If it's true that familiarity breeds contempt it is perhaps understandable why Sadio Mane uncharacteristically lost his cool with Mohamed Salah a fortnight ago at Burnley.

Mane and Salah have formed two thirds of a devastating triumvirate alongside Roberto Firmino at Anfield since the latter's arrival on Merseyside in June 2017 and the trio seem to have an almost telepathic understanding on the pitch.

Which is why there were a few raised eyebrows at Mane's very public tantrum during the most routine of 3-0 wins at Turf Moor before the international break, with the rapid forward seemingly irate at Salah's decision to shoot rather than tee him up for a second goal.

Manager Jurgen Klopp and captain Jordan Henderson were quick to shrug off the spat and Salah's posting of a social-media video making light of their argument on Friday also suggested the incident was nothing more than a tiff between friends.

Still, the sight of Mane celebrating alongside his team-mate after a match-altering double in a come-from-behind 3-1 win over Newcastle United will certainly have eased any nagging doubts among Klopp and the Reds faithful.

With the matter now seemingly put to bed, Mane and the Reds - who are the first team in top-flight history to win 14 straight games scoring more than once in each victory - can reflect on some impressive home comforts as Newcastle suffered more Merseyside misery at Anfield.


MANE 50 UNBEATEN IN A REDS SHIRT AT ANFIELD

Mane is in his fourth season with Liverpool and incredibly he is still yet to lose a Premier League fixture at Anfield. Saturday's fixture was his 50th at the ground in a Reds shirt and if you add in his one appearance at the stadium with Southampton he is unbeaten in 51 top-flight matches overall.

HOME GOALS MEAN HOME WINS FOR MANE

Perhaps just as impressive is the Senegal star's record when scoring a home Premier League goal. Mane has scored in 35 home league fixtures in England and has now won 33 and drawn two of those games in which he has netted.

MORE MAGPIES WOE AT ANFIELD

Newcastle fans of a certain generation will not have even been born the last time their side last won a Premier League fixture at Anfield. The date was April 16 1994 and Andy Cole and Rob Lee were on target in a 2-0 victory. Since then it has been an unhappy hunting ground for Newcastle, who have now failed to win in 24 league visits to Anfield (L20, D4). Prior to this fixture, manager Steve Bruce had lost just four of 17 Premier League fixtures against Liverpool but he could do nothing to stop the rot.

IT'S RAINING GOALS

Mane and Liverpool's second of the game was particularly significant insofar as it was a landmark 100th scored in matches with Newcastle in the Premier League. It marks just the third time a team has registered a century of strikes against a single opponent in the competition. Both Arsenal (107) and Manchester United (100) achieved the feat versus Everton, meaning Liverpool are the first team to reach the milestone against an opponent who have not been an ever present in the Premier League.

Sadio Mane continued his electrifying Liverpool form by scoring twice as the Reds came from behind to beat Newcastle United 3-1 and maintain their 100 per cent start to the season.

The Senegalese was seen venting his frustration at Mohamed Salah – who got the Reds' third – despite scoring against Burnley before the international break, though he seemed rather more relaxed as he took his domestic tally to four for the season.

Jetro Willems opened the scoring early on with a stunning first Premier League goal, but Mane levelled 21 minutes later with a similarly impressive finish and then punished a Martin Dubravka howler to ensure Liverpool led at half-time.

Salah eventually finished Newcastle off 18 minutes from time, justifiably going it alone after criticism for apparent greediness at Burnley, as the Reds became the first Premier League team to win 14 games in a row while scoring more than one goal in each match.

Visitors Newcastle took a shock lead after seven minutes, as Willems' fierce strike darted into the top-right corner from the left side of the box.

Jamaal Lascelles was fortunate to avoid conceding a penalty in the 26th minute when he appeared to pull Joel Matip back in the air.

But Liverpool got a deserved equaliser two minutes later – Mane picking out the top-right corner after Andy Robertson's cut-back.

A throughball from Roberto Firmino – introduced for the injured Divock Origi – then forced Dubravka into action and the goalkeeper made a mess of it, allowing Mane an easy finish just before the break.

