BRIGHTON, England (Reuters) - Mohamed Salah scored twice as champions Liverpool moved on to 92 points with a 3-1 win at Brighton and Hove Albion in the Premier League on Wednesday.
The victory kept Liverpool on target to secure a record Premier League points tally, with Juergen Klopp’s side needing nine from their remaining four games to beat the mark set by Manchester City, who amassed 100 points in 2017-18.
Liverpool were 2-0 up within eight minutes after Brighton paid heavily for sloppy work in their attempt to play the ball out from the back.
Naby Keita robbed Davy Propper and slipped the ball to Salah who confidently drove home to open the scoring in the sixth minute.
Two minutes later and Brighton were caught out again by Liverpool’s pressing, this time Salah setting up Jordan Henderson who finished with a perfect drive.
Graham Potter’s 15th-placed team pulled a goal back on the stroke of halftime with Leandro Trossard sweeping home a first-time shot after a pinpoint cross from Tariq Lamptey.
Brighton, who recovered well from their poor start, should have drawn level on the hour when the ball fell to an unattended Dan Burn at the back post but he failed to test Alisson with a poor connection.
Egyptian Salah wrapped up the win, Liverpool’s 30th in their 34th game of the season, with a superbly angled near post header from an in-swinging Andy Robertson corner.
Klopp had given a first league start to 19-year-old Neco Williams at left back but replaced him at the break after he picked up a yellow card.
The only negative for Liverpool was the loss of Henderson to a knee injury 10 minutes from the end.
Salah now has 19 goals, three behind Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy in the race for the “Golden Boot”.
Klopp said he was unconcerned about the chance to beat the points record.
“It’s not important for me, I’m not interested in any of this but I want to win football games. For sports people in general it might be important. We are champions and it could be softening but it is not - the boys go with everything,” he said.
“We now have 92 points and last season we had 97! We got five points more than this last season - that’s unbelievable, I have no idea how we did that.”
Liverpool host ninth-place Burnley at Anfield next, followed by Arsenal away, Chelsea at home and Newcastle United at St James’ Park in the final game.
Reporting by Simon Evans,; Editing by Toby Davis and Ed Osmond
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