Merseyside gets the better of London in Premier League action

Sports Desk, Dec 19 (efe-epa).- Liverpool boosted its lead at the top of the Premier League Saturday with a 7-0 rout away to Crystal Palace, while Everton bested Arsenal 2-1 on Merseyside to go second.

Southampton, who began the day in the third spot, slipped to fifth after losing 1-0 at home to Manchester City before Fulham climbed out of the drop zone with a draw against Newcastle United.

The day’s action began in London at Selhurst Park, where Japanese midfielder Takumi Minamino bagged his first Premier League goal to put the Reds up 1-0 on Palace in the 3rd minute.

Crystal Palace sought to bounce back and opened the game up. Jordan Ayew ran straight onto Alisson and tried to cut it back to Wilfred Zaha instead of shooting.

The clear chance was missed.

Liverpool then took hold of the game with Sadio Mane turning from a Roberto Firmino pass to smash the ball beyond the keeper.

Firmino got his name on the score sheet following a rapid counter-attack just before half-time.

Jürgen Klopp’s side started the second half well and captain Jordan Henderson scored from outside the box, curling the ball into the top-left corner in the 51st minute.

Mohamed Salah then came on for Mane and quickly made an impact as Firmino earned his second assist of the contest.

The Egyptian scored a rapid brace of goals, including a spectacular shot from just outside the penalty area.

A clinical Liverpool stays top of the league with 31 points. Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace are 13th with 18, the same as Newcastle but trailing the Magpies on goal difference.

Raheem Sterling’s goal in the 16th minute turned out to be sufficient for Man City to prevail 1-0 over Southampton after draws in their last two league matches.

Sterling beat Saints keeper Alex McCarthy from 11 yards out with an assist from Kevin de Bruyne.

The City defense held the hosts to just three shots on target and Ederson, who made stops against Theo Walcott and Jannik Vestergaard in the first half.

McCarthy stopped Ilkay Gündogan from doubling the advantage for the visitors in the second half.

For the 2,000 spectators in the stands at St. Mary’s, it was a disappointing second consecutive home loss, while City could take satisfaction from their league-best sixth clean sheet of the campaign.

Despite the defeat, surprising Southampton remain fifth on 24 points, 1 more than sixth-place Manchester City, who have played one fewer match than the Saints.

On Merseyside, the supporters at Goodison Park were lucky enough to watch Everton edge visiting Arsenal 2-1 and go second in the Premier League.

The Toffies took the lead in the 22nd minute on an own goal by Arsenal, as Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s redirection of an Alex Iwobi cross bounced off defender Rob Holding and into the net.

Ten minutes later, Everton’s Tom Davies fouled Ainsley Maitland-Niles while trying to clear the ball out of the box and the referee awarded a penalty.

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