Football Rampant Liverpool edges closer to EPL title
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Rampant Liverpool edges closer to EPL title

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Liverpool are on the brink of securing their first top-flight English league title in 30 years after trouncing Crystal Palace 4-0 at Anfield on Tuesday.

The returning Mo Salah provided the inspiration as he scored one – his 15th goal in 15 Anfield Premier League appearances this season – and laid on an assist for Sadio Mane.

A brilliant Trent Alexander-Arnold free-kick and a fierce Fabinho drive contributed to a comfortable victory which could easily have been greater, such was the Reds’ dominance.

Jurgen Klopp’s men will be champions on Thursday should Manchester City fail to win at Chelsea or if the Red take a point when they face City in their next outing on July 2.

Klopp had blamed Sunday’s disappointing goalless Merseyside derby draw on a lack of rhythm, following the three-month break.

But back in the familiar surroundings of Anfield – albeit in a nearly empty stadium – they quickly clicked back into gear.

One Liverpool great among the 300 people allowed into the stadium was Kenny Dalglish – the manager who won the club’s last league title in 1990, three years before the Premier League trophy was handed out for the first time.

Two Champions League titles have been won since then – including last year – but not the biggest prize in English football.

Alexander-Arnold was hesitant to begin celebrating the title but said: “It’s two points so it’s close.

“We’ve waited a long time for this and we’ve worked hard for this over the last few years as a team.”

Klopp’s only regret was that no fans could witness the win inside Anfield.

“Imagine if the stadium could have been full today and people could have experienced that live. It would have been amazing.

“I don’t think the game would have been better to be honest, because my boys played like everybody was in the stadium.”

Meanwhile, Anthony Martial scored his first-ever Premier League hat-trick as Manchester United beat Sheffield United 3-0 to keep their Champions League top-four hopes alive.

Marcus Rashford set up Martial with a powerful low cross for his French strike partner to score his first goal after just six minutes.

Martial swept in a second goal from Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s right-wing delivery just before half-time and in the 73rd minute, the World Cup winner finished off a quick passing play with a simple chip to complete his hat trick.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are now two points behind Chelsea in fifth place on 49 points and remain level with sixth-placed Wolverhampton Wanderers after they beat Bournemouth 1-0.

Aston Villa missed the chance to climb out of the relegation zone after they salvaged a 1-1 draw against Newcastle United.

Dean Smith’s Villa sit second from bottom in 19th on goal difference as they have the same 27 points as relegation rivals Bournemouth and West Ham United in the two places above.

Elsewhere, Michael Keane’s 55th minute goal was the decider in Everton’s 1-0 win at relegation-doomed Norwich City.

-with agencies