Tteam manager Jürgen Klopp came out of the World Cup break well with Liverpool. On the traditional Boxing Day in the Premier League, the Reds won 3-1 (2-0) at Aston Villa. Mohamed Salah, who was not represented with Egypt in Qatar (5th), Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk (37th) and 18-year-old Stefan Bajcetic (81st) scored for Liverpool, who are sixth in the table but not yet on target .
A dream combination made Klopp cheer early on. Trent Alexander-Arnold accurately served Andy Robertson, who technically served the free-standing Salah. He scored his 172nd goal for the Reds since 2017 and drew level with club icon Kenny Dalglish. Liverpool lost their dominance after the break, and Ollie Watkins brought the tension back with his goal in the 59th minute.
Arsenal remain at the top. At the first visit by legendary coach Arsene Wenger since the breakup in the summer of 2018, the Gunners defeated West Ham United around national player Thilo Kehrer in the London derby 3-1 (0-1) and celebrated their 13th win in their 15th league game. Bukayo Saka (53′), Gabriel Martinelli (58′) and Eddie Nketiah (69′) turned back the deficit through Mohamed Benrahma, who struck from the penalty spot in the 27th minute.
Newcastle United are the first Arsenal pursuers, albeit seven points behind. The traditional club from the north of England, which has been in Saudi Arabian hands for a little over a year, won 3-0 (3-0) at Leicester City and climbed to second place in the table. The Magpies, coached by Eddie Howe, overtook champions Manchester City, who, however, played two games fewer.
“I have no problem with the fans dreaming. No doubt the media will too, but I have no control over that,” Howe said.
Tottenham Hotspur saved a 2: 2 (0: 1) in the London city derby at FC Brentford. Hamburg-born Vitaly Janelt (10th) and striker Ivan Toney (54th) each scored for the hosts, England’s tragic World Cup hero Harry Kane (65th) and ex-Munich Pierre-Emile Höjbjerg (71st) equaled out. With ten goals in just seven games, Kane, who was playing for the World Cup just over two weeks ago, is now the top scorer on Boxing Day.