Mane double keeps Liverpool perfect as Newcastle are beaten
Striker scores twice and Mohamed Salah also nets.
Sadio Mane struck twice as Liverpool came from behind to maintain their 100 per cent Premier League start with a 3-1 win over Newcastle.
Jetro Willems stunned Anfield by firing Steve Bruce’s side into an early with a brilliant strike but the Reds responded in style.
Mane netted twice before the interval and Mohamed Salah added the third after an exquisite piece of skill from the outstanding Roberto Firmino, who had started on the bench.
Victory was Liverpool’s fifth in an impressive start to the league season and was the perfect warm-up for the start of their Champions League defence at Napoli next week.
Liverpool dominated from the outset but boss Jurgen Klopp may be concerned about the early lapse that allowed the Magpies to take a seventh-minute lead.
The hosts had controlled most of the possession until then but were caught out as Christian Atsu controlled a long ball and played in Willems.
Nothing, however, should be taken away from Willems’ fine finish. The Dutchman, brought in on loan from Eintracht Frankfurt, cut inside Trent Alexander-Arnold and fired a powerful shot past Adrian into the top corner.
Liverpool responded well with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain shooting across goal and Alexander-Arnold having a dangerous cross cleared by Jamaal Lascelles as Divock Origi threatened.
The hosts wanted a penalty when Joel Matip claimed Lascelles had pulled him back but referee Andre Marriner gave nothing and VAR did not intervene.
Klopp looked unimpressed with that decision but was soon celebrating as Liverpool, now piling on the pressure, levelled in the 28th minute.
Mane took a great touch following an Andy Robertson cutback and clipped a superb shot over Martin Dubravka into the top corner.
The Reds suffered an injury blow when Origi was forced off in the 37th minute but that merely gave Klopp the chance to introduce Firmino, who he had hoped to rest ahead of Napoli.
The Brazlian was soon into the thick of the action and created Liverpool’s second five minutes before the break with a superb throughball for Mane.
Dubravka tried to intercept but Mane got the better of him and then tapped into the empty net.
Liverpool went in search of more goals after the break with Georginio Wijnaldum shooting narrowly over on the half-volley and Alexander-Arnold almost squeezing in a shot at the near post.
Emil Krafth spurned a good chance to equalise when he fired over from an Atsu cross but Robertson almost grabbed another for Liverpool with a close-range effort that was turned wide by Dubravka.
Salah also had an attempt blocked while Newcastle’s Fabian Schar was fortunate Mane managed to evade his reckless two-footed lunge.
Salah claimed Liverpool’s deserved third 18 minutes from time, although it owed much to sublime work from Firmino.
The substitute trapped a ball from Salah with his back to goal, flicked it away from a defender and then played the Egyptian in on goal with another clever touch. Salah raced through and finished comfortably.
That effectively ended the game and Liverpool eased home.
Mane thought he had claimed his hat-trick in the closing moments but a flag was raised for offside against Firmino.