Jota scores late winner as Liverpool beat West Ham 2-1

Mohamed Salah scores Liverpool’s first goal from the penalty spot during their match against West Ham United in England on Saturday. (Reuters)
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Updated 01 November 2020

Jota scores late winner as Liverpool beat West Ham 2-1

  • The Reds drew level in the 42nd minute when Mohamed Salah was fouled by Arthur Masuaku

LONDON: Diogo Jota capped Liverpool’s dramatic fightback as the Premier League champions beat West Ham 2-1 to move three points clear at the top, while Manchester City and Chelsea both won to keep in touch with the leaders on Saturday.

Jurgen Klopp’s side were rocked by Pablo Fornals’ early strike at Anfield as the West Ham midfielder punished a poor header from Joe Gomez in the 10th minute.

The Reds drew level in the 42nd minute when Mohamed Salah was fouled by Arthur Masuaku and the Egyptian stepped up to convert the penalty for his eighth goal of the season.

Liverpool thought they had claimed the lead with just over 10 minutes remaining when substitute Jota turned in a loose ball.

Jota had pounced after Lukasz Fabianski saved Sadio Mane’s shot but after a lengthy delay that saw referee Kevin Friend make use of the pitchside monitor, the goal was ruled out for a foul by the Senegal winger.

With time running out, Jota ensured he would still finish as Liverpool’s hero.

In the 85th minute, the Portugal forward ran onto Xherdan Shaqiri’s pass to score his third goal since joining from Wolves in September.

It was Liverpool’s fourth successive victory since influential defender Virgil van Dijk was sidelined for several months with a serious knee injury suffered against Everton.

Despite their defensive issues this term, Liverpool have opened up a three-point lead over second placed Everton, with their Merseyside rivals in action at Newcastle on Sunday.

Title rivals City have yet to hit the free-scoring form of Pep Guardiola’s side at their best, as for the third consecutive league game they were held to a solitary goal.

But Kyle Walker’s long-range strike against his former club was good enough to earn a 1-0 win at goal-shy Sheffield United.

A fourth win in five games in all competition edges City up to eighth, five points behind Liverpool.

And there was another boost for City after the game as Guardiola ruled out a return to Barcelona despite interest from presidential candidates at the Catalan giants to bring the club’s most successful ever coach back to the Camp Nou.

“I said many times, my period as a manager in Barcelona is over,” said Guardiola, whose contract at the Etihad expires at the end of the season.

“I am incredibly happy here, still I have the desire to do well and this is the most important thing.”

On the field, there were plenty of positives for City as the newly-formed center-back pairing of Aymeric Laporte and Ruben Dias played their part in a second consecutive clean sheet.

However, without injured strikers Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus, City struggled to turn their dominance into goals.

“We played really well,” added Guardiola. 

“We struggled to score goals for the chances we created, 16 shots, eight on target, is a lot against this team.”

Instead, Walker was the unlikely match-winner with his first goal for a year in his 100th Premier League appearance for City.

Chelsea are also finding their form after a slow start to the season as Frank Lampard’s men ran out 3-0 winners at Burnley to stretch their unbeaten run to nine games.

Hakim Ziyech was handed his first Premier League start after scoring in a 4-0 Champions League win away to Krasnodar in midweek and the Moroccan’s shot wrong-footed Nick Pope to open the floodgates for the visitors on 26 minutes.

Kurt Zouma’s bullet header then doubled Chelsea’s advantage from Mason Mount’s corner just after the hour mark.

Timo Werner was due to be rested until an injury in the warm-up to Christian Pulisic forced the German international into Lampard’s line-up.

And Werner rounded off an excellent second-half performance from the Blues with a fine finish from Ziyech’s pass.

After much criticism of his side’s defending, Lampard will be equally delighted at a fourth straight clean sheet as Chelsea moved up to fourth place.


7th Pakistan cricket team member tests positive for COVID-19

Updated 24 min 10 sec ago

7th Pakistan cricket team member tests positive for COVID-19

  • Six members of the 53-member squad tested positive on Tuesday when the team arrived in New Zealand from Pakistan
  • Under New Zealand rules, people in managed isolation generally are tested on the third and 12th days of the isolation period

WELLINGTON, New Zealand: A seventh member of the Pakistan cricket team in New Zealand has tested positive for COVID-19 and will join other infected teammates in quarantine.
Six members of the 53-member squad tested positive on Tuesday when the team arrived in New Zealand from Pakistan and began its compulsory 14-day stay in managed isolation. The seventh member tested positive Friday when players and officials again were tested on the third day of their isolation period.
Under New Zealand rules, people in managed isolation generally are tested on the third and 12th days of the isolation period. The new infection was reported Saturday by New Zealand’s ministry of health in its daily update of COVID cases.
“One additional member of the Pakistan cricket squad has today tested positive during routine testing,” the Ministry of Health said in a statement. “The remainder of the results from the squad’s day 3 swab testing — apart from the six who have already returned a positive result — are negative.”
People who test positive while in isolation can be held beyond the usual 14-day period.
The Pakistan team has already received a final warning from the health ministry after players breached protocols on their first day in isolation. The ministry said closed-circuit television footage from the team’s Christchurch hotel showed squad members mingling in corridors and sharing food.
An exemption which would have allowed team members to train in small groups after their third day in isolation has been revoked. But will be reviewed later if no further breaches occur. Players and team management are required to stay in their rooms for the first three days of the isolation period.
New Zealand’s director general of health, Dr. Ashley Bloomfield, said he took a “dim view” of the team’s failure to obey the regulations which had been clearly spelled out to team members on their arrival. Further breaches might lead to the team being expelled from New Zealand.
“Rather than being in their own rooms which is a requirement for that first three days, until that first test comes back, there was some mingling in the hallways, chatting, sharing food and not wearing masks,” Bloomfield said.
A wider outbreak among squad members would also be a serious issue which might put the tour in jeopardy. Pakistan is due to play New Zealand in three Twenty20 internationals and two test matches. The first T20 will take place on Dec. 18 and the tests are the main features of New Zealand’s domestic summer.
On Friday, the health ministry said the team’s conduct had “significantly improved” after the warning was issued.
“We thank members of the team for their co-operation with the case investigations following the announcement of positive cases within the team,” the Ministry said. “Co-operation and compliance are critical in ensuring New Zealand is kept safe from COVID-19.”