Mohamed Salah scored one goal and set up the other as Liverpool extended their unbeaten Premier League run to a full year with a 2-0 victory over Sheffield United to restore their 13-point lead at the top of the table yesterday.

Salah opened the scoring in the fourth minute by finishing off a quick attack and then exchanged passes with Sadio Mane to set up his teammate for the second goal in the 64th.

With the game in the bag, coach Jurgen Klopp even had the luxury of handing 16-year-old Harvey Elliott his Premier League debut for the club — although it came so late, he did not touch the ball.

Liverpool haven't lost a league game in 364 days since a defeat to Manchester City that proved crucial in last year's title race, when they finished a point back in second place.

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But a first league title in 30 years is starting to look inevitable for Liverpool this year, after 19 wins from 20 games. Leicester are 13 points back in second but Liverpool also have a game in hand on their rivals. Their next league game is at Tottenham on January 11.

The only negative for Liverpool was Naby Keita's groin injury during the warm-up, reducing Klopp's options further for Monday's home third-round FA Cup derby against Everton.

Liverpool have played 33 matches this season, 11 of which have come in the past 30 days, and it is beginning to take its toll on the league leaders — who equalled the best start to a season by any top-flight team with their 19th victory in 20 games.

Keita joined defenders Joel Matip, Dejan Lovren and Nathaniel Clyne, midfielders Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Xherdan Shaqiri, Fabinho and forward Rhian Brewster on the sidelines after injuring himself in the pre-match warm-up.

"There was no party after the game," Klopp said. "It's really an intense period of the year, so it's not like somebody wants to go out tonight and have a few drinks, they're all happy when they're in bed — so am I, by the way."

- AP