If it’s true that familiarity breeds contempt it is perhaps understandable why Sadio Mane uncharacteristically lost his cool with Mohamed Salah a fortnight ago at Burnley.
Mane and Salah have formed two thirds of a devastating triumvirate alongside Roberto Firmino at Anfield since the latter’s arrival on Merseyside in June 2017 and the trio seem to have an almost telepathic understanding on the pitch.
Which is why there were a few raised eyebrows at Mane’s very public tantrum during the most routine of 3-0 wins at Turf Moor before the international break, with the rapid forward seemingly irate at Salah’s decision to shoot rather than tee him up for a second goal.
Manager Jurgen Klopp and captain Jordan Henderson were quick to shrug off the spat and Salah’s posting of a social-media video making light of their argument on Friday also suggested the incident was nothing more than a tiff between friends.
Still, the sight of Mane celebrating alongside his team-mate after a match-altering double in a come-from-behind 3-1 win over Newcastle United will certainly have eased any nagging doubts among Klopp and the Reds faithful.
With the matter now seemingly put to bed, Mane and the Reds – who are the first team in top-flight history to win 14 straight games scoring more than once in each victory – can reflect on some impressive home comforts as Newcastle suffered more Merseyside misery at Anfield.
The Reds pic.twitter.com/n2I6MpRnJL
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) September 14, 2019
MANE 50 UNBEATEN IN A REDS SHIRT AT ANFIELD
Mane is in his fourth season with Liverpool and incredibly he is still yet to lose a Premier League fixture at Anfield. Saturday’s fixture was his 50th at the ground in a Reds shirt and if you add in his one appearance at the stadium with Southampton he is unbeaten in 51 top-flight matches overall.
HOME GOALS MEAN HOME WINS FOR MANE
Perhaps just as impressive is the Senegal star’s record when scoring a home Premier League goal. Mane has scored in 35 home league fixtures in England and has now won 33 and drawn two of those games in which he has netted.
MORE MAGPIES WOE AT ANFIELD
Newcastle fans of a certain generation will not have even been born the last time their side last won a Premier League fixture at Anfield. The date was April 16 1994 and Andy Cole and Rob Lee were on target in a 2-0 victory. Since then it has been an unhappy hunting ground for Newcastle, who have now failed to win in 24 league visits to Anfield (L20, D4). Prior to this fixture, manager Steve Bruce had lost just four of 17 Premier League fixtures against Liverpool but he could do nothing to stop the rot.
IT’S RAINING GOALS
Mane and Liverpool’s second of the game was particularly significant insofar as it was a landmark 100th scored in matches with Newcastle in the Premier League. It marks just the third time a team has registered a century of strikes against a single opponent in the competition. Both Arsenal (107) and Manchester United (100) achieved the feat versus Everton, meaning Liverpool are the first team to reach the milestone against an opponent who have not been an ever present in the Premier League.
100 – Liverpool have now scored 100 goals against Newcastle in the Premier League; the third team to score 100+ against a single opponent in the competition, and first to do so against a side who hasn’t been ever-present (Arsenal 107 v Everton, Man Utd 100 v Everton). Century. pic.twitter.com/Hyfp7A039y
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) September 14, 2019