If a further break in the Premier League coronavirus case is to take a forceful break, Trent Alexander-Arnold has bid it farewell.
The Liverpool full back has perhaps the most dangerous right foot in English football and he used it to his devastating effect with a late long-range strike to give Newcastle a 3-1 win over Newcastle on Thursday.
A stunner. Incredible, says Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp. Boys shooting techniques vary.
The win means Liverpool league leaders Manchester City are on the brink of a thrilling title race. Although Chelsea could not keep pace.
Chelsea’s latest disappointing 1-1 draw at home with injured Everton and City’s four points behind European champions.
In its current form, the title race looks like a two-team race, even if the league is close to a busy schedule of festival play and it could soon be closed.
The growing number of transitions between Premier League squads is reflected in the number of match suspensions on an almost daily basis as the Omicron variant spreads. Just before the kickoff in Thursday’s games, the league announced that half of the weekend matches had been canceled due to coronavirus outbreaks in many teams.
Now nine have been suspended in a week.
Thursday’s games went ahead, although three players were unavailable due to positive lawsuits from both Liverpool and Chelsea. Among those for Liverpool were Virgil Van Dyke and Fabinho, while Chelsea were forced to do without strikers Romelu Lukaku and Timo Warner.
Liverpool conceded a goal in the seventh minute to their former player Jonzo Selvi but did better.
The hosts responded somewhat controversially through Diego Jotta in the first half when Newcastle midfielder Isaac Hayden suffered an apparent head injury and Mohamed Salah’s 15th goal of the league-season.
Alexander-Arnold blocked the return with his fierce shot from 25 meters high which hit the net, just as referee Mike Dean was missing as he went to one side to avoid hitting the ball.
Injuries and illness have left Everton missing 12 players, forcing manager Rafa Benitez to start a temporary lineup with three youngsters. The two of them equalized in the 7th minute.
Gerard Branthwaite, a 19-year-old defender who has spelled loneliness at Carlisle and Blackburn in recent seasons, poked a post away from 20-year-old winger Anthony Gordon’s free kick.
It overturned a goal scored seven minutes earlier by Mason Mount, who has now netted in four consecutive league matches.
Chelsea have won just two of their last five league games, in the absence of star midfielder Angolo Kante due to injury and he was fit enough to take a place on the bench as an unused substitute.
Kante is likely to return to Chelsea Wolverhampton on Sunday.
Of course, the league is closed by then.
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Steve Douglas is at https://twitter.com/sdouglas80
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