Mane & Firmino shine as Liverpool see off Newcastle

first_imgSadio Mane continued his electrifying Liverpool form by scoring twice as the Reds came from behind to beat Newcastle United 3-1 and maintain their 100 per cent start to the season.The Senegalese was seen venting his frustration at Mohamed Salah – who got the Reds’ third – despite scoring against Burnley before the international break, though he seemed rather more relaxed as he took his domestic tally to four for the season.Jetro Willems opened the scoring early on with a stunning first Premier League goal, but Mane levelled 21 minutes later with a similarly impressive finish and then punished a Martin Dubravka howler to ensure Liverpool led at half-time. Article continues below Editors’ Picks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream Salah eventually finished Newcastle off 18 minutes from time, justifiably going it alone after criticism for apparent greediness at Burnley, as the Reds became the first Premier League team to win 14 games in a row while scoring more than one goal in each match.50 – Mohamed Salah has been directly involved in 50 Premier League goals for Liverpool at Anfield, scoring 36 and providing 14 assists (41st appearance). Unstoppable. pic.twitter.com/skduO9qYTS— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) September 14, 2019Visitors Newcastle took a shock lead after seven minutes, as Willems’ fierce strike darted into the top-right corner from the left side of the box.Jamaal Lascelles was fortunate to avoid conceding a penalty in the 26th minute when he appeared to pull Joel Matip back in the air.But Liverpool got a deserved equaliser two minutes later – Mane picking out the top-right corner after Andy Robertson’s cut-back.A throughball from Roberto Firmino – introduced for the injured Divock Origi – then forced Dubravka into action and the goalkeeper made a mess of it, allowing Mane an easy finish just before the break.Emil Krafth almost restored parity early in the second half, blasting over at the back post after Liverpool failed to pick him up from Joelinton’s cross.At the other end, Dubravka produced a string of saves to keep the Magpies in the contest, denying Trent Alexander-Arnold and Firmino twice, all from close range.There was no denying Salah, however, as the Egyptian burst past Fabian Schar and swept home.Liverpool were denied further goals in the latter stages, as Dubravka thwarted Alexander-Arnold from point-blank range and Mane had what would have been a hat-trick clincher disallowed for offside against Firmino. What does it mean? Reds still perfect despite warning signsWhatever happens the rest of the weekend, Liverpool will remain top of the Premier League as the only side with a 100 per cent record.However, Saturday’s win was by no means flawless and again the full-back areas looked somewhat exploitable, with Alexander-Arnold failing to stop Willems for the opener and Robertson caught out in the second half when Krafth blazed over.Sadio on the ManeThe form of Mane in recent months has been key for Liverpool and Saturday’s game displayed much of what he is good at, as his first goal combined fine movement and technique, while the second came about through his leading of the line and positional awareness, even if Dubravka gave him some help.34 – Sadio Mané has never lost a Premier League home game in which he’s found the net, winning 32 and drawing two of his previous 34 games when doing so. Unblemished. pic.twitter.com/PwKObTnJs2— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) September 14, 2019Almiron fails to inspireWhile Miguel Almiron would probably admit a 5-4-1 formation is not likely to get the best out of him, even with that in mind he disappointed, failing to hold on to the ball for long enough to offer any creative spark.Key Opta facts- Liverpool are the fourth team to win 14 consecutive English top-flight matches, after Arsenal (14, August 2002), Man City (15, August 2019) and Man City again (18, December 2017).- For the second consecutive season, Liverpool have won their opening five games of the Premier League campaign – the only previous two teams to do so in back-to-back seasons were Chelsea (2009-10/2010-11) and Man City (2015-16/2016-17).- Newcastle have lost 13 of their last 14 Premier League away games against “big six” opponents (W1), with three of those defeats coming at Anfield.- Liverpool have won each of their last five Premier League games at Anfield when they’ve conceded the opening goal, with three of those comeback victories coming in 2019 (4-3 v Crystal Palace, 4-2 v Burnley and 3-1 v Newcastle).- Andy Robertson has made 17 assists for Liverpool in the Premier League since the start of the 2017-18 season; the most of any defender in this period.- Newcastle’s Jetro Willems scored his first ever goal within the top five European leagues, in what was his 49th such appearance (three for Newcastle and 46 for Eintracht Frankfurt).What’s next?After Liverpool go to Napoli in the Champions League, they face a Premier League trip to Chelsea next Sunday. Newcastle host Brighton and Hove Albion the day before. read morelast_img

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