Liverpool moved to the top of the Premier League as Sadio Mane scored twice in a routine win over Cardiff City on Saturday, reports Reuters.
Mane scored twice and Mohamed Salah continued his return to form as Liverpool eased to a 4-1 win to move top of the Premier League at Anfield.
Liverpool opened up a three-point lead at the Premier League summit with no other team in the top five in action until later this weekend.
Mohamed Salah gave the Reds an early lead, moving on to seven goals for the season following his midweek brace against Red Star Belgrade.
Mane scored two fine second-half goals while Salah ended any suggestion that he was suffering from a ‘goal drought’ with his fourth strike in three matches to go alongside two assists.
Xherdan Shaqiri was also on target for the hosts while Callum Paterson netted for a struggling Cardiff side who remain 17th with five points from their opening 10 matches.
Liverpool, still unbeaten and winners of eight of their 10 league matches, have 26 points — three clear of champions Manchester City who will reclaim top spot if they beat fifth-placed Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley on Monday.
After Salah poked Liverpool ahead in the 10th minute, the Reds enjoyed 86 percent possession and had 12 shots in a commanding first half, the only surprise being that Juergen Klopp’s side did not add a second goal before the break.
It took until the 66th minute for Liverpool to add a second, with Mane wriggling through a couple of challenges before unleashing a fierce drive into the corner with his left foot.
Cardiff City set up a potentially nervy finish when Paterson scored in the 77th, but Shaqiri and Mane converted Salah passes within three minutes of each other to seal victory.
Cardiff showed a touch more ambition after half-time, although Mane finished emphatically in the 65th minute before Callum Paterson became the first visiting player to score at Anfield in the Premier League since February.
Xherdan Shaqiri settled any nerves by crowning a lively cameo with a crisp 84th-minute finish and Mane added further gloss, matching Salah’s haul of seven for the season and putting Jurgen Klopp’s unbeaten side three points clear of champions Manchester City, who take on Tottenham on Monday.
Cardiff’s resistance lasted until the 10th minute when Salah backheeled to Trent Alexander-Arnold and peeled off on a run into the box. From that point, chaos ensued, with Sean Morrison and Sol Bamba unable to clear the cross before Salah followed up to slam home after Mane’s shot was blocked.
Virgil van Dijk’s header bounced to safety off the post as Cardiff continued to wobble but their massed defensive ranks managed to reach the interval with no further damage – Morrison clearing off the line from the recalled Adam Lallana in the half’s final act.
Cardiff’s faint threats of revival were snuffed out when Mane, who appeared to have bundled his way down a blind alley, crashed a venomous left-footed strike past Neil Etheridge from 16 yards.
Just as the match looked to be meandering to a close, Paterson prodded in Junior Hoilett’s low right-wing cross at the near post.
An entirely different challenge awaits Liverpool at in-form Arsenal next weekend, while the onus will be on Cardiff to emerge from their own half with greater frequency when they host Leicester City.
Liverpool’s two heroes Sadio Mane (L) and Mohamed Salah join others in celebration against Cardiff City at Anfield, Liverpool on Saturday.