​Liverpool have maintained their perfect start to the season thanks to Sadio Mané's man of the match performance in a 3-1 win over Newcastle United.


The Reds were slow to start and it was the visitors who broke the deadlock through loanee Jetro Willems, with the Dutchman getting some space on the edge of the box and firing a shot into the top corner with his weaker right foot.


Joël Matip saw a penalty shout waved away, but Sadio Mané got Liverpool back into the match with a carbon copy of Willems' opener, finding the top corner with a powerful curling effort from inside the penalty area.

Mané then put Liverpool in front with the easiest goal of his career, benefiting from a mistake from Martin Dúbravka to roll the ball into the back of an empty Newcastle net.


Georginio Wijnaldum and Andrew Robertson both came close to scoring a crucial third for Liverpool after the break, but Mohamed Salah eventually grabbed a goal to extend their lead and kill off any chance of a fightback from the visitors.


Mané had the ball in the back of the net once again but it was rightly chalked off for offside, with Liverpool then settling on their two-goal lead and seeing out the remainder of the match with comfort.


Liverpool


Key Talking Point


If Liverpool could have picked when they were going to concede against Newcastle United, then the chances are that they'd have chosen to go one goal behind in the opening six minutes.


But it wasn't conceding early that saw the crowd at Anfield turn a little sour throughout the opening 25 minutes, but rather Liverpool's slow start to the lunchtime kick-off left an awful lot to be desired.

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Mané's equaliser was vital to turning things around, but not just because it brought Liverpool back on level terms with Newcastle.


It gave the home fans an injection which saw them once again take up their place as Liverpool's 12th man, but most importantly it gave his teammates a much-needed kick up the backside to take control of the game and pick up another win.


 Player Ratings


Adrian (6); Alexander-Arnold (5), Matip (7), van Dijk (7), Robertson (7); Oxlade-Chamberlain (7), Fabinho (6), Wijnaldum (8); Salah (8), Mane (9*), Origi (6).


Substitutes: Firmino (8), Milner (6), Shaqiri (6).


Star Man


Mohamed Salah might have the mantle as Liverpool's best or most important player, but Mané is thriving just outside the spotlight on Merseyside.


His two goals has helped to extend his winning run at Anfield to 49 games for Liverpool, while a win during his time at Southampton has left Mané as the player with the longest 100% winning run at Liverpool's home stadium in Premier League history.


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It wasn't the perfect afternoon of football that fans at Anfield were hoping for, but Mané's ability to drag Liverpool almost single-handedly to three points will prove to be priceless in the long run as the Reds prepare for a busy fixture schedule after the international break.


Newcastle United


Key Talking Point


Steve Bruce's side went to Anfield with a clear plan of replicating their performance against Tottenham, and for the most part, Newcastle were able to do just that, but ultimately it was the difference in quality between their opposition which decided the final result on Saturday.

Jetro Willems,Fabian Scha

Travelling fans did at least have a moment to cheer when Jetro Willems opened his account for the club with a stunning opening goal, but it quickly became apparent that Newcastle were out of their depth against the European champions.


Although the signs at the start of the season were that the Magpies would be fighting the drop this season, they showed enough at Anfield (as they have all season) that retaining their status in the Premier League is far from just being a pipe dream. 


Player Ratings


Dubravka (6); Krafth (5), Schar (6), Lascelles (7), Dummett (5), Willems (8*); Atsu (5), Shelvey (7), Hayden (6), Almiron (7); Joelinton (5).


Substitutes: Manquillo (6), Muto (6), Fernandez (6).


Star Man


Far from being Newcastle's best player just because he scored a wonder goal, Jetro Willams put in one of his best performances over the last 12 months as a wing-back at Anfield.


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Liverpool's dangerous right side were kept quiet for almost the entirety of the match, something which fellow summer signing Emil Krafth couldn't replicate with Sadio Mané.


Looking Ahead


Liverpool break from Premier League action as they look to defend their Champions League crown, kicking off the group stages on the road to S.S.C. Napoli before travelling to Stamford Bridge next week.

Steve Bruce's Newcastle will look to get another three points on the board when they host Brighton & Hove Albion next week, but then face trips to Leicester and Chelsea either side of a match against Manchester United at St. James' Park.