Emil Krafth almost restored parity early in the second half, blasting over at the back post after Liverpool failed to pick him up from Joelinton's cross.

At the other end, Dubravka produced a string of saves to keep the Magpies in the contest, denying Trent Alexander-Arnold and Firmino twice, all from close range.

There was no denying Salah, however, as the Egyptian burst past Fabian Schar and swept home.

Liverpool were denied further goals in the latter stages, as Dubravka thwarted Alexander-Arnold from point-blank range and Mane had what would have been a hat-trick clincher disallowed for offside against Firmino.
 

What does it mean? Reds still perfect despite warning signs

Whatever happens the rest of the weekend, Liverpool will remain top of the Premier League as the only side with a 100 per cent record.

However, Saturday's win was by no means flawless and again the full-back areas looked somewhat exploitable, with Alexander-Arnold failing to stop Willems for the opener and Robertson caught out in the second half when Krafth blazed over.


Sadio on the Mane

The form of Mane in recent months has been key for Liverpool and Saturday's game displayed much of what he is good at, as his first goal combined fine movement and technique, while the second came about through his leading of the line and positional awareness, even if Dubravka gave him some help.


Almiron fails to inspire

While Miguel Almiron would probably admit a 5-4-1 formation is not likely to get the best out of him, even with that in mind he disappointed, failing to hold on to the ball for long enough to offer any creative spark.


What's next?

After Liverpool go to Napoli in the Champions League, they face a Premier League trip to Chelsea next Sunday. Newcastle host Brighton and Hove Albion the day before.

Liverpool chalked up a Premier League landmark against Newcastle United with their second goal in Saturday's encounter at Anfield.

Sadio Mane tapped in his second of the match to make it 2-1 after a Martin Dubravka error shortly before the break on Merseyside.

It marked the 100th goal Liverpool have scored against Newcastle in the Premier League, becoming just the third team to rack up a century of strikes against a single opponent in the competition.

Arsenal (107) and Manchester United (100) both achieved the feat against Everton, meaning Liverpool are the first side to reach the milestone number against a team that has not been ever present in the Premier League.

Newcastle have not won a top-flight fixture against Liverpool at Anfield since April 16, 1994 and were needing a turnaround to alter that fact.

Roberto Firmino will start Liverpool's visit of Newcastle United on the bench after playing twice on international duty, giving Divock Origi the chance to impress.

Firmino started both of Brazil's international friendlies, against Colombia and Peru, in the past week, playing a total of 146 minutes across the two outings in Miami and Los Angeles.

Given Brazil's 1-0 defeat to Peru took place only a little over three days ago, Jurgen Klopp has opted to keep him in reserve.

The only other change to the side that beat Burnley 3-0 before the international break sees Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain come in for Jordan Henderson in midfield.

Klopp's decision to rest Firmino is made even less surprising by the fact the Reds begin their Champions League defence away to Napoli on Tuesday.

"Of course, we have to think about these things," Klopp told BT Sport. "Hendo [Henderson] is ready, Bobby [Firmino] is probably ready, but it's not about being ready – it's a bigger picture and we have to think about that.

"We could have made more changes, but we need the rhythm as well and it makes not too much sense. A lot of games are coming up.

"We really want to have the best starting line-up we can have for the specific opponent and that's what we thought is the right one."

Former Red Jonjo Shelvey starts in midfield for Newcastle, who will be hoping to stop Liverpool's 100 per cent start to the season.

Mohamed Salah posted an incredible video to dismiss suggestions he had fallen out with Liverpool team-mate Sadio Mane.

Mane reacted angrily after being substituted during Liverpool's 3-0 win over Burnley on August 31, supposedly because Salah had failed to pass to him for a scoring opportunity.

However, the Egypt international moved to play down any supposed animosity between the star forwards.

After a video of two toddlers running to one another and hugging went viral, Salah tweeted it with his and Mane's heads superimposed on the children and manager Jurgen Klopp also walking down the street smiling.

