3 and easy

Liverpool win comfortably in Middlesbrough after Klopp drops under-fire 'keeper Karius

Adam Lallana scored twice and provided the assist for Divock Origi.

Derby County v Liverpool - EFL Cup - Third Round - iPro Stadium PA Wire / PA Images Karius is among the substitutes. PA Wire / PA Images / PA Images

LIVERPOOL MOVED ABOVE Arsenal on goal difference to take second place with a 3- 0 win away to Middlesbrough tonight.

Having seen his side beaten 4-3 at Bournemouth and then held to a 2-2 draw by West Ham United, Reds boss Jurgen Klopp dropped goalkeeper Lorus Karius for Simon Mignolet. And the Belgian kept a clean sheet on his return to the side as Liverpool won at the Riverside Stadium for the first time in 14 years to remain six points behind leaders Chelsea.

In truth Mignolet had little to do in securing a comfortable shut-out against the division’s lowest scorers, who remain in relegation danger.

Lallana broke the deadlock in the 29th minute as the hosts were stretched to breaking point by Nathaniel Clyne.

Brazilian defender Fabio gave the England full-back too much space, and when his cross made it all the way to the back post, there was Lallana arriving ahead of his marker Adam Forshaw to head beyond Victor Valdes.

Sadio Mane was lucky to escape a booking for an early dive as he looked to earn a penalty under challenge from Adam Clayton.

Middlesbrough v Liverpool - Premier League - Riverside Stadium Richard Sellers Richard Sellers

The Liverpool midfielder showed the more positive side of his game two minutes before the break as he almost doubled his side’s lead.

Again Boro were caught out by a pacy counter-attack, this time down the left. Mane burst through to let fly from inside the area and his low shot beat Valdes, only to hit the foot of the post.

Origi was the first to react to the rebound, and his raking shot grazed the side-netting with Valdes scrambling across goal to cover.

It proved to be a similar pattern after the break, as Valdes saved at his near post to deny the increasingly influential Mane.

Middlesbrough defender Ben Gibson looked to use his arm to block the Senegal midfielder’s shot soon after, but referee Jon Moss was unmoved as the Reds closed in on the decisive second goal.

It arrived on the hour as Georginio Wijnaldum released Lallana into the box for the midfielder’s inviting low cross to be swept home from close range by Origi, whose prolific scoring run is the best by a Liverpool player since Daniel Sturridge scored in eight consecutive matches at the outset of 2014.

Origi returned the favour in the 69th minute for Lallana’s ninth goal of the season for club and country, the former Southampton trainee securing the points by firing home the forward’s cross at the far post with Middlesbrough again caught short by a swift counter.

The42 is on Instagram! Tap the button below on your phone to follow us!

Irish full-back Matt Doherty scored with a super long-range effort last night

‘I’ve no hard feelings’ – Duffy reacts to frosty reception on return to Ewood Park with first Brighton goal

Your Voice
Readers Comments
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.