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Salah sees fresh start for Liverpool in derby win

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Salah sees fresh start for Liverpool in derby win

Mohamed Salah said Liverpool’s 2-0 win over Everton in the Merseyside derby on Monday is just the start of a revival for the Reds.

Salah scored for the first time in the Premier League since Boxing Day as Jurgen Klopp’s men snapped a four-game winless streak. Cody Gakpo then grabbed his first goal for the club in the second half.

A positive night for Liverpool was rounded off by the return of Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino from injury, while Virgil van Dijk made the bench after six weeks on the sidelines.

“It’s a huge win for us,” said Salah. “We had a perfect week to train and the players were so excited and we couldn’t wait for the game to turn everything around. Hopefully it was a start.”

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Liverpool are still nine points off the top four in ninth.

But that gap to fourth-placed Newcastle could be cut to six points when they travel to St. James’ Park next weekend.

That clash comes just days before Real Madrid’s trip to Anfield in the Champions League last 16 and Klopp will be hoping he has finally stumbled upon a solution to some of his side’s woes in time for another tilt at the European Cup.

“Tonight we were there and that has to be the sign now for us for what we have to do,” said Klopp. “The performance for the full 96 minutes was the best for a while.”

Liverpool’s optimism has to be put in the context of facing an Everton side with just one win in 12 games.

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That victory came last weekend in Sean Dyche’s first match in charge as league leaders Arsenal were shocked 1-0 at Goodison Park.

But Dyche was given a better understanding of the problems he has inherited with the Toffees languishing in the relegation zone.

Everton were still left to rue what might have been had James Tarkowski’s header gone in rather than come off the post just seconds before Liverpool took the lead.

Instead, the hosts collected the loose ball and freed Nunez down the left, who squared for Salah to prod into an unguarded net with Jordan Pickford caught in no man’s land.

Everton were undone by another swift counter-attack at the start of the second period.

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Andy Robertson charged through midfield and found Trent Alexander-Arnold, whose inviting ball across the face of the goal just required a simple finish from Gakpo.

The Dutch international will hope a derby goal proves the turning point after a difficult start to life in the Premier League following his January move from PSV Eindhoven.

“It was a great game from our side,” said Gakpo. “We really needed this.” 

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Sinisterra signs long-term deal with Bournemouth

Sinisterra signs long-term deal with Bournemouth

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Sinisterra signs long-term deal with Bournemouth

Luis Sinisterra has made his move to AFC Bournemouth from Leeds United permanent, signing a long-term deal with the Premier League team on Friday.

Bournemouth reportedly agreed to a £20 million fee with Championship (second-tier) side Leeds.

The 24-year-old Colombian had been impressive since joining Bournemouth in September on a loan spell from Leeds United, with three goals and three assists in his 17 appearances.

“I’m really happy to make this move. I’m excited to play for Bournemouth for the long term,” Sinisterra said. “I feel really comfortable here and the fans are really nice. When I meet them in the streets, they show the love.”

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Andoni Iraola’s team are 12th in the table on 27 points, but are winless in their last four games. They play Fulham at Craven Cottage on Saturday. 

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Son and Bissouma ready for Spurs game with Brighton

Son and Bissouma ready for Spurs game with Brighton

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Son and Bissouma ready for Spurs game with Brighton

 Son Heung-min and Yves Bissouma returned to Tottenham Hotspur this week from international duty, and both are ready for Spurs’ game with Brighton & Hove Albion, manager Ange Postecoglou said on Friday.

Son was involved with South Korea at the Asian Cup where they lost to Jordan in the semi-final on Tuesday while Bissouma’s Mali exited the Africa Cup of Nations last weekend at the quarter-final stage.

Spurs, fifth in the standings on 44 points, host Brighton on Saturday, with Roberto De Zerbi’s side in eighth place on 35 points.

“Sonny and Biss they trained well. Sonny did recovery on Thursday and trained today,” Postecoglou told a press conference.

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“He is very disappointed for Korea’s exit, at the semi-final stage you feel so close. But he gave everything for his nation, no-one could question his commitment.

“I spoke to him after and he was keen to be back, so no surprise he was back training straight away.”

The manager also played down concerns over Bissouma, after media reports that he had played through the illness with malaria at the tournament.

“No, that’s not right. He had a slight form of malaria before the tournament, but it cleared up by the start of tournament. He’s 100 percent now.”

Manor Solomon hasn’t played since September and Postecoglou confirmed that the winger had another procedure on his knee earlier this week and is still another two or three weeks away from a return.

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Another injury concern was Giovani Lo Celso who missed the last three league games for Spurs.

“Lo Celso trained all week but he’s missed a fair bit of football so we’ll see whether he needs another week or not,” the manager said.

“It’s probably, for want of a better word, the healthiest squad we’ve had for quite a while anyway.”

Spurs conceded an added-time equaliser at Everton last weekend and lost to a late Nathan Ake goal against Manchester City in the FA Cup, but conceding late is not something that overly concerns their manager.

“It’s disappointing to concede goals at any point. People will want to analyse it,” Postecoglou said.

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“I’m sorry but we’re going to be a team that will score or concede goals late. The way we want to close out games is by trying to score goals late on.

“One thing we’re not going to do is jump at shadows and try to fix the latest thing being analysed.” 

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Fils ends ‘great champion’ Gasquet’s 956 weeks in top 100

Fils ends ‘great champion’ Gasquet’s 956 weeks in top 100

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Fils ends 'great champion' Gasquet's 956 weeks in top 100

 Rising star Arthur Fils beat fellow Frenchman Richard Gasquet at the Auckland Classic on Tuesday to end the veteran’s run of more than 18 years in the world’s top 100.

The 19-year-old Fils cruised to a 6-3, 6-4 victory against the 37-year-old Gasquet, who had enjoyed a remarkable 956 consecutive weeks in the top 100, peaking at number seven in July 2007.

Gasquet was defending the Auckland title and points he won 12 months ago, so the first-round defeat will see him slide down from 76th in the world when new rankings are released next week.

Fils, with a booming serve that produced nine aces, broke at 2-2 in the first set and at 1-1 in the second and applauded Gasquet as he left the court.

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“He’s a great champion. He did an unbelievable career so I’m really happy to play on the court with him,” said Fils, who reached the quarter-finals of the Hong Kong Open last week.

“But it was a nice match for my part and I’m really happy.”

In other action, Canada’s Denis Shapovalov looked rusty in his first match since Wimbledon last year, losing Austria’s Sebastian Ofner 6-4, 6-2.

Roberto Bautista Agut was beaten by fellow Spaniard Roberto Carballes Baena 6-4, 6-4 and eighth seed Max Purcell of Australia overcame New Zealand’s 716th-ranked wildcard Kiranpal Pannu 6-4, 6-4.

The top four seeds, Ben Shelton, Cameron Norrie, Francisco Cerundolo and Felix Auger-Aliassime, all had first-round byes. 

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