Reds captain delivered a tremendous strike to make it 2-0.
Leandro Trossard pulled back a goal for the Seagulls in first-half stoppage time and the score remained 2-1 until the 76th minute, when Salah got his second of the night off an Andy Robertson corner.
The Egyptian has 19 Premier League goals for the season, two less than Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and three behind the current leader in the race for the golden boot, Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy.
To beat City’s record for points, Liverpool need to win three of their final four matches against Burnley, Arsenal, Chelsea and Newcastle United.
Earlier Wednesday, second place City bounced back from their upset loss to Southampton last weekend with a 5-0 rout of Newcastle.
City dominated from start to finish against a Newcastle team missing several starters due to injury. The hosts had 75 percent possession and outshot their opponents 26-5.
David Silva was outstanding for the hosts, scoring a goal and assisting on two others.
Gabriel Jesus opened the scoring in the 10th minute, knocking in a pass from Silva, and Riyad Mahrez doubled the advantage in the 20th with an assist from Kevin de Bruyne.
City went ahead 3-0 in the 58th minute on a Newcastle own goal charged to Federico Fernandez.
The sequence began with an attempt by Newcastle’s Matt Richie to rob Jesus. The ball popped up and deflected off Fernandez past keeper Martin Dubravka.
Minutes later, Joelinton fouled Raheem Sterling outside the 18-yard box to set up a free kick for City and usual taker De Bruyne made way for Silva, who sent a magnificent strike into the net to increase the lead to 4-0.
Sterling added a fifth goal in stoppage time, with an assist from Silva.
City go to 69 points, 9 ahead of third-place Chelsea with four matches left in the season. With 43 points, Newcastle are 13th and assured of staying up.
A goal in the 93rd minute by John Egan – his second in two matches – allowed Sheffield United to take all 3 points from their game against visiting Wolverhampton, who watched their dream of a Champions League place recede.
The Blades contained a potent Wolves attack led by Mexico international Raul Jimenez, rumored to be headed to Manchester United.
Wolverhampton’s best opportunity came on a free kick in front of goal after Diogo Jota was brought down just outside the penalty area. The strike from Ruben Neves hit the cross-bar.