LIVERPOOL, England: Mohamed Salah’s second-half brace made up for an earlier penalty miss as Liverpool started the new year three points clear at the top of the Premier League table with a 4-2 win over Newcastle United at Anfield in torrential rain.
Jurgen Klopp’s side, who started the day tied on points with Aston Villa, now have 45 points from 20 games.
Villa got 42 points while Manchester City, who played one game less, is third with 40 points. Newcastle are also in ninth place with 29 points.
Liverpool dominated the match and Salah, who fired a penalty past goalkeeper Martin Dubravka in the first half, finally broke the deadlock in the 49th minute when Darwin Nunez crossed for the Egyptian to finish from close range.
Alexander Isak grabbed Newcastle’s second try of the game in the 54th minute when he met Anthony Gordon’s beautiful pass and fired beyond Alisson’s reach.
However, Curtis Jones put the hosts back in front in the 74th minute with a simple header after receiving a cross from Diogo Jota and Cody Gakpo added a goal four minutes later.
Sven Botman pulled one back for Newcastle in the 81st minute before Salah, playing his final game before departing for the Africa Cup of Nations, converted a penalty after Jota was fouled to seal victory in the 86th minute.