Tuesday, June 18, 2024

EPL 2024: Conor Bradley steals the show as Liverpool thump Chelsea, Manchester City beat Burnley, Premier League … – Fox Sports


Liverpool remain on course to send Jurgen Klopp off as a Premier League winner after Chelsea were thrashed 4-1 at Anfield.
Conor Bradley was the star of the show as the 20-year-old right-back scored and teed up Dominik Szoboszlai for Liverpool’s third after Diogo Jota had opened the scoring.
Christopher Nkunku reduced Chelsea’s arrears, but Luis Diaz rounded off the scoring and an outstanding Liverpool performance.
Indeed, the scoreline flattered the visitors as Darwin Nunez hit the woodwork four times, including from the penalty spot in the first half.
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Victory restores a five-point lead at the top of the table for Klopp’s men over Manchester City, who have a game in hand, and Arsenal.
Klopp had called for the news of his impending departure at the end of the season not to be a distraction and on this evidence it may only provide more inspiration for his side to deliver just a second league title in 34 years.
Once again the injured Mohamed Salah was not missed as Jota and Nunez provided a constant threat, while Bradley’s emergence is blocking Trent Alexander-Arnold’s return to the starting line-up.
Nunez had five shots inside the first 18 minutes as a combination of Djordje Petrovic and the woodwork on two occasions kept the Uruguayan at bay.
Jota was not so forgiving when he carved through the heart of the Chelsea defence to slam home his 13th goal of the season.
Bradley has been a revelation since a knee injury to Alexander-Arnold opened his path to the first team.
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The Northern Irishman produced a finish that Alexander-Arnold would have been proud of as he burst down the right and fired low and hard into the far corner to double Liverpool’s lead.
Chelsea midfielder Moises Caicedo was booed after he turned down the chance to join Liverpool in favour of a move to Stamford Bridge for a British record £115 million ($A222 million) transfer fee in August.
The Ecuador international may now rue that decision as Mauricio Pochettino’s men were outclassed and sit 20 points adrift of Liverpool down in 10th.
Chelsea were handed a brief reprieve when Nunez hit the post from the spot after Jota had been stood on by Benoit Badiashile.
But Liverpool’s third did not take long to arrive after the break as another purposeful run and pinpoint cross from Bradley picked out Szoboszlai to head home.
Klopp could then afford the luxury of making a quadruple substitution as Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson stepped up their comeback from injuries.

The changes briefly knocked the hosts out of their stride as Chelsea grabbed a consolation.
Nkunku’s debut season in England has been ravaged by injury but the Frenchman now has two Premier League goals in less than 180 minutes on the pitch as he finished smartly into the far corner.
Nunez’s frustrating night in front of goal went on as he then headed against the crossbar to become the first Premier League player to hit the woodwork four times in a match.
But he still had a major role to play in Liverpool’s fourth as Diaz burst onto his driven cross to erase any possibility of a Chelsea revival.
Elsewhere, Julian Alvarez celebrated his 24th birthday in style as the Manchester City striker scored twice to inspire a 3-1 win against Burnley.
Alvarez bagged his brace in the first half to ensure City had no problems brushing aside out-classed Burnley at the Etihad Stadium.
The Argentine’s double took his goal tally for the season to 15 in all competitions, including seven in his last seven appearances.
Rodri netted City’s third goal after the interval as the Premier League champions made it eight successive wins in all competitions.
Ameen Al Dakhil’s stoppage-time goal was no consolation for Burnley, who sit second bottom of the table.
Second-placed City remain hot on the heels of leaders Liverpool as the title race gathers pace.
There was more good news for Guardiola as Erling Haaland came off the bench for the last 20 minutes, marking the City striker’s return from a foot injury that had sidelined him since December 6.

Alvarez’s goals have covered more than adequately during Haaland’s absence, but the Norwegian will add another level of menace to the treble winners as they try to overhaul Liverpool and win a fourth successive title.
After a worrying wobble before Christmas, City are rounding into form and fitness at just the right time.
Slowly worked back in the mix with three substitute appearances, Kevin De Bruyne captained City in his first start since suffering a hamstring injury in the opening game of the season at Burnley.
The Belgian midfielder almost made an instant impact with a free-kick that clipped the Burnley wall and looped just over.
City had won their previous 12 games against the Clarets, who had not taken three points from a league visit to the blue half of Manchester since 1963.
Alvarez made sure there was never any chance of City losing that dominant record.
City’s opening goal was a typically smooth move in the 16th minute, starting with Phil Foden unfurling a pin-point lofted pass towards Matheus Nunes.
Faced with a tricky angle as Burnley defender Dara O’Shea blocked his path, Nunes cleverly shifted his body to flick a perfectly-placed cross to Alvarez, who applied the finishing touch with a close-range header.

Alvarez’s birthday party was just getting started and the Argentine was on target again six minutes later.
This one was a goal straight off the training ground as De Bruyne’s quick free-kick caught Burnley napping and Alvarez scampered clear of the flat-footed defence to slot a clinical finish past James Trafford from 12 yards.
Guardiola immediately made a point of getting out of his seat to hug his set-piece coach Carlos Vicens, suggesting it was his idea that led to the intelligently crafted goal.
Nunes nearly finished off Burnley with a stinging strike that forced a good save from Trafford.
Guardiola’s men were in complete control and even Josko Gvardiol felt emboldened to try his luck from distance, but the City defender could not keep his shot on target.
Rodri put the result beyond doubt just 24 seconds after the interval. Foden was the catalyst with a vibrant break down the left flank, the England forward pulling his cross back to the edge of the area, where Rodri smashed a superb first-time strike past Trafford.
Haaland was immediately in the action on his return, rising for a header that was scrambled away at the far post.
Al Dakhil prodded home after City failed to deal with David Datro Fofana’s cross, but the damage had long since been done by the rampant champions.


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