A first-half brace from Sadio Mane was enough for Liverpool to register their first Premier League win this season as they defeated high-flying Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 at Anfield.
Needing a win to catapult into the top four after Manchester United’s win over Watford had pushed the Reds to sixth spot, the home team began in fine fashion and threatened to open the scoring twice before Mane finally broke the deadlock in the 16th minute. The Senegal international, whose departure to AFCON coincided with Liverpool’s poor form, ran onto Georginio Wijnaldum’s pass and clipped a finish past Hugo Lloris. The former Southampton star doubled his tally a couple of minutes later when he pounced on a loose ball from close range after Lloris denied Adam Lallana and Roberto Firmino.
Mane was denied his first hat-trick for the Reds when his shot was diverted into the side-netting by the legs of Lloris before the France international palmed the winger’s shot from the resulting corner around the post. Mauricio Pochettino’s men improved after the half but the home team managed to hold on to their two goal lead to register a much-needed win.
The result means Liverpool are still unbeaten against fellow top-six sides and have taken 16 points from a possible 24. Meanwhile, Chelsea can open a 12-point lead at the top if they win against Burnley on Sunday.
Here is how Twitter reacted to the match:
— Premier League (@premierleague) February 11, 2017
Sadio Mane: Liverpool's best signing since Luis Suarez ? pic.twitter.com/cmKAUTDP1D
— Empire of the Kop (@empireofthekop) February 11, 2017
When you think you're finally out of sixth place then struggling Liverpool beat Spurs… ? pic.twitter.com/0QVvt68XDo
— B/R Football (@brfootball) February 11, 2017
Liverpool 2-0 Tottenham Hotspur?
Congratulations to Chelsea on winning their fifth Premier League title????? pic.twitter.com/G0shURsvAK
— CaughtOffside (@caughtoffside) February 11, 2017
— Luis Garcia (@LuchoGarcia14) February 11, 2017
Sadio Mane will get the plaudits & was the matchwinner. But today showed how important, the undervalued Gini Wijnaldum is to Liverpool ?
— Spion Kop (@TheKopHQ) February 11, 2017
Sadio Mane came back from the AFCON just to send Manchester United back to their 6th position. ? #LIVTOT
— Lord Bendtner (@LordBendtner) February 11, 2017
What Sadio Mane is doing to Ben Davies right now is the type of thing you watch in an incognito window with the volume muted
— Zito (@_Zeets) February 11, 2017