Sadio Mane scored a brace as Liverpool made it two wins out of two this season by beating 10-man Chelsea 2-0 in the Premier League at Stamford Bridge.
In the closing moments of a first half dominated by the Reds, Andreas Christensen denied Mane a clear goal scoring opportunity and was dismissed after the VAR overturned a yellow card into straight red card.
After the break Jürgen Klopp’s men quickly made their numerical advantage show on the scoreboard, with Mane heading in a first and pouncing on Kepa Arrizabalaga’s error for a second moments later.
Alisson Becker had to stop a Jorginho penalty 15 minutes from time to prevent any hope of a Chelsea comeback – and Liverpool eased home to maintain their winning start to 2020-21.
⭐️ Man of the Match, @LFC’s Sadio Mane
66 touches, 7 in opposition box
Completed 33/42 passes
Won 4 fouls (inc 🔴 Christensen foul)
3 shots, all on target
2 goals, has scored in 3 successive away PL apps for the 1st time pic.twitter.com/8gYZL5WxzE
— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) September 20, 2020
Liverpool were helped by Christensen’s moment of sheer panic that reduced Chelsea to 10 men right on the break – but they were well ahead of below par home side even before that crucial moment.
The champions dominated from the first whistle and it seemed only a matter of time before they scored, pinning Chelsea back in their own territory and probing for openings at will.
And when the breakthrough came, no-one deserved it more than Mane, now comfortable in world-class and willing to do the dirty work as well as apply the finishing touches.
Mane’s first goal was a superb header but in many ways he summed up what makes him the complete attacker with his second, reacting with fury at giving the ball away before chasing down Kepa.
The Senegal forward’s pace forced the error from a goalkeeper who does not necessarily need forcing into errors and effectively finished the contest with Liverpool’s second.
It was all so easy for Liverpool after that, Thiago easing his way in as a substitute although there will be a concern about yet another injury for captain Henderson, who went off at half-time.
“Obviously it was a top game, to be honest. It was a top game. Especially in the first half, we found it very difficult to create chances and I think when they got the red card, it made it easier. The second half, we created many chances and finally we scored two goals. I think today we deserved to win” The Sengal super star Mane said in the post match reaction