Liverpool wasted little time in taking control of a match it had to win in the heat of the title race.

By Avi Creditor
April 26, 2019

Liverpool didn't waste any time in allaying any nerves with the Premier League title race entering its final stage.

Naby Keita scored Liverpool's fastest goal in the Premier League era, tallying 14 seconds into a 5-0 rout of last-place Huddersfield to give the Reds an early lead at Anfield on Friday.

Keita started the sequence by forcing a turnover off the opening possession, then received a pass from Mohamed Salah and rolled in the opener to give Liverpool a 1-0 lead. After having not scored at all in his maiden campaign with Liverpool, Keita now has three goals in his last six games in all competitions.

With Liverpool needing to win to keep the pressure on Manchester City and with a Champions League semifinal first leg vs. Barcelona on the horizon next week, Keita's goal surely was a welcome sight in the Kop, as Liverpool could use a match of low intensity given what is to come. Regardless of Liverpool's results, it can't win the Premier League unless Man City fails to win each of its last three games, but a win vs. the Terriers at least provisionally put the club back atop the table. That become a certainty when Sadio Mane and Salah followed Keita with goals of their own before halftime.

Mane added his second 66 minutes in, tying Salah atop the league's golden boot standings with his 20th goal of the season, only for Salah to score his 21st and retake sole possession in the 83rd minute, making it 5-0 and cutting substantially into Man City's goal-differential edge, which now sits at +3. That's vital should the right set of result wind up with the two sides ending the season even on points.

As for Keita, his goal wasn't quite the fastest of the Premier League this season, with Southampton's Shane Long setting that mark earlier this week. His goal after 7.69 seconds vs. Watford remains the fastest in league history.

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