With Liverpool returning to action against Newcastle United on Saturday, Salah's video seemed perfectly timed for the Premier League leaders.

Jurgen Klopp believes the "sensational" rapport between Liverpool's players will go along way to deterring them from seeking new opportunities elsewhere.

Liverpool opted to remain quiet during the close-season transfer market as they successfully focused on keeping together the core of the side that won the Champions League.

LaLiga giants Real Madrid have been intermittently linked to forwards Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane but the latter, scorer of two goals this term, recently gave an interview in which he spoke of being entirely happy with the Reds.

Klopp said: "First and foremost we have to make sure it stays like this, that we are all like this with each other.

"We have a wonderful atmosphere inside the group, a sensational atmosphere at Melwood, we all know the atmosphere we have at Anfield.

"No matter where we go in the world people are happy to see us, at least our supporters are. That's absolutely special but we worked hard for that and we have to keep that. How can we keep that? Focus on the next step, trust the next step, improve, try to fight as much as you can, run as far as you can, jump as high as you can, all that stuff.

"That's what we have to do, then it can stay like this. It's nice. This club is wonderful, it was always wonderful, just the atmosphere was not always like this because of different things.

"Now we have quite a good basis and we have to use it and improve it, and then the boys have no reason to leave.

"If they look left and right and see the quality players they have in the dressing room and, on top of that, they like each other, it helps a lot. It's not the most important thing, but it helps a lot.

"They want to use the opportunity the club gave this team and I'm happy about that, obviously."

Liverpool won each of their opening four Premier League games before the international break and are now preparing to entertain Newcastle United at Anfield on Saturday.

Avoiding defeat would extend the club's unbeaten home run to 43 league games.

Klopp asked his players to forget about the streak and instead focus on replicating the levels they reached in last month's 3-1 victory over Arsenal.

"Each team could have [beaten us] but in most of the games we were better and deserve the win or three points or draw," the German said.

"So that's good, but all I'm concerned about really is how can we be again in a similar or a better mood or shape than we were against Arsenal because that was, attitude-wise, a really high level, the highest level to be honest.

"That's what we have to do again, not worry about what happened in the last two and a half years."

Naby Keita is close to returning for Liverpool but Jurgen Klopp is unsure when Alisson will be ready to replace Adrian in goal.

Alisson has been out of action since he suffered a calf injury in the Reds' opening 4-1 Premier League win over Norwich City in August.

Klopp initially indicated the European champions are expected to be without the Brazil international for the "next few weeks".

Speaking ahead of Saturday's home Premier League game against Newcastle United, Klopp issued an update on Alisson and midfielder Keita.

"Funnily enough, we had lunch again so he looked good," Klopp told reporters of Alisson's progress.

"He's improving but as normal we cannot put any pressure on it. It was a really serious injury in the calf and it is now much better of course.

"That's good for us, good for him, but we don't know exactly. The target was always after the next international break he could be ready, but we don't know.

"That's no pressure on it. Hopefully everything will be fine for the rest of the season, that's the plan.

"Naby is close, much closer than Ali. I think he could be in training when we come back from Napoli next week [in the Champions League].

"Clyney [Nathaniel Clyne] and [teenage striker] Paul Glatzel are obviously far away still but doing big steps. It looks quite okay at the moment."

Liverpool are top of the Premier League table having taken maximum points from their first four games of the season before the international break, a run that saw Klopp claim the August manager of the month award.

Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane were among the Reds stars given a break from international duty, which was welcomed by Klopp.

"It was perfect for the boys who didn't have to go," Klopp added. "There's always that challenge.

"I'm really happy boys being named for their national team, it's really nice, a big honour and all that stuff but I've said it 500 times - if you see the players who didn't have to go this time, for different reasons, everything is different.

"It's in a very intense period to have five or six days off. They train, they always train, but they don't have to be here and we do proper football sessions because usually we only have three players here and it makes no sense, this time we could have had five.

"Could have trained but it still makes no sense - then Sadio and Mo would not have had the time off they needed. It's really tough always to have two games when we speak about the international break, then they have another week with two games which is not easy.

