International Sports Desk, Nov 22 (efe-epa).- In Premier League soccer action on Sunday, Liverpool notched a 3-0 win against Leicester, thus holding steady in its ranking competition with Tottenham for the league’s leadership spot.
Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham squad is holding its own in the rankings on goal differential alone with the Spurs and the Reds are tied at 20 points, two ahead of Chelsea and Leicester.
Liverpool, coached by Jurgen Klopp, came into the match strengthened after a plague of injuries but against a dangerous rival after moving to the top of the chart in this ninth week of play.
For different reasons, Trent Alexaner Arnolod, Joe Gomez, Jordan Henerson, Alex Oxlade Chamberlain, Mohamed Salah, Virgil Van Dijk, Thiago Alcántara and Rhys Williams were all on the injured list for Liverpool, with most of them starters.
Even so, Klopp’s men took advantage of Diego Jota’s excellent play and Roberto Firmino’s determination emerging with a nice win, although they could have run up the score even more if it had not been for some good goaltending by Denmark’s Kasper Schmeichel.
Liverpool got on the board within the first 20 minutes on a Leicester own goal when a corner kick by James Milner was headed into his own net by Jonny Evans.
Jota scored the second tally, a centering pass from the left by Andrew Robertson which he was able to send into the twine past Schmeichel.
The third goal came during the final four minutes of the match, when – after numerous chances to score – it was finally Firmino who gave the local squad their victory on a header off a corner kick, also performed by Milner, that he was able to knock past the Dane.
“The boys were on fire, football-wise,” Klopp said after the match. “We played an incredible game against top, top opponents. We defended really well and we could have scored even more goals.”
Meanwhile, Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds squad came up against the firm resistance of an Arsenal coached by Spain’s Mikel Arteta, with the teams battling to a scoreless draw despite the former controlling the ball for two-thirds of the match and the latter playing almost the entire second period a man short after the expulsion of Nicolas Pepe.
It was a bad result for both squads, who have suffered in recent outings and need to rack up some ranking points. The London team, in particular, has been burdened by three defeats and a draw in its last five matches.
Bielsa’s men dominated during the match in terms of ball handling but still were not able to create many scoring chances, and were unable to capitalize on any of the ones they did manage to manufacture.
Leeds has won just one of its six recent matches and came into the contest with Arsenal off of two consecutive losses.
Leeds got a break – which ultimately proved fruitless – in the 52nd minute, when Pepe knocked heads with Engjan Alioski and upon VAR review, that hit resulted in the African’s expulsion.
Spain’s Rodrigo Moreno, who came onto the pitch 20 minutes before the final whistle to replace Luke Aylling, had a nice chance but his shot hit the crossbeam, and Brazil’s Raphinha had another shot in extra time that also ricocheted away.
That was about it. Neither net-man – Leeds’ Illan Meslier or Arsenal’s Bernd Leno – had much work to do during the scoreless evening.