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Salah's back and Liverpool and Arsenal earn big wins in EPL title race

Sat, Feb 17, 2024
Soccer News (AP)

Salah's back and Liverpool and Arsenal earn big wins in EPL title race

Mohamed Salah is back from injury and back among the goals.

While the return of the talismanic striker was good news for Liverpool, beating Brentford 4-1 came at a cost as the team's injury concerns piled up.

Salah, back after a month out with a hamstring injury, scored the third of Liverpool's goals in a win at Gtech Community Stadium that kept them on top of the English Premier League.

First-half injuries to Curtis Jones and Diogo Jota, however, threaten to leave Jurgen Klopp's squad further stretched in its four-pronged trophy pursuit.

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"We have to see how much it costs us - we don't know that yet," Klopp said. "That Curtis cannot play on tells you that it must be something because he would have played on at all costs.

"Diogo looks probably the worst. I didn't see it back, but I heard the pictures didn't look great as well."

Jota had to leave the field on a stretcher with an apparent knee problem, while Jones was hurt after being hit above his ankle.

Darwin Nunez was also taken off, but that appeared to be a precautionary measure.

Liverpool was already without goalkeeper Alisson, who was hurt in training on Friday, as well as Trent Alexander-Arnold, Thiago Alcantara and Dominik Szoboszlai.

They are set to miss some regulars in the League Cup final next weekend.

Klopp's team made light work of Brentford and raced into a 3-0 lead through goals from Nunez and Alexis Mac Allister and Salah. Ivan Toney pulled one back for Brentford before substitute Cody Gakpo got Liverpool's fourth.

ARSENAL PRESSURE

Liverpool's lead over Arsenal was only two points after the Gunners' latest rout.

After hammering West Ham 6-0 last week, Arsenal won 5-0 at Burnley. Bukayo Saka scored twice at Turf Moor.

Martin Odegaard, Leandro Trossard and Kai Havertz were also on target.

It was a sixth straight win for Arsenal and the third time in that sequence that it has scored five or more goals.

Arsenal has already shown its title credentials by beating defending champion Manchester City and Liverpool.

TOP FOUR

The race for the top four was tightening.

While it looks like being a shootout between Liverpool, City and Arsenal for the title, the battle for Champions League qualification could also make tense viewing.

Aston Villa moved back up to fourth after winning at Fulham 2-1, and Tottenham lost at home to Wolves 2-1.

Just two points separate Villa and Spurs, while Manchester United could boost its chances of a top four finish by beating Luton on Sunday.

Sixth-placed United has won its last three in the league and could move to within three points of Tottenham with a win at Kenilworth Road.

NEWCASTLE STRUGGLE

Newcastle's problems at home continued when it had to twice come from behind to draw with Bournemouth 2-2 at St James' Park.

Matt Richie's goal in the second minute of stoppage time earned a point, but couldn't end a four-game winless run at home that dates to December.

Dominic Solanke put Bournemouth ahead in the second half, but Anthony Gordon levelled from the penalty spot.

Antoine Semenyo put the visitors in front again until Ritchie came to Newcastle's rescue.

Seventh-placed Newcastle was a point ahead of West Ham after the London side suffered a third straight defeat, 2-0 at relegation-fighting Nottingham Forest.

Some West Ham fans held up signs calling for manager David Moyes to go.

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James Robson is at https://twitter.com/jamesalanrobson

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AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer

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Article Copyright © 2024 The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved.
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