Liverpool pound Newcastle to strengthen grip on 1st place

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Liverpool (England), Dec 27 (IANS) Liverpool battered Newcastle United 4-0 to extend their winning streak to eight and go 6 points clear at the top of the English Premier League (EPL).

The poor outcome here on Wednesday spoiled Newcastle coach Rafa Benitez’s return to Anfield, where he was at the helm with Liverpool for six seasons, reports Efe.

The hosts took the lead in the 11th minute on a goal by Dejan Lovren, but Newcastle managed to contain the potent Liverpool attack for the rest of the first half.

Three minutes after the re-start, Mo Salah went down in the Newcastle box and won a penalty. The Egyptian stepped to the spot and converted to make it 2-0.

Super-sub Xherdan Shaqiri boosted the advantage to 3-0 with a goal in the 79th minute and Fabinho got his first in a Liverpool shirt with five minutes left to complete the rout.

Liverpool, still unbeaten in the Premier League half-way through the season, climb to 51 points, 6 ahead of second-place Tottenham Hotspur, who were 5-0 winners Wednesday over Bournemouth.

Defending champions Manchester City are third, trailing the Reds by 7 points after losing 2-1 Wednesday away to Leicester City.

–IANS

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