Liverpool secure Champions League football with Sadio Mane double against Crystal Palace

112
Liverpool secure Champions League football with Sadio Mane double against Crystal Palace

Liverpool secured third place in the Premier League and Champions League football with a 2-0 win over Crystal Palace at Anfield on Sunday.

While all eyes were on Mohamed Salah to see if he would take the season’s Golden Boot, it was Sadio Mane who brought Liverpool over the line with a goal in each half.

“If you had told me five weeks ago that we would finish third, I would think it is not possible,” Klopp said after the game.

“Credit to the boys I can’t believe how it worked out in the last few weeks. From outside you cannot understand it. In the hardest moments you can learn the most. We really stuck together all the time, no arguments.”

Liverpool dominated possession with over 66% in the first half and enjoyed the majority of shots on goal.

However, it took Mane until 36 minutes to tap the ball in from close range following a Roberto Firmino corner.

The goal marked Mane’s eighth straight goal against Palace and his brace on Sunday took his total goals against the side to 12.

Palace sought an equaliser in the second half but none materialised as Liverpool took advantage with a second Mane goal.

Salah, who went into the day tied on 22 goals with Harry Kane in the goalscoring charts, selflessly passed the ball off to Mane on the edge of the box who fired it home on 74 minutes.

Kane scored in Tottenham Hotspur’s game against Leicester City to take his total to 23 and win the Golden Boot over Salah.

The result means Palace manager Roy Hodgson finished his tenure with the club on a loss.

Hodgson took charge of Palace in September 2017 and recorded their best-ever Premier League points total of 49 in 2018-19.