Manchester City, the defending champion, is under great pressure by temporarily relinquishing the top spot in the English Premier League in favor of Liverpool, after the latter won its tenth successive victory by beating its eighteenth guest, Watford, with difficulty 2-0, Saturday, in the opening of the thirty-first stage.
After the difference between the two teams reached 14 points, Liverpool rose up with a series of wonderful matches, reaching the top spot on Saturday, two points behind City, awaiting the latter’s match with its host Burnley later Saturday.
What increases the intensity and excitement of the competition between the two teams is that they will meet twice this month, the first in the league at Al-Ittihad Stadium next Sunday in a match whose outcome may be decisive to determine the destination of the title, and the second a week later at Wembley Stadium in the cup semi-finals.
With Senegalese striker Sadio Mane sitting on the bench a few days after leading his country to the World Cup finals at the expense of his Egyptian colleague Mohamed Salah, who played a key Saturday, the dreamy Liverpool prepared with a historic quartet in the best way for his trip Tuesday to Portugal, where he faces Benfica in the first leg of the quarter-finals of the League competition Europe champions.
And in his nineteenth confrontation on “Anfield” against coaches who had previously supervised him, this time Roy Hodgson, who failed to repeat the April 2012 scenario with West Bromwich when he became and is still the only former coach of the “reds” team to win them in their stronghold, Liverpool struggled to enter the atmosphere after Return from the window dedicated to international matches.
But the brilliant Portuguese Diogo Jota, who was excited about leading his country to the 2022 World Cup through the European playoff, succeeded in opening the scoring for the German coach Jurgen Klopp’s team from the first real opportunity, with a header after a cross from Joe Gomez, taking advantage of a wrong exit from goalkeeper Ben Foster (22), To raise his score to 14 goals alone, in second place on the scorers list behind his colleague Salah (20).
After the goal, Liverpool returned to suffering in building attacks and did not threaten their guest’s goal until the 38th minute, when Foster starred this time in blocking Jota’s shot from a narrow angle.
The result remained the same until the end of the first half, in which Watford was the best and even the most dangerous, similar to the beginning of the second half, in which Liverpool was affected by the suffering of its star Salah in particular, as the Egyptian missed his usual danger.
Klopp resorted to Mane instead of Salah in the 69th minute, hoping that the African champions would be able to secure the result for the hosts with a second goal, but he did not, in turn, provide anything to keep Jota’s goal separating the two teams until the last seconds when the Portuguese himself snatched a penalty kick from the Slovakian Juraj Kotska Anbri The Brazilian Fabinho succeeded in it (89), dealing the final blow to the guests who received the eighth defeat in a row in the “red” stronghold.
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