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FOOTBALL ROUND UP: Liverpool beat Leicester 3-0; AC Milan win

FOOTBALL ROUND UP: Liverpool beat Leicester 3-0; AC Milan win
Diogo Jota (right) headed in from Andy Robertson’s delicious cross from the left to double Liverpool’s first-half lead.
London, Nov 23 (Reuters/AFP) | Publish Date: 11/23/2020 11:47:55 AM IST

Liverpool were not derailed by an injury crisis as Jurgen Klopp’s men produced a dominant display to beat Leicester 3-0 and move level on points with Premier League leaders Tottenham on Sunday.

Klopp was missing seven first-team regulars through injury and top scorer Mohamed Salah due to a positive coronavirus test, but Liverpool still swept aside a Leicester team who had started the weekend on top of the table.

Jonny Evans’s own goal was just reward for the Reds’ bright start before Diogo Jota set a record-breaking start to life at Anfield.

The Portuguese international became the first Liverpool player to score in his first four home league games when he headed home Andy Robertson’s inch-perfect cross.

Kasper Schmeichel in the Leicester goal kept the score down as he made a series of second-half saves, notably from Sadio Mane and Jota, while Evans had a lucky escape as the post prevented him from scoring a second own goal.

Roberto Firmino thought he had been denied just his third league goal in 24 games when the Brazilian’s shot came back off the post and his follow-up was cleared by Marc Albrighton with just 10mm of the ball not over the line.

But Firmino rounded off a brilliant team performance by rising highest to meet James Milner’s corner. Another muscle injury suffered by Naby Keita was the only negative for Klopp on a night when his side showed they will not give up their title easily despite losing centre-backs Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez for the rest of the season.

Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers has now lost all three meetings against his former club and just like the previous meeting between the sides, which Liverpool won 4-0 in December, the Foxes were shown the gulf they have to bridge to become title contenders. Harvey Barnes wasted one big opportunity for the visitors when he sliced wide Jamie Vardy’s cross at 1-0.

But the end to a six-game winning run sees Leicester fall back to fourth, two points off the top.

Liverpool paid tribute to former goalkeeper Ray Clemence, who died aged 72 after a long battle with prostate cancer this week, before kick-off.

Elsewhere, Serie A leaders AC Milan beat 10-man Napoli 3-1 on Sunday to record their first league win in Naples for more than 10 years. 39-year-old Zlatan Ibrahimovic powered a bullet header into the bottom corner in the first half before bundling in his second of the night after the break to take his league-high tally to 10 goals in six games this season.

Dries Mertens pulled one back for the home side to give them hope, but a clumsy challenge by Tiemoue Bakayoko earned the Napoli midfielder a second yellow card with 25 minutes left on the clock and Jens Petter Hauge eventually notched Milan’s third in stoppage time.

Yet there were concerns for the visitors when Ibrahimovic was forced off with a muscle problem with 11 minutes remaining, and the Swede was pictured sitting on the bench with an ice pack strapped to the back of his left leg.

The result means unbeaten Milan retain top spot on 20 points, two clear of Sassuolo in second and six ahead of sixth-placed Napoli.

It also ended an 11-match winless league run for the Rossoneri in this fixture and marked only their second Serie A victory away to Napoli in the 21st century, the other a 2-1 win in October 2010 in which Ibrahimovic also scored during his first spell at the club.

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