Liverpool’s Swiss midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri (L) and Liverpool’s English midfielder Jordan Henderson applaud supporters on the pitch after the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Manchester United at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on December 16, 2018. – Liverpool won the game 3-1. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP)
Substitute Xherdan Shaqiri scored twice to give Liverpool a fully deserved 3-1 victory over Manchester United at Anfield to go back to the top of the table.
The Reds ended a run of eight games without a run against their fierce rivals in a largely one-sided victory that saw Jurgen Klopp’s side pull 19 points clear of Jose Mourinho’s men in the Premier League.
Sadio Mane gave Liverpool a deserved lead after a frantic start to the game, but goalkeeper Alisson’s huge clanger gifted Jesse Lingard a leveller that stunned Anfield into silence.
Klopp’s side huffed and puffed in the second half but were largely reduced to shot from long range until Shaqiri’s introduction bought an extra bit of quality.
Arsenal lost for the first time in 23 games as Southampton won on Ralph Hasenhuttl’s home debut courtesy of three headers in a 3-2 victory.
The returning Danny Ings and substitute Charlie Austin did the damage, all with their head, as they cancelled out two equalisers from Henrikh Mkhitaryan, the second via a massive deflection.
Although they were twice pegged back, Saints showed a renewed vigour and purpose in Hasenhuttl’s home debut as he seemingly made an immediate impact at St Mary’s.
The hosts were in front when a terrific Targett delivery beat Koscielny at the near post for Ings to head home in the 21st minute.
Arsenal found themselves level just before the half-hour mark through Mkhitaryan’s header.
The visitors worked the ball to find Monreal free on the left wing before his cross was met by a firm header from the Armenia international and into the bottom corner.
Southampton regained the lead on the stroke of half-time through another superb Ings header.
Meanwhile, Eden Hazard scored one and set one up for Pedro as Chelsea proved too good for Brighton in their 2-1 win at the Amex.
The Belgium star laid on an assist for a personal record fourth consecutive league game, then fired his eighth league goal of an already hugely-fruitful campaign.
Hazard has now had a hand in 17 goals in 16 Premier League appearances for Chelsea this term – last season he only mustered a combined 16 goals and assists, in some 34 turns.
Solly March’s neat half-volley set up a tense finish, but Chelsea still remained worthy winners on the south coast.
Hazard actually ended a seven-match league run without a goal, but even amid that barren run he has still been serving them up on a plate for his team-mates.