Liverpool take advantage of ‘scandalous decision’ to go three points clear at the top

Liverpool took advantage of a controversial decision to land a 4-2 win over Newcastle to go three points clear at the top of the Premier League

The Reds edged out a six-goal thriller at Anfield, but even the wild scoreline only paints half a picture with Mohamed Salah scoring twice.

Despite the hosts’ dominance in Merseyside, referee Anthony Taylor controversially awarded Liverpool a penalty late on as Newcastle pressed for an equaliser.

Diogo Jota ran through on goal before being adjudged to have been tripped by Magpies shot-stopper Martin Dubravka.

However, replays showed there was minimal contact and the Portugal international made a couple of steps before hitting the deck.

Nevertheless, VAR did not intervene and the decision stood as Salah scored from 12 yards out.

Before that incident, there was already plenty of drama after a first-half display that saw Liverpool manage 18 shots. That included a shoddy penalty from Salah, though he made amends minutes after the break to open the scoring and grab his first of the match.

But Newcastle pegged them back almost immediately with Alexander Isak delicately scoring past Alisson with their first shot on target.

Liverpool, who had a league-high xG of 7.2 goals, desperately looked to get back in front, however, Newcastle’s heroic defensive showing kept the scoreline down – but it was to no avail.

Jota broke through Newcastle’s backline before sliding the ball across to give Jones a tap-in to make it 2-1 in the 74th minute.

Cody Gakpo thought he made sure of the result moments later after getting on the end of Salah’s outside-of-the-boot cross, but Sven Botman nodded home from a corner to crank up the craziness at Anfield with ten minutes left.

Jota then earned Liverpool a controversial penalty with time running out and Salah made no mistake this time. It was a fine farewell from the Egypt international, who will now jet off to the Africa Cup of Nations to try lead his country to glory.

In the end, Eddie Howe’s men valiantly fell to defeat and their hopes of a top-four finish are fading. It means the Magpies have not won since December 16, a run of now four games without a win.

It has left them ninth in the Premier League while Liverpool continue their dream of winning the title.

The Reds have gone three points clear at the top of the table, finally getting a win at Anfield after two draws at home in a row in the Premier League.

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