Shaqiri double lifts Liverpool | The Daily Star
01:04 AM, December 17, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:05 AM, December 17, 2018

Shaqiri double lifts Liverpool

Arsenal's unbeaten run ends; Chelsea consolidate fourth spot

Two deflected Xherdan Shaqiri strikes handed Liverpool victory over Manchester United in the Premier League for the first time in nine attempts as Jurgen Klopp's men moved back to the top of the table with a 3-1 win at Anfield yesterday.

United manager Jose Mourinho claimed ahead of the game that the league leaders have had luck on their side this season, but while there was fortune in substitute Shaqiri's two goals in the final 17 minutes, the visitors did not deserve anything more than a fifth defeat of the season.

Liverpool leapfrogged Manchester City to finish the weekend where they started, a point clear at the top, and move a mammoth 19 clear of United, who remain in sixth and are now 11 points off the top four.

The contrasting form showed by both sides this season continued as United strained to keep a rampant Liverpool at bay.

Sadio Mane had given Liverpool the lead before Jesse Lingard levelled when goalkeeper Alisson Becker dropped a routine cross at the feet of the England international.

Mane controlled Fabinho's chipped ball into the box on his chest and volleyed past the onrushing De Gea.

However, Liverpool's momentum was punctured by an Alisson gift 12 minutes before the break. The second half followed a similar pattern as Liverpool sought the goal to take them back to the top of the table.

Jurgen Klopp turned to Shaqiri to unlock the United defence 20 minutes from time and the Swiss international needed just three to put Liverpool back in front. De Gea did well to prevent Ander Herrera turning Mane's cross into his own net, but the ball fell for Shaqiri and his effort cannoned off Young and in off the underside of the bar.

Seven minutes later, Shaqiri got lucky again when his shot flicked off the diving Eric Bailly to leave De Gea helpless.

Earlier, Charlie Austin shattered Arsenal's 22-game unbeaten run as the Southampton striker punished a howler from Gunners goalkeeper Bernd Leno to seal a shock 3-2 win on Sunday.

Austin settled a thrilling Premier League clash at St Mary's when he headed home with just five minutes left after Leno misjudged Shane Long's cross.

Southampton had twice taken the lead through Danny Ings, only for Henrikh Mkhitaryan's brace to draw Arsenal level on each occasion.

This was Arsenal their first defeat in 15 league games and brought a stunning halt to their longest unbeaten run in all competitions since 2007.

Meanwhile, Chelsea consolidated fourth place in the Premier League with a 2-1 win at Brighton & Hove Albion that became harder work than had seemed likely in the first half.

Eden Hazard set up the first goal for Pedro after 17 minutes and scored the second himself before halftime following a defensive error.

Brighton came back into contention through Solly March's goal midway through the second half and Lewis Dunk went close to an equaliser.

With the win, Chelsea moved three points clear of London rivals Arsenal.

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