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Liverpool 3-0 Aston Villa: Reds cement Premier League title credentials as Mohamed Salah nets in win

 (Liverpool FC via Getty Images)
(Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Liverpool put forward their title credentials with a comfortable win over Aston Villa on Sunday.

In Jurgen Klopp’s 300th Premier League game at the helm, the Reds led early through Dominik Szoboszlai before a Matty Cash own goal midway through the first half put Villa seriously on the back foot.

Mohamed Salah sealed the points early in the second period amid ongoing speculation over a potential move to Saudi Arabia.

Unai Emery’s Villa travelled to Merseyside hopeful of extending their four-game winning run and had Emi Martinez fit to start in goal, and although he could do nothing about the opener there was a fair portion to blame for his defence.

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Namely, Pau Torres gave the ball away as the visitors lazily tried to play the ball out from the back. The Spaniard scrambled it out for a corner yet Trent Alexander-Arnold’s delivery beat everybody before falling to Szoboszlai on the edge of the box, and he showed what £60million can buy you with a ferocious volley into the far corner.

After only 19 minutes, Villa’s task got harder as Diego Carlos exited with an injury, prompting Emery to drop Matty Cash into defence and introduce Leon Bailey in a bid to reverse the tide.

However, Liverpool were 2-0 up moments later as Darwin Nunez, in the starting line-up after his match-winning brace at Newcastle, slammed the post with a shot that then cannoned in off the unfortunate Cash.

Joel Matip fluffed a free header to make it three before Villa threatened to get back into the match ahead of the break, as both John McGinn and Leon Bailey wasted good openings.

Cash forced a smart reflex stop out of Alisson Becker early in the second period yet Liverpool’s threat on the counter exposed Villa immediately afterwards, Nunez heading Mohamed Salah’s delightful dinked cross wide on the stretch.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

The third goal, on 55 minutes, secured the points as Nunez flicked a corner towards the far post, where Salah timed his run perfectly to poke home.

Klopp made sure to rest the internationals set for longer journeys in the coming week as Luis Diaz and Nunez exited first, before Alexander-Arnold’s superb playmaking display was cut short by an apparent injury.

Liverpool are in action in the Saturday lunchtime kick-off after the international break, away to Wolves, while Villa host Crystal Palace.