Liverpool keeps alive top-four hopes, pushes Leicester toward relegation with 3-0 win
LEICESTER, England (AP) — Liverpool plunged Leicester closer to relegation and kept alive its own chances of finishing in the English Premier League top four with a 3-0 win on Monday.
Curtis Jones was the unlikely scorer of the first two goals before Trent Alexander-Arnold whipped an indirect free kick into the top corner to wrap up a mismatch at King Power Stadium between teams heading in opposite directions.
For Liverpool, a seventh straight victory in an end-of-season rally moved the fifth-placed team a point behind both Newcastle and Manchester United in the race for the final two Champions League qualification positions, behind Manchester City and Arsenal.
Liverpool has two games left — against Aston Villa at home and already-relegated Southampton away — while Newcastle and Man United have three to play.
For Leicester, morale could hardly be lower with its top-flight status seriously under threat just seven years after winning the league in one of the great underdog stories in the history of sports.
The Foxes are in next-to-last place and two points from safety with two games remaining. They are at third-placed Newcastle, for one of the most daunting away games in the league, and at home to West Ham.
Leicester has won just one of its last 14 league games and has conceded eight goals in its last two, after the 5-3 loss at Fulham last week.
Jones is an academy product enjoying a fine end to an injury-hit season. The 22-year-old midfielder had scored only once this season before running onto Mohamed Salah’s right-wing cross to the far post and neatly side-footing home a finish in the 33rd.
The groans from the home fans inside the stadium were already audible and they increased three minutes later when Salah again picked out Jones, who controlled the ball in a central position at the edge of the area, spun and smashed a dipping effort into the far corner.
Salah completed a hat trick of assists when he tapped a free kick backward with the sole of his foot to give Alexander-Arnold a clearer view on goal to curl a shot high and beyond goalkeeper Daniel Iversen into the corner in the 71st.
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The Associated Press