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Sadio Mané: It’s Not Just About The Front Three

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The Liverpool #10 credited the whole team with the winning effort, reserving special praise for Xherdan Shaqiri

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Liverpool FC v Cardiff City - Premier League Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images

From boredom to frustration to elation, Liverpool supporters will have cycled through them all over the course of what ended up as a 4-1 victory for Jürgen Klopp’s men over Cardiff City to briefly rise to the top of the Premier League table.

A fairly sedate first half, in which Mohamed Salah scored his fifth league goal of the campaign with the only on target shot of the period for both teams amidst 85% Liverpool possession, gave way to a second half that somehow managed to produce three goals in the final 13 minutes, including the first the Reds have conceded at home since last season.

Sadio Mané continued his return to goalscoring form with a second period double while Salah chipped in with two assists and Xherdan Shaqiri opened his account with a well-taken finish.

The Senegalese wide man’s two goals helped make the scoreline reflect the dominance but was full of praise for his team after the match.

“Hopefully we’re going to keep going like that!” Mané said speaking to the team website. “It’s something that comes naturally because Mo and Bobby are great players and of course I’m happy to play alongside them.”

“But people always talk about the front three – but it’s the team, the work starts behind us. They make it easier, we are lucky boys and score all the time but all the team did their job.”

“I’m happy,” said 26-year-old. “We played very well even though it was a little bit tight in the second half after it went to 2-1.

“It’s part of football. But after that we controlled the game and created many chances. At the end we scored four goals so I think we deserved to win.

“The coach said yesterday it would be a very tough game. It’s normal, it’s the Premier League.

“We knew it would not be easy but we are Liverpool, we were at home and we always try to play the same passing game, try to do our best and win the games.”

Shaqiri came on late and helped put the game to bed with a vital third goal right as Cardiff pulled one back to make it a nervy 2-1. It was the Swiss international’s first competitive goal for the club to mark a rise in form that delighted his fellow attacker in Mané:

“Everybody is happy to have Shaqiri here. He is a top man and as a player he is fantastic,” he added.

“He is a great player; he has come and looked like he has been here for years. He’s going to help us score more and give assists.”

With Shaqiri potentially adding goals to the already vital creative dimension he provides to his side, Liverpool will continue to be a dangerous proposition as the campaign goes on.

The win means the Reds retake the league summit pending the result of Manchester City’s massive visit to Wembley to face Tottenham on Monday. and will hoping that the Londoners can give Pep Guardiola’s side