Sports Desk, Dec 16 (EFE).- Liverpool topped Newcastle United on Thursday to remain just a point behind Premier League leaders Manchester City, while third-place Chelsea managed only a draw against Everton and trail the Reds by 3 points.
Virgil Van Dijk, Curtis Jones and Fabinho were ruled out for the hosts just minutes before the start of the match at Anfield after testing positive for Covid-19.
To make matters worse, the Magpies took the lead in the 7th minute on a goal by Jonjo Shelvey, who took advantage of a giveaway by Thiago to beat Alisson with a shot that the Liverpool goalkeeper barely saw amid a crush of bodies in front of the net.
The advantage endured only until the 21st minute, when Diogo Jota equalized with an assist from Sadio Mane. The Portuguese striker scored with one of the Newcastle players down in the box and the visitors protested, but the goal stood.
Mohamad Salah put Liverpool up 2-1 just four minutes later with his 15th Premier League goal of the season.
Newcastle could still hope to take a point until Trent Alexander-Arnold extended the Reds’ advantage with a tremendous strike from outside the area in the 87th minute.
Liverpool improved to 40 points. The Magpies are 19th with 10 points.
Struggling Everton, meanwhile, stole a point from Chelsea at Stamford Bridge thanks to an outstanding performance in goal by Jordan Pickford.
Though without Romelu Lukaku, Ben Chilwell, Timo Werner and Callum Hudson-Odoi due to Covid-19, the Blues dominated.
The Toffees keeper denied Christian Pulisic, Hakim Ziyech, Reece James and Mason Mount in the first half and the match entered the final stretch deadlocked at 0-0.
Mount finally broke through in the 70th minute on the counter, scoring for the fourth time in four games. But just four minutes later, 19-year-old Jarrad Branthwaite brought Everton level with his first Premier League goal.
Chelsea pressed hard for the winner and Pickford had to be sharp to stop Thiago Silva’s header off a corner in the 80th minute.
The result leaves the Blues on 37 points, 4 behind defending champions City and 8 better than Arsenal in fourth. Everton climbed to 19 points and sit 14th in the table. EFE