Liverpool deliver perfect response to losses with win at Huddersfield

Joe Williams

Liverpool bounced back to winning ways in the Premier League and maintained their Champions League challenge with a 3-0 win at Huddersfield.

Emre Can and Roberto Firmino struck first-half goals to put Jurgen Klopp’s side in control and Mohamed Salah converted a late penalty to seal their sixth win in eight games in all competitions.

Huddersfield again battled gamely in front of another raucous full house at the John Smith’s Stadium but once Can had spectacularly fired Liverpool into the lead, the home side offered little threat.

Liverpool, who followed up their first league defeat since October at Swansea with another on Saturday against West Brom in the FA Cup, moved level on points with third-placed-Chelsea and five ahead of Tottenham.

David Wagner’s side slipped to a fourth straight Premier League defeat and their winless top-flight run was extended to seven matches.

Firmino’s early tame shot was easily gathered by Jonas Lossl and it was Huddersfield who carved out the next chance after 15 minutes of patient probing and keep-ball from both sides.

Chris Lowe raced onto Steve Mounie’s flick-on and his low cross was met first time by Laurent Depoitre, who fired straight at Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius.

Liverpool, who have not lost back-to-back Premier League games since September 2015, began to apply concerted pressure midway through the first half and Can’s low effort was pushed away for a corner by Lossl.

Huddersfield were resolute and well organised and although Liverpool were in control it took something special to break the deadlock in the 26th minute.

Andrew Robertson’s cross was headed clear by Christopher Schindler and Can crashed home an unstoppable shot from 25 yards via a slight deflection off Philip Billing’s foot.

Left-back Lowe curled a free-kick narrowly wide as the Terriers mounted a spirited response but were undone again before the break.

Firmino stole in behind Huddersfield’s back three into the penalty area and almost from the byline squeezed a deft shot between Lossl and the near post when it appeared the Brazilian would cut the ball back.

It was Firmino’s 19th goal of the season in all competitions – he also scored in Liverpool’s 3-0 home win against Town.

Liverpool, who made six changes from side beaten 3-2 at Anfield by West Brom in the FA Cup on Saturday, twice threatened to extend their lead early in the second half.

Sadio Mane’s header was well saved by Lossl , who tipped James Milner’s rising drive over the crossbar for a corner soon after.

Mane caught Town’s defence flat-footed again with 25 minutes left, but his diving header from Can’s diagonal cross flew wide.

Town were denied a route back into the match when referee Kevin Friend waved away their appeals for a penalty when substitute Collin Quaner went down under Robertson’s challenge with 18 minutes left.

But when Can tumbled under Billing’s challenge in the opposite penalty area five minutes later, Friend was convinced the Liverpool midfielder had been unlawfully challenged and Salah duly converted from the spot.

Huddersfield threatened through substitute Rajiv van La Parra in the closing stages, but their winless run against Liverpool, stretching back to 1959, was never in danger of being halted.