Sadio Mane scored twice as Liverpool overcame an early concession to continue its brilliant start to the Premier League season with a 3-1 win over Newcastle United at Anfield.
The Reds are the fourth team to win 14-straight top flight matches in English history.
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Liverpool is now 5-0, the only perfect team in the league, while Newcastle’s four points through five matches have them above the drop zone for now.
Three things we learned
- Soothed, soothed Sadio — Mane’s two goals came in very Mane fashion; The drama of last match week behind him, the Senegalese winger curled a powerful shot home for his first goal, and put off Dubravka with his pace and industry to produce an easier second. This will be exactly what Liverpool wanted: A quick cleansing of whatever residue was left by his very public displeasure with Mohamed Salah, although it is a little bit of an eyebrow raiser that they didn’t celebrate together much over the course of three goals.
- Almiron absent — There were not too many signs that Miguel Almiron’s Paraguay goal, his first in 27 appearances for club and country, snapped him out of his slump. Over 67 minutes, the ex-Atlanta United man continued his PL struggles: 64 percent passing, just one successful dribble, and 30 total touches.
- Firmino the Man — It’s not often a first half sub makes the opposition feel worse about its chances, but the game changed when Roberto Firmino entered the match for injured Divock Origi. He created a few beautiful moments, none better than the dizzying assist to Salah.
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Newcastle took a shock lead with a vicious counter attack, Christian Atsu getting behind the back line to collect a long ball before playing Willems into the box for a thunderous shot.
Mane made it 1-1 within moments, as Liverpool finally got its first shot on target. Andy Robertson fed Mane for a rocket of his own in the 28th minute, as Jonjo Shelvey could not catch up with the Senegalese star.
An Atsu giveaway sent the ball and Mane toward goal, and Martin Dubravka failed to collect the ball with a slide as Mane leapt over him. The striker was there to tap home the loose ball.
Georginio Wijnaldum nearly scored a sensational goal in the 49th minute when he used the outside of his boot to nearly writhe a shot around Dubravka.
Great work from Atsu was nearly redemptive for the score line, as Emil Krafth couldn’t settle the cross and could not take advantage of a slow-to-react Virgil Van Dijk.
The Reds could’ve put it to bed twice in the next five minutes, Firmino unable to head an Alexander-Arnold cross past Dubravka and Robertson missing wide from an acute angle.
Firmino’s assist on Salah’s goal was magnificent, and the match was over with 17 minutes to play.