Liverpool secure Christmas number one after thrashing Crystal Palace

Liverpool thrashed Crystal Palace 7-0 at Selhurst Park to secure top spot in the Premier League for Christmas.

Takumi Minamino put the Reds in front after three minutes, before Sadio Mane soon added a second and Roberto Firmino finished off a slick counter-attack just ahead of half-time.

Captain Jordan Henderson curled in a fourth for the dominant visitors seven minutes in the second half and Firmino grabbed his second just after the hour.

Mohamed Salah came off the bench to score twice in the last 10 minutes as the champions wrapped up a convincing victory and set down a marker to their title rivals, moving six points clear of Tottenham.

Manchester City won 1-0 at Southampton to climb to fifth.

Raheem Sterling broke the deadlock after 16 minutes when he converted a low cross from Kevin de Bruyne.

Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling scores a goal against Southampton
Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling scores a goal against Southampton

The Saints, who had put themselves up to third in the table on the back of just one defeat from 11 games, saw striker Danny Ings, just back from a knee injury, forced off before the break.

Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men felt they should have been awarded a penalty on the hour when the ball appeared to spin up onto Sterling’s arm, but referee Mike Dean waved away appeals which were also rejected by VAR.

City defender John Stones almost put a cross from Nathan Tella into his own net, while at the other end Saints keeper Alex McCarthy pulled off a finger-tip save to push over Ilkay Gundogan’s rising drive as the visitors closed out a hard-earned win.