Liverpool 3-1 Newcastle United: Sadio Mane scores twice as leaders fight back

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By Tom Rostance
BBC Sport in Anfield
Premier League leaders Liverpool keep their 100% start to the year with a different dominant attacking screen and shrugged off an early scare to sweep.
Sadio Mane was their go-to man, scoring two in the first half Jetro Willems’ fine first target for Newcastle had awarded a shock early lead to Steve Bruce’s side.
Mohamed Salah added a third following the fracture, with the third member of Liverpool’s attacking trinity Roberto Firmino stealing the show with a great performance in the seat and providing two assists that were brilliant.
The Reds have now won 14 league matches in a row in a run that stretches back to a draw at Everton at March – that the combined third-best winning run in English top-flight history – and go five points clear at the top, with second-placed Manchester City playing in the evening game.
Newcastle never threatened to build on their shock lead – which came with their only shot – and couldn’t get near the winners for substantial periods of a single-player match.
They remain in place.
The spotlight was on Salah and Mane after their disagreement out time at Burnley.
However back on the front of home ground Liverpool were again all on the identical page and again proved the difference.
Firmino played an hour Brazil in Los Angeles in midweek at a game that ended at around 06:00 BST on Wednesday afternoon, and the plan was to give him a rest as Divock Origi.
But an accident to the Belgium striker meant the Brazil striker was released sooner than expected.
Mane had already equalised by that point, collecting a pass from Andrew Robertson and curling into the corner.
Salah distinguished with a pinch of the air for those paying attention.
Firmino slipped in Mane having a pass and subsequently slaughtered Christian Atsu. Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dubravka should have claimed it but pushed it back towards Mane to permit the Liverpool forward at Anfield using a tap-in because of his goal in his final 21 Premier League appearances.
Firmino was more notable, before setting up the previously quiet Salah with a lovely assist, putting on opportunities for his full-backs.
The Brazil participant dragged the ball backheeled it to the route of Salah, who did the remainder.
The record of 18 top-flight wins in a row of manchester City stays on the agenda for Liverpool – as does Chelsea’s record of nine wins in a row at the beginning of a Premier League season.
More to follow
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