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Liverpool stretch lead at top of table with Newcastle win

Liverpool have piled the pressure on defending champions Manchester City after they extended their lead over their Premier League title rivals with a comfortable 4-0 victory over Newcastle.

While Pep Guardiola’s side were slipping to third place after a second-successive surprise defeat – this time at Leicester – the Reds barely got out of second gear in dispatching the struggling visitors.

Dejan Lovren’s brilliant 11th-minute half-volley set the tone and after a soft penalty given for a foul on Mohamed Salah enabled the Egypt international to score his 15th of the season, Xherdan Shaqiri and Fabinho completed the rout.

City, whom Liverpool face at the Etihad Stadium on January 3, are now seven points off the pace with Tottenham now the nearest challengers at six behind.

Spurs continued their brilliant festive period with a 5-0 rout over Bournemouth that takes them above Manchester City.

It gave them an eighth Premier League win from the last nine games and keeps them firmly in the title race, still six points behind leaders Liverpool.