Liverpool thump Southampton and open up 22-point gap

Liverpool maintained their relentless march towards a first Premier League title as a 4-0 home win over Southampton sent them 22 points clear at the top.

The scoreline flattered Jurgen Klopp’s side, with Saints giving at least as good as they got for much of the game, but the clinical Reds showed their ruthless streak in the second half to rack up a 16th straight league win.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain broke the deadlock in the 47th minute, cutting in from the left and firing home from the edge of the area. Jordan Henderson’s first-time finish doubled the lead on the hour and he then set up Mohamed Salah to dink the third over goalkeeper Alex McCarthy. The Egyptian bundled home the fourth at the end.

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With second-placed Manchester City taking on Tottenham on Sunday, the Reds’ 24th win from 25 games widened the yawning chasm between the two sides yet further.

Bruno Fernandes was unable to inspire Manchester United to victory as his debut ended in a goalless draw at home to Wolves.

The big-money signing from Sporting Lisbon showed plenty of neat touches and tested goalkeeper Rui Patricio a couple of times from long range, but his new side could not break down stubborn Wolves.

The draw did little for either team’s top-four hopes after Chelsea dropped points earlier in the day. Bruno Fernandes was heavily involved on his Manchester United debut (Martin Rickett/PA).

Two Antonio Rudiger headers earned the fourth-placed Blues a 2-2 draw at Leicester, who remained eight points clear in third.

Having been frustrated in their attempts to bring in another striker in the transfer window, Frank Lampard had his German centre-back to thank as Rudiger nodded in Mason Mount’s corner just after the break to open the scoring and rescued a point in the 71st minute with a towering header from another Mason Mount delivery.

In between times Harvey Barnes levelled and Ben Chilwell swept the Foxes into the lead with a smart far-post finish.

Sheffield United moved up to fifth, five points behind Chelsea, as an own goal from Crystal Palace goalkeeper Vicente Guaita earned the Blades a 1-0 win at Selhurst Park.

Guaita inexplicably dropped Oliver Norwood’s cross into his own net.

Palace might have ended the match with 10 men, but the red card shown to Joel Ward was rescinded by referee Andy Madley after watching the incident again on the pitchside monito

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