Another stumble at St. James’ Park for Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho. Another goal in an extraordinary season for Liverpool sensation Mohamed Salah.
With a surprising 1-0 loss to Newcastle on Sunday, United ceded some of the initiative in the race for second place in the Premier League and left its manager cursing the “gods of football” on his latest fruitless trip to the northeast.
That’s seven league games without a win for Mourinho at Newcastle, six of which came as Chelsea coach.
Worse was to follow for Mourinho, with Liverpool winning 2-0 at Southampton to trim the gap to second-placed United to two points with 11 games left.
Salah was again the star turn, setting up strike partner Roberto Firmino before scoring himself to make it 22 goals in his debut season for Liverpool. One goal behind Tottenham’s Harry Kane, Salah could yet head to his first World Cup with Egypt as the Premier League’s top scorer.
It looks like being a four-way battle for the three Champions League qualification places behind champion-elect Manchester City, which retained its 16-point lead thanks to United’s slip-up.
Tottenham is two points behind Liverpool in fourth place and Chelsea is two points further back in fifth, with its game in hand against West Bromwich Albion on Monday.
In the other game Sunday, Huddersfield collected its first league win in nearly two months by beating Bournemouth 4-1 to climb out of the relegation zone.
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Steve Douglas is at www.twitter.com/sdouglas80