Liverpool 2-0 Chelsea: Mohamed Salah takes plaudits but Sadio Mane's efficient display just as crucial

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Goals from Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah helped Liverpool to a crucial 2-0 win over Chelsea on Sunday in the Premier League.

The three points took them back to the top of the table, one point ahead of Manchester City who have a game in hand.

Chelsea provided a good test at Anfield but Mane broke the deadlock six minutes into the second half before Salah doubled their advantage inside two minutes with a spectacular effort from range.

Eden Hazard hit the post and was denied by the keeper as Liverpool held on for victory.

Here, we take a closer look at Mane’s performance.

STATISTICS

Goals – 1

Shots – 3

Shots on target – 2

Touches – 58

Key passes – 2

Pass accuracy – 90.6 %

Crosses – 4

Fouled – 2

KEY MOMENTS

39th minute – CHANCE: Loftus-Cheek loses the ball and Liverpool counter with Salah squaring it for Mane inside the box. His whipped effort fizzes wide of the near post though.

51st minute – GOAL: Jordan Henderson hangs up a ball at the far post after some good work from Salah and Mane is on hand to bury in his header from close range.

88th minute – CHANCE: Virgil van Dijk launches a ball forward and Kepa Arrizabalaga is caught in two minds, allowing Mane to knock it past him. However, with the goal unmanned, the forward couldn’t keep the ball in play.

89th minute – SHOT: Mane does brilliantly to drive past two players before his powerful shot forces a good save from Kepa.

GOT RIGHT

Efficiency – Salah is never out of the action for long. Liverpool’s play is often conducted down his side and the Egyptian is not averse to firing a series of efforts at goal. Mane on the other hand is not exactly passive but certainly takes a more subtle approach. He identifies space and waits for the ball to find him in it.

He did that excellently against Chelsea as well and could’ve had more than his one goal as a result. He only had three shots but scored from one of them while two were on target. He didn’t try to take on several players like Salah but his passing was neat, tidy … efficient.

GOT WRONG

Tracking back – The Senegalese didn’t show as much enthusiasm as he could’ve when Chelsea attempted to break forward. Often the Blues found space down the right with Andrew Robertson caught up field. Mane showed little desire to track back and the hosts could easily have conceded from one of those transitions, Hazard certainly came close.

VERDICT

Salah will take the plaudits for that incredible goal and his energetic display but Mane was deserves credit as well for breaching a stubborn Chelsea defence when a house full Anfield was growing restless.

RATING: 7/10

All statistics are compiled using whoscored.com

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Pep salutes Man City's consistent excellence in win over Crystal Palace

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Pep Guardiola felt Manchester City passed the latest test of their title credentials with flying colours in the 3-1 win at Crystal Palace.

Selhurst Park has been a graveyard for title campaigns in the recent past, notably when Liverpool’s wheels came off in 2014 and City suffered a similar fate a year later.

But Raheem Sterling’s double and a late third from Gabriel Jesus kept City’s bid to retain their crown firmly on track.

“I’m so pleased,” said Guardiola. “The amount of games we have had – Brighton, and three days later the Champions League, and now here, and the way we played for 75 or 80 minutes was really good.

“The Premier League position is in our hands and we want to win all the games.

“The players showed me they would do it and I didn’t have any doubts about that.

“In two seasons we’ve got 83 points with five games left. Incredible numbers and it shows how consistent we are.”

Sterling should have fired them ahead early on only to sidefoot wide from six yards out after David Silva had cut the ball back from the byline.

But the England forward made no mistake when presented with his next opportunity, in the 15th minute, after Kevin De Bruyne’s through-ball dissected the Palace defence.

Sterling rolled in a second just after the hour mark from Leroy Sane’s cross to take his tally for the season to 21.

Luka Milivojevic gave Palace hope with a free-kick nine minutes from time, but substitute Jesus wrapped a ninth straight win for City in stoppage time.
“The most important action in our game is the next one,” added Guardiola.

“Sometimes you miss, you have to forget it and so Raheem made an incredible finish from an outstanding pass from Kevin. It’s important how you react. That’s why he helped us win the game.”

City host Tottenham on Wednesday looking to overturn the first-leg deficit in their Champions League quarter-final and keep their quadruple dream alive.
Palace boss Roy Hodgson has no doubt they can pull off an unprecedented four-trophy haul.

“I think they look in very good shape,” he said. “They came here with a fully-fit squad and they paid us the respect of putting a very strong team out. That doesn’t make the task any easier.

“I can only say what everyone else knows. They are a very good team and will take some beating in any competition they play.

“You do your very best, but it’s difficult to get the balance right, to make sure you don’t get torn apart tactically, but to put them under enough pressure to concern them.

“You can complain about various aspects of your own play, but the bottom line is, if they hadn’t scored the goals in the way they did, they’d have scored them another way.”

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Stop Eden Hazard and Jorginho, stop Chelsea: a tactical preview for defining Liverpool clash

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Jurgen Klopp will be weighing his options against Chelsea.

Liverpool face Chelsea on Sunday in a game that could define this season’s Premier League title race as they remain locked in a neck-and-neck battle with Man City.

Chelsea are the toughest opponent Jurgen Klopp’s side have to face in their title run-in.

Here’s a look at the tactics Klopp could use in this pivotal clash. Check out our analysis of Chelsea’s tactics here.

FABINHO TO MAN-MARK HAZARD

Fabinho’s greatest asset is the way he can control the game in midfield, with his passing and vision. But in a game where Liverpool are likely to have less possession, the Brazilian may have a different role on Sunday.

Someone who has been trusted at centre-back and fullback earlier in his career can be relied upon for his defensive ability. Perhaps Klopp could ask Fabinho to put those skills to use against Eden Hazard?

Hazard has struggled to shrug off the attentions of a man-marker before, most famously on two separate occasions against Manchester United, so Klopp would know it’s a strategy that works.

Stopping Hazard is the key to stopping Chelsea given the Belgian’s current form. It would be a tough task for Fabinho, but potentially, a match-winning one.

1304 liverpool v chelsea tactics

LIVERPOOL PRESS COULD KNOCK JORGINHO OFF HIS STRIDE

The other key to knocking Chelsea off their stride is to limit the influence of midfielder Jorginho. Plenty of teams this season have prevented the Blues from being at their best by paying close attention to the Italian as he tries to dictate the course of the game.

Roberto Firmino usually leads the Liverpool press with aplomb, and when he isn’t haranguing Chelsea’s defenders he’ll no doubt be looking to put Jorginho under pressure. With some help from Liverpool’s midfielders – Jordan Henderson’s advanced role will bring him in close proximity to his Chelsea counterpart – Firmino could help stop the Blues’ attacks at source.

Between that, and paying close attention to Hazard, Liverpool could have a winning formula defensively – while their attackers run riot when they get the chance.

1304 liverpool v chelsea tactics2

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