Liverpool on Sunday widened the gap at top of the English Premier League (EPL) to 16 points as goals from Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah earned them a 2-0 win over Manchester United at Anfield.
The win is the 13th straight league win since the sides last met at Old Trafford in October as Liverpool work to ensure they win a first league title in 30 years, while United remain five points off the top four in fifth.
Liverpool saw two first half goals ruled out and a host of clear chances go astray but eventually went in front on 14 minutes after a powerful header from Virgil van Dijk, following Trent Alexander-Arnold’s corner
Jurgen Klopp’s men had the ball in the net twice before the break, but VAR and the offside flag came to United’s rescue to keep the score down.
Firstly, Firmino’s brilliant strike was ruled out as Van Dijk was penalised for an aerial challenge with David de Gea after a VAR review.
Georginio Wijnaldum then slotted past the Spaniard after a brilliant through ball from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, but the Dutchman had strayed marginally offside.
United failed to even muster a shot in anger for the first 40 minutes until Anthony Martial pulled his effort wide of the near post.
They could have levelled against the run of play moments later when Andreas Pereira could not stretch to turn home Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s ball across the face of the goal.
At the other end, De Gea had one more key intervention before the break as he saved with his feet from Mane’s driven effort.
United rode their luck even more at the start of the second half as Salah somehow skewed wide from point-blank range before Jordan Henderson smashed a shot off the post.
But Liverpool’s failure to put the game to bed could have cost them when Martial blazed over United’s best chance of the game after a well-worked one-two with Pereira just before the hour mark.
However, the hosts held out for a seventh consecutive clean sheet in all competitions and took another giant step towards the title as Salah secured the three points with virtually the last kick of the game.
The Egyptian was picked out by goalkeeper Alisson Becker and ran from inside his own half before slotting under De Gea to make it 2-0.