Liverpool's Mohamed Salah vies for the ball with Aston Villa's John McGinn, right, during the English Premier League soccer match between Liverpool and Aston Villa at Anfield Stadium in Liverpool, England, Sunday, July 5, 2020 AP
Liverpool keep alive their bid to set a new Premier League points record as they beat Aston Villa 2-0, with Egypt's Mohamed Salah providing an assist for the recently-crowned champions.
Jurgen Klopp's side are hoping to break Manchester City's Premier League record of 100 points and second-half strikes from Sadio Mane and Curtis Jones ensured they still have a chance to shatter that mark.
Salah's compatriot Mahmoud Trezeguet was at the other end of the pitch, relentlessly pressing upfield in attack and tracking back to carry out his defensive duties. However, a toothless Villa side were still outplayed by Liverpool in the second half.
Back at Anfield for the first time since clinching the English title last week, Liverpool were lacklustre for long periods as they looked to bounce back from Thursday's 4-0 thrashing at Manchester City.
But Senegal winger Mane broke struggling Villa's stubborn resistance in the 71st minute, smashing Naby Keita's pass in off the underside of the crossbar from close range.
Mane's 20th goal in all competitions this season was followed by Jones' 89th-minute strike as the youngster side-footed home after a fine flick from Salah, who now has eight assists to his name.
Jones netted from 12 yards for his first league goal, just 24 hours after the promising midfielder signed a new contract.
Liverpool need 12 points from their remaining five games to surpass City's 100-point total from 2017-18.
Villa remain in the relegation zone, one point from safety as they battle to avoid an immediate return to the Championship.
Second-placed City visit Southampton in Sunday's late game.