Mo Salah scores as Liverpool beat Man City in huge boost to title hopes

Liverpool's Mohamed Salah scores their second goal against Manchester City. (Reuters)
Updated 11 November 2019

Mo Salah scores as Liverpool beat Man City in huge boost to title hopes

  • Two goals in the first 13 minutes from Fabinho and Mohamed Salah gave the European champions a dream start
  • The 3-1 win opens up an eight-point lead at the top of the table

LIVERPOOL: Liverpool took a huge step toward a first Premier League title in 30 years by beating defending champions Manchester City 3-1 at Anfield on Sunday to open up an eight-point lead at the top of the table.
Two goals in the first 13 minutes from Fabinho and Mohamed Salah gave the European champions a dream start before Sadio Mane’s diving header early in the second half sealed City’s fate.
Bernardo Silva pulled a late goal back but a third defeat in eight league games leaves City down in fourth, nine points behind Liverpool, and with a mountain to climb if they are to claim a third straight league title.
City’s defensive deficiencies have been much publicized without the injured Aymeric Laporte so far this season and they crumbled as Liverpool scored with their first two attacks of the game.
But the visitors were furious with some justification at the move that led to the opening goal when a dangerous foray into the Liverpool box ended with the ball striking Trent Alexander-Arnold on the arm.
Instead of City being awarded a penalty, the hosts broke down the other end and the ball fell to Fabinho on the edge of the area.
The Brazilian is not renowned for his goalscoring, but when invited to shoot by a hesitant City back line five minutes in, he arrowed a strike beyond stand-in goalkeeper Claudio Bravo.
The visitors had their chances to get level in between Liverpool’s early blitz as Raheem Sterling headed wide Kevin De Bruyne’s in-swinging free-kick.
But it was Liverpool who were ruthless as a pinpoint cross by Andy Robertson was headed home on the bounce by Salah.
City still went on to enjoy the better of the play in the remainder of the first half, but the damage was already done.
Sergio Aguero was denied his first ever goal at Anfield by a smart save from Alisson Becker before a purposeful burst forward by Angelino saw his deflected shot come back off the post.
Aguero then dragged City’s best chance of a reply before the break wide after great work by De Bruyne.
Any hope of a City comeback was eliminated six minutes into the second half when Jordan Henderson’s teasing cross was met with a diving header by Mane although Bravo could have done better to stop the ball creeping over the line.
Liverpool agonizingly missed out on the title by a solitary point last season as City ended the season on a 14-match winning run to edge a titanic tussle.
Pep Guardiola’s men will need to produce something similarly spectacular to retain the title, but after quickly making up for the disappointment of the title race by wining the Champions League last season, Liverpool look destined to go one better this time round.
Guardiola’s mood was not improved when another VAR check went against his side after Sterling went down in the area under pressure from Mane.
City finally got the goal much of their approach play had threatened when Bernardo Silva swept home Angelino’s cross 12 minutes from time.
Liverpool were then camped inside their own half, but held out for what could prove to be a vital win come May.


Daniil Medvedev wins inaugural Diriyah Tennis Cup final in Saudi Arabia

Updated 15 December 2019

Daniil Medvedev wins inaugural Diriyah Tennis Cup final in Saudi Arabia

  • The Saudi event makes history as the first to use Hawk-Eye Live technology

RIYADH: Daniil Medvedev has won the inaugural $1 million Diriyah Tennis Cup in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Medvedev beat Fabio Fognini 6-2, 6-2 in Saturday’s final.

Earlier in the tournament he beat Jan-Lennard Struff and Belgium’s David Goffin — also in straight sets.

The Diriyah Tennis Cup, sponsored by Saudi Aramco, will certainly go down in history as eight of the world’s best tennis stars met in the Diriyah Arena for the first international tournament played in the Kingdom.

The event also made tennis history as not only the first in Saudi Arabia, but also one of the first to use Hawk-Eye Live technology.

Replacing the need for line judges and providing more accuracy, Hawk-Eye Live sends visual and audio cues to the chair umpire and off-court monitors within a tenth of a second of a ball bouncing, to show faults and out-of-bounds shots without relying on the naked eye.

In the first of the two semifinals, Fognini overcame the spirited efforts of the ever-entertaining Frenchman Gael Monfils.

In the second semifinal, Medvedev — a standout performer on the ATP Tour in 2019 — maintained his remarkable form to outgun David Goffin, 6-3, 6-3 to ease his way into Saturday’s historic final.

BACKGROUND

The Diriyah Tennis Cup, sponsored by Saudi Aramco, will go down in history as eight of the world’s best tennis stars met in the Diriyah Arena for the first international tournament played in the Kingdom.

The Russian has won four titles in 2019 in Sofia, in Cincinnati, in St. Petersburg and in Shanghai. 

He was the finalist in Brisbane, Barcelona, Washington, Montreal and at the US Open.

Ranked No.5, Medvedev played his last match on Nov. 15 when he was defeated by Alexander Zverev in London.

The first day as part of a three-day tournament saw all eight players in action.

First up on court was Italian Fabio Fognini taking on American John Isner, ranked no. 19 and the holder of the third fastest serve of all time in men’s tennis.

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