Premier League

Nunez, Jota strike to send Liverpool top, Wood punishes Newcastle in Forest win

Liverpool's Uruguayan striker #09 Darwin Nunez (C) celebrates with teammates after scoring the opening goal of the English Premier League football match between Burnley and Liverpool on December 26, 2023.- AFP

Liverpool climbed to the top of the Premier League as Darwin Nunez ended his goal drought to inspire a 2-0 win against Burnley, while Rasmus Hojlund broke his own barren run to cap Manchester United’s thrilling fightback to beat Aston Villa 3-2 on Tuesday.

Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool took an early lead through Nunez at Turf Moor and held on despite wasting a host of chances.

Nunez’s eighth goal this season was his first for 12 games since he netted against Bournemouth in the League Cup on November 1.

Diogo Jota, back from a month’s injury absence, wrapped up the victory late on to leave Liverpool two points above second-placed Arsenal, who have a game in hand.

Arsenal can regain top spot with a victory at home to West Ham on Thursday.

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After successive draws with Manchester United and Arsenal before Christmas, this was an essential victory for Liverpool’s title ambitions.

On Liverpool being in pole position, Klopp said: “That’s nice. It will probably change and that’s no problem. It was not perfect but we are where we are.”

In other fixtures on Boxing Day, Chris Wood netted a hat-trick against his old club Newcastle to give Nuno Espirito Santo his first victory as Nottingham Forest boss, a 3-1 win over the magpies at St James’ Park.

Alexander Isak’s first-half penalty put Newcastle ahead before New Zealand striker Wood equalised late in the first half.

Wood struck twice more in the second half to hand former Tottenham manager Nuno his maiden victory with Forest in his second game in charge after replacing the sacked Steve Cooper.

It was Forest’s first win in eight games and only their second in their last 15 matches.

Racism row

Luton boss Rob Edwards said South Yorkshire Police are investigating an alleged racist comment towards Carlton Morris in his side’s 3-2 win at fellow strugglers Sheffield United.

Morris complained of a comment made from a Sheffield United fan late in the second half, which left him “pretty angry”, and the police have spoken to him.

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“There was an alleged racist comment, the police are dealing with that, they have spoken to Carlton and got his take on it,” Edwards said.

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