Liverpool thrash Manchester United

Sports Desk, Apr 19 (EFE).- Liverpool pounded Manchester United 4-0 Tuesday to complete their first league double over their bitterest rivals in eight years by a cumulative score of 9-0 and take provisional possession of first place in the Premier League.

The Reds improved to 76 points, 2 better than defending champions Manchester City, who will host Brighton & Hove Albion on Wednesday. United are sixth on 54 points.

Mohamed Salah had a brace to the delight of the crowd at Anfield, boosting his league-leading goal total to 22, while the Reds also got goals came from Sadio Mane and Luis Diaz.

It was the 32nd match in which both Salah and Mane scored, a new record for a strike partnership in the Premier League.

Interim coach Ralf Rangnick risked the ire of United fans by starting the contest with a five-man back line and the folly of the move was exposed in the 5th minute, when Mane got the ball deep to Salah and the Egyptian relayed it to Diaz for the easy goal to make it 1-0.

Salah, who came into the game having not scored for Liverpool since he converted a penalty on March 12, doubled the lead in the 22nd minute, assisted by Mane.

Rangnick made a change to start the second half, replacing defender Phil Jones with striker Jadon Sancho, who supplied a badly needed dose of energy and creativity.

The hosts seemed to shift into a lower gear and Sancho did his utmost to take advantage, engineering what would prove to be United’s best chance of the night in the 64th minute.

The England international got behind the Liverpool defense and put the ball on the foot of the onrushing Marcus Rashford, but Alisson came off his line to narrow the angle and then dealt with Anthony Elanga’s follow-up.

Four minutes later, United were down 3-0 after Mane scored with an assist from Diaz.

Salah got his second in the 85th minute. EFE msg/dr

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