Sam Williams

@ SamWilIiams

Liverpool won 2-0 against Sheffield United again in the Premier League on Sunday night

Curtis Jones put the Reds in the lead in the early stages of the second half after a first half in which they were thwarted by a catalog of Aaron Ramsdale saves

And after Sadio Mane was denied a goal by the offside flag, the dominance of the visitors was further rewarded with 65 minutes when Roberto Firmino’s slight drive was deflected in front of Kean Bryan

The win at Bramall Lane ends the Champions’ run with four straight defeats, putting them one point ahead of fifth Chelsea, who will visit Anfield on Thursday, and two points behind West Ham United in fourth place

Adrian started in goal for Liverpool, Alisson Becker was absent for compassionate reasons, while Nathaniel Phillips replaced the injured Jordan Henderson in the central defender

James Milner’s return to fitness saw the vice-captain named on the bench, but the illness forced Diogo Jota to miss this

Adrian made an important contribution himself – the Spaniard reacted quickly to block David McGoldrick’s header from close range – before Ramsdale scored the first of five impressive saves in the first half by defeating Firmino in a one-on-one

The Blades goalkeeper then choked Jones on the back post as he tried to convert Trent Alexander-Arnold’s cross before Mohamed Salah, Alexander-Arnold and Georginio Wijnaldum were foiled in relatively quick succession as Liverpool shifted through their attacking gears

An electrical burst from Salah clinging to Firmino’s deft touch after a towering header from Phillips bought him space, but Ramsdale was right at the No11’s follow-up attempt

Alexander-Arnold was frustrated next with the right-back cutting in and flipping his left foot after Ethan Ampadu was forced by Mane to relinquish property in his own area only for Ramsdale to tip the shot

And – after Ozan Kabak’s own goal was denied for offside against Oli McBurnie – Wijnaldum’s low blow was blocked and Firmino opted unsuccessfully to find Mane with the rebound

However, there was nothing Ramsdale could do to keep the pressure from releasing just three minutes after restarting

Alexander-Arnold did well to keep the ball alive on the line, and Jones was on hand to toss a controlled, low finish into the bottom corner after Phil Jagielka’s partial clearance

After rightly breaking the hosts’ resistance, Liverpool threatened to withdraw and Mane was rejected by the flag after putting the finishing touches to a free flowing train

The increasingly influential Alexander-Arnold then shot just past the gate and – after McBurnie had nodded Oliver Norwood’s search cross at the other end – the Reds soon had air to breathe

Firmino bonded sharply with Jones and Mane, earning a half-yard in a packed box with typically neat footwork before seeing his low hit deflected off by Bryan

Liverpool, who welcomed Milner and Naby Keita back from the bench after their injuries, could have added another one later when Salah had a chance for his 25th The goal of the season was missed by Andy Robertson’s low cross, but that was already secured with a value of less than three points

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World news – GB – Match report: The Reds beat the blades to return to winning ways in PL