Week 35--Liverpool Keep Winning: Cardiff 0-2 Liverpool

By David Shams

Liverpool regained the top spot in the Premier League after their 2-0 win in Cardiff on Sunday. Manchester City play their game in hand on Wednesday at Old Trafford against cross town rivals Manchester United.

With a few exceptions, it was a dominating performance by Liverpool, even without the Merseyside club scoring in the first frame.

Early in the second half, Dutch midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum, latched on to a low hit corner kick from Trent Alexander Arnold and powered it into the back of the net, leaving Cardiff goalkeeper Neil Etheridge flapping after it.

Six minutes later, Cardiff defender and captain Sean Morrison managed to miss a wide open header at the back post. The ball came in from the side bathed in sunshine to the side darkened by shadow. That could have caused Morrison to drop his head a bit sooner and let the ball skip off his back.

Then Morrison’s day got a little worse as he gets called for a penalty kick after grabbing, holding, then pulling down Mohamed Salah inside Cardiff’s box. James Milner, the preferred penalty taker for Liverpool, had just come on for an injured Fabinho. He stepped up and buried his spot kick to put Liverpool ahead 2-0.

The win puts Liverpool ahead of Manchester City on points. Wednesday’s Manchester Derby will likely be decisive in deciding the 2018-19 title.

David is the founder of DC Soccer Digest. He lives in Washington, DC.

Liverpool Outplays Chelsea: Liverpool 2-0 Chelsea

By Juan Aguerrevere

Both Jurgen Klopp and Maurizio Sarri made some changes after midweek clashes in the Champions League and Europa League, respectively.

Klopp summoned Joel Matip and Andrew Robertson for Dejan Lovren and James Milner. Meanwhile, Sarri introduced six changes from his lineup against Slavia Praha including Emerson Palmieri who replaced Marcos Alonso, who scored the winner midweek.

In the first half, Klopp's men dominated possession and had more chances than Chelsea despite a couple of counterattacks from the Blues. Liverpool tested Chelsea's defense with several crosses. The away team's backline responded well until Antonio Rudiger suffered a knee injury forcing Sarri to use his first substitution bringing on Andreas Christensen.

The difference was almost instantaneous. Chelsea failed to adequately defend a free-kick leaving three Liverpool players against Kepa Arizabalaga who made the save even though the play was called offsides.

Liverpool claimed its first goal five minutes after the start. Mohamed Salah connected well with Jordan Henderson who then lobbed it to the back post fining Mane's head. Nearly three minutes later, Salah drilled a missile in the top corner from just over twenty yards out. The fans at Anfield were roaring.

Eden Hazard missed two back-to-back chances that he should have finished, leaving Chelsea fans hopeless. Hazard was denied by the post in his first chance and by Alisson Becker in the second.

Mane is now the league’s joint-third top scorer with seventeen goals while Salah tied with Aguero for the most with 19 goals. Alisson recorded his eighteenth, and league leading, clean sheet.

Before the match, a minute of silence was held in memory of the 96 lives lost 30 years ago in the Hillsborough Disaster.

Juan is a senior at the University of Florida. He is an aspiring sports writer, analyst, and commentator.