Liverpool returned to winning ways and the top of the Premier League table while Manchester United climbed into fourth place on Saturday as English football paid tribute to the late Emiliano Sala.
First-half goals from Sadio Mane and Georginio Wijnaldum and Mohamed Salah’s 48th-minute effort gave Liverpool a 3-0 win over Bournemouth at Anfield. The victory meant Liverpool, who had been second on goal difference, leapfrog Manchester City by three points ahead of the reigning champions’ match at home to Chelsea on Sunday.
Meanwhile United’s revival under caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer continued with an equally comfortable 3-0 win away to Fulham. Liverpool had dropped points in successive 1-1 draws against Leicester and West Ham, sparking questions over the resolve of Jurgen Klopp’s side as they bid to end a 29-year wait to once again be crowned champions of England.
Mane, however, settled early nerves among home fans at Anfield when he headed in a James Milner cross to score for the fourth game in a row. Liverpool doubled their lead in through Wijnaldum’s delightful 34th-minute lob before Egypt striker Salah sealed a victory with a curling effort. In London, Paul Pogba scored two goals -- including a second-half penalty -- either side of an emphatic Anthony Martial strike, as United made it 10 wins in 11 game since former striker Solskjaer was put in temporary command. Chelsea could regain a spot among the Champions League qualifying places against Manchester City on Sunday.
But United, 11 points adrift of the top four when Jose Mourinho was sacked in December, are back in the hunt now. “The top four is a big thing. There are so many games left, but we hope to stay in the top four. We can’t worry about what other teams do,” said Solskjaer. Arsenal inflicted more misery on Huddersfield with a 2-1 win away to the bottom-of-the-table club. Alex Iwobi volleyed the Gunners into an early lead and Alexandre Lacazette made it 2-0 before half-time, with Sead Kolasinac’s late own-goal no consolation for Huddersfield.