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Mo Salah helps to continue Liverpool's unbeaten run with win over Sheffield

Liverpool break the record for the highest number of passes in a Premier League match with 969 against the Blades

Mohamed Salah of Liverpool celebrates after scoring his team's first goal as Dean Henderson of Sheffield United reacts during the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Sheffield United at Anfield. Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Mohamed Salah of Liverpool celebrates after scoring his team's first goal as Dean Henderson of Sheffield United reacts during the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Sheffield United at Anfield. Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Liverpool have continued their unbeaten run with a 2-0 victory over Sheffield.

Mo Salah scored the first goal after four minutes in a game that again put the Reds in the record books.

Jurgen Klopp's men scored the highest number of passes in a Premier League match with 969 against the Blades.

It leaves the leaders 13 points clear from second-placed Leicester City with a game in hand, and 14 points from third place Manchester City.

Midfielder Naby Keita returned to Liverpool's starting line-up in the one change manager Klopp made for the Sheffield United match.

The Guinea international, making his fourth start in five matches, replaced Adam Lallana in the side that beat Wolves on Sunday.

Boyhood Liverpool fan John Lundstram recovered from an ankle injury to take his place in Sheffield United's midfield at the expense of Mo Besic.

The other change from the defeat at Manchester City was forward David McGoldrick coming in for Callum Robinson.

But Liverpool were dealt a blow minutes before kick-off when Keita was ruled out with a groin injury sustained in the warm-up.

It meant James Milner was promoted to the starting line-up and Neco Williams, 18, became the third teenager on the bench.

Liverpool needed only four minutes to open the account.

Virgil Van Dijk picked out Andrew Robertson with a long ball over the top and the left-back's low cross was turned in by Mohamed Salah.

Lundstram then volleyed just wide as Sheffield United tried to equalise.

Dean Henderson made two fine saves to prevent Salah from adding a second, while Lundstram had a goal ruled out for offside as Liverpool led 1-0 at half-time.

Salah had another chance on the hour mark when his cross evaded everyone and came back off the post.

Sadio Mane scored the second goal for Liverpool, tapping in from close range after Henderson saved his initial effort from a cute Salah pass.

Reds captain Jordan Henderson praised the professionalism of his team.

"The performance level has been really high for a long period of time, and we just want to keep doing what we have been and keep improving," he said on BT Sport 1.

"I still think we can improve, but overall the boys did excellently. The intensity was very good considering how many games we have had.

"We have coped really well and need to recover for the derby on Sunday."

Liverpool play Everton in the FA Cup at the weekend. They may look invincible, but Henderson maintains the focus is not on matching Arsenal's unbeaten season.

"I am not really bothered about that," the midfielder said. "It is all about the next game and challenge.

"We will not look too far ahead and see where that takes us in May."

Dutch defender Van Dijk also played down title talk.

"We are doing all right," he said. "We just focus on the next game ahead of us, and we know how difficult it can be.

"We were calm and composed. It was a good victory."

Blades boss Chris Wilder accepted that his team had been second best.

"It was very unlike us, we did not lay a glove on them," Wilder said. "They were outstanding and we did not really get out of second or third gear.

"They won every first ball, every second ball, ran forwards and backwards, they did that better than us.

"They are the European champions and are well on the way to being Premier League champions. They were ruthless."

Updated: January 3, 2020 02:53 AM

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