Liverpool back to winning ways and Premier League summit with victory over Bournemouth

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp celebrates after his side beat Bournemouth at Anfield. (Reuters)
Updated 10 February 2019
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Liverpool back to winning ways and Premier League summit with victory over Bournemouth

  • First-half goals from Sadio Mane and Georginio Wijnaldum together with Mohamed Salah's 48th-minute effort saw Liverpool to a 3-0 win
  • Victory means Liverpool leapfrogged Manchester City by three points

LIVERPOOL: Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool returned to winning ways and the top of the Premier League table on Saturday as English football paid tribute to the late Emiliano Sala.
First-half goals from Sadio Mane and Georginio Wijnaldum together with Mohamed Salah's 48th-minute effort saw Liverpool to a 3-0 win over Bournemouth at Anfield.
Victory meant Liverpool, who had been second on goal difference, leapfrogged Manchester City by three points ahead of the reigning champions' match at home to Chelsea on Sunday.
Meanwhile United's revival under caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer continued with an equally comfortable 3-0 win away to Fulham.
Liverpool had dropped points in successive 1-1 draws against Leicester and West Ham, sparking suggestions they were losing their nerve in a quest to end the club's 29-year wait to be crowned champions of England once again.
Mane, however, eased the pressure with an early headed goal at Anfield.
Liverpool doubled their lead through Wijnaldum's delightful 34th-minute lob before Egypt striker Salah sealed victory with a curling shot.
"We knew we were not happy with our performance in the last two or three games," Liverpool manager Klopp said. "We want to play convincing football we want to perform.
"That was the reaction we wanted to show today," the German added.
An emotional week for Cardiff ended with a dramatic 2-1 win away to Southampton that saw them climb out of the relegation zone just days after the death of transfer-window signing Sala was confirmed without him having played a game for the Welsh club.
The Argentinian's body was formally identified by an English coroner on Thursday, a day after it was recovered from underwater aeroplane wreckage in the Channel.
Cardiff wore special shirts embroidered with a yellow daffodil, the national emblem of Wales and the team colour of French side Nantes, Sala's former club, with a minute's silence observed prior to kick-off.


Blue Point focused on Al-Quoz glory after magical run at Meydan

Updated 15 February 2019
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Blue Point focused on Al-Quoz glory after magical run at Meydan

  • Star sprinter proves class with easy G2 win in Dubai.
  • Charlie Appleby hopeful over Al-Quoz Sprint chances.

LONDON: Star sprinter Blue Point is on course for glory in the much-anticipated Al-Quoz Sprint on Dubai World Cup night. That is the message from Godolphin after a brilliant victory in the G2 Meydan Sprint on Thursday.
The Dubai-based stable have long held high hopes for the Shamardal horse and the five-year-old’s win confirmed that they have something special on their hands.
Blue Point took up the running from Faatinah with more than two furlongs to race and readily opened up daylight over his rivals approaching the final furlong, quickly going clear.
For Charlie Appleby the performance only went to prove that Blue Point has it in him to steal the show on Dubai World Cup night in March.
“If he brought his class, he was going to be good enough to win, but we had left a bit on him because the G1 Al-Quoz Sprint on Dubai World Cup night is our target,” the Godolphin trainer said.
“No disrespect to this race, and we were pleased to win it, but it was the right stepping stone onto the Al-Quoz.
“I was pleased to see him in the paddock, more so than a couple of days ago when it looked like he had a couple of pounds left on him. He had tightened up a bit.
“We were always confident that he was going to come forward for whatever he did. He is a five-year-old now and a professional — getting better with racing. He came alive two furlongs down and it was only a matter of William asking him to pick up and do a bit of work.”
The “Boys in Blue” always place a lot of focus on the World Cup night and a second win in the Al-Quoz sprint — Appleby saddled Jungle Cat to victory last year — is one of the aims for the famous race meeting in March.
“I am very pleased and, all being well, he should step forward for it and all roads will now lead to the Al-Quoz Sprint,” Appleby said.
“I feel that he is not overly exposed as a sprinter — we looked after him as a two-year-old and a three-year-old, while he wasn’t over-raced last year so he is entitled still to be learning.”
Added to the optimism surrounding Blue Point is the fact that William Buick feels he is coming to form at just the right time.
“It was a nice comeback opportunity for Blue Point and he did it very comfortably, doing everything right. It was lovely to see him come back like that,” the jockey said. “He has probably matured a little bit compared to 12 months ago and the biggest difference this year is that he is a G1 winner this time. He had proved himself and feels like a very confident horse — there is no question that he is a top sprinter.”
Meanwhile, Godolphin’s star G1 performers Hartnell, Best Of Days and Alizee have been entered for the world’s richest mile race, the $5 million All-Star Mile to be run at Flemington on March 16.
Head trainer James Cummings confirmed that all three horses will seek a place in the famous race.
“We think it’s great the way in which it really engages with not only the racing audience, but potentially reaching out beyond just that and bringing in a wider audience from not only Australia, but from around the world,” Cummings said. “We’re really excited to be a part of the richest mile race anywhere in the world.”