HomePremier LeagueLiverpool 3-1 Sheffield United: Mac Allister goal helps Reds return to top...

Liverpool 3-1 Sheffield United: Mac Allister goal helps Reds return to top of Premier League table

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Alexis Mac Allister’s sensational 76th-minute strike inspired Liverpool to avoid a shock setback against Sheffield United at Anfield as the Reds moved two points above Arsenal and three clear of Manchester City in the Premier League title race.

Midfielder Mac Allister hammered a curling first-time effort beyond Ivo Grbic from just outside the penalty, restoring his side’s lead and drawing ecstatic celebrations from manager Jurgen Klopp and home fans relieved at the prospect of avoiding a potentially disastrous draw against the bottom side.

Substitute Cody Gakpo gave Liverpool a 3-1 cushion in added time, meeting Andy Robertson’s terrific left-wing cross with a firm unmarked header on a far nervier night for the contenders than the final scoreline suggested.

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The Blades are marooned nine points from safety but were on course to secure one of the best results of a forgettable season when Conor Bradley diverted Gustavo Hamer’s header in with an ankle 13 minutes after the break.

Liverpool had gone ahead for the first time when a routine clearance by Grbic hit the leaping Darwin Nunez and rolled beyond the goalkeeper for a farcical 17th-minute opener, and Mac Allister also curled a glorious free-kick against the woodwork five minutes from time.

Liverpool v Sheffield United: Late Reds win

After coming from behind to beat Brighton & Hove Albion 2-1 at home on Sunday, Klopp would surely have anticipated no such scares against far less dangerous opponents who shipped 16 goals without reply across defeats to Arsenal, Aston Villa and Brighton in February and March.

There were flickers of hope in United’s draws against Bournemouth and Fulham before this game, though, and Chris Wilder’s side made a bright start.

Wilder looked understandably dejected when Croatian Grbic sent his attempted pass against Nunez, the ball spiralling back beyond the helpless goalkeeper to start what many would have expected to be another thrashing for the visitors.

Liverpool dominated but struggled to create telling danger, and Wilder must have felt United were due the fortune they enjoyed when the luckless Bradley turned in an equaliser which Arsenal and City would have celebrated.

Mac Allister has continued his reputation for moments of class under pressure during his first season at Liverpool and the World Cup winner with Argentina burst the tension in thumping style with a goal which could become folkloric if his new club lifts the title.

Gakpo’s late third was cruel on United, whose creditable showing will be little consolation as they dip towards relegation as certainly as Mac Allister’s thunderbolt tore towards their net.

Liverpool return to action at Manchester United on Sunday, when Sheffield United host Chelsea.

Ben Miller
Ben Miller
Ben has more than 10 years' experience in sports journalism, covering two EURO tournaments, European club competitions, the Premier League, EFL and WSL and a variety of other major sporting events.

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