Mohamed Salah was once again on sensational form as he bagged two goals off the bench as Liverpool cruised to victory over Stoke, yet fellow forward Sadio Mane capped off a fine display with the opening goal followed by an assist for Salah’s first.
The Senegal international set the pace of the game with some bright runs early on, and troubled Kurt Zouma down Stoke’s right-hand side with some terrific touches. The pacey winger held the ball up well as Alberto Moreno more often than not sped past him down the left, while also linking up well with forwards Dominic Solanke and Roberto Firmino.
Mane got his reward for his early pressure in the 17th minute as he picked up a pass from Solanke, before clipping the ball over Lee Grant in the Stoke goal with a fantastic finish. He perhaps could have doubled the lead towards the end of the first half, yet Mane’s clever goal allowed the Reds to take a somewhat undeserved lead into the break.
Heading into the second half and it was once again the tricky winger who constantly threatened the Stoke defence, with countless arrowing runs that conveyed his excellent turn of pace, creating the space for Moreno to run into with the ball, yet the Reds failed to make the most of their chances in front of goal.
The hugely open affair then burst into even more life with the introduction of Salah in the 67th minute, who displayed his positive relationship with Mane as the Senegal man delivered ten minutes later, providing an inch-perfect cross to the Egyptian who thumped in a searing volley to make it 2-0 to the away side.
Mane evidently tired as the game drew to a close, and the winger picked up a silly booking before being withdrawn by manager Jurgen Klopp for Jordan Henderson a few minutes from the final whistle, with the travelling Liverpool faithful appreciative of his fine display.
The ever-dangerous Mane will need to be on similar form as the Reds travel to Brighton this Saturday in another tricky fixture, before an equally difficult Champions League test at home to Spartak Moscow on Wednesday night.
Liverpool now sit fifth in the Premier League table after the convincing win at Stoke, a point ahead of Burnley in sixth and two points behind Arsenal in fourth. Mane and his fellow forwards must continue their excellent form should Liverpool aim to clinch a top-four spot in an incredibly competitive Premier League season once again.