"But we can't change that so we don't think too much about it. They are refreshed, that's how it is, hopefully we can use that."

Norwich City striker Teemu Pukki has won the Premier League Player of the Month award for August following a flying start to the new season.

The former Celtic flop scored five times in Norwich's first three games on returning to the top flight, including a hat-trick in the 3-1 win over Newcastle United.

His superb form continued over the international break with two more goals for Finland in the Euro 2020 qualifiers against Greece and Italy.

Pukki opened his Premier League account with a consolation strike in a 4-1 loss to Liverpool, who have compiled a perfect record after four games.

Reds boss Jurgen Klopp scooped the Manager of the Month award for leading the European champions to victory over the Canaries and defeats of Southampton, Arsenal and Burnley.

Liverpool face Newcastle on Saturday as Norwich entertain champions Manchester City.

Dani Ceballos has admitted to being left in awe of Liverpool's high-pressing prowess following Arsenal's suffocating 3-1 defeat at Anfield in August.

Mohamed Salah scored twice and Joel Matip once when the Gunners, previously unbeaten, travelled to Merseyside for their third match of the new Premier League season.

Spain international Ceballos lasted only an hour but the European champions made a big impression on the midfielder, who is on loan at Arsenal from Real Madrid.

"I've never seen anything like what I saw at Anfield," Ceballos told the Guardian.

"I haven't seen a team that plays better, that presses like them, the way the fans carry them along.

“They take the air from you. You spend so much time defending and when you want to do something with the ball, when you want to breathe, they're back on top of you. They're very well-drilled."

Ceballos was dropped to the bench for Arsenal's next match, the 2-2 draw against Tottenham, but sliding out of the starting XI did nothing to dent his enthusiasm for life in north London.

"I love the city, I love the Premier League and love Arsenal," he said.

"I'm just really, really happy to be part of this great club. I've hardly noticed any difference in size between Real Madrid and Arsenal. And the fans are very passionate, they love the players."

Ceballos believes Arsenal's front three can propel them to success, saluting the "direct" qualities of Nicolas Pepe and describing Alexandre Lacazette as "the best player".

"You can compare [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang to Cristiano [Ronaldo] when he was at Madrid in the sense that he plays close to the goal, he lives for scoring," Ceballos added.

Arrigo Sacchi believes the Premier League is enjoying a "golden age" of coaching with Pep Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp and Mauricio Pochettino.

Former AC Milan boss Sacchi, who won the European Cup in 1989 and 1990 with the Rossoneri, is seen as one of football's great innovators, yet he is watching English football with great admiration for the top managers.

Guardiola has guided Manchester City to consecutive Premier League titles, winning a treble last season, while Klopp's Liverpool defeated Pochettino's Tottenham in the 2018-19 Champions League final.

Sacchi told the Daily Mail: "[Guardiola, Klopp and Pochettino are] my favourites and all three have the same philosophical system, even though they are very different.

"England has a crazy, brilliant championship. It is experiencing a golden age."

The Italian, now 73, also drew comparisons between City, Liverpool and his great Milan side.

"Their football is similar to mine and I really appreciate their values, culture and mentality," Sacchi said. "My Milan team innovated, the teams of Guardiola and Klopp continue to innovate.

"They think like me. We have the duty to make the public enjoy football, to be excited by it. Making great football is more difficult than talking about it.

"I like the desire they have to dominate. Football must be domination and beauty, music and culture.

"I enjoy watching them. The problem in the Premier League is that they play too often and there is too much competition. Perhaps this is why the [England] national team never achieves great results."

Virgil van Dijk should not be considered better than Lionel Messi even if he does win the Ballon d'Or, according to former Netherlands star Rafael van der Vaart.

Liverpool star Van Dijk is among the favourites for the world's top individual prizes after an outstanding 2019, helping the Reds to win the Champions League last season in Madrid.

If he was to take home the gong, Van Dijk would be the first defender to win the Ballon d'Or since Italy's World Cup-winning captain Fabio Cannavaro in 2006.

But Van der Vaart, Van Dijk's countryman, claims a defender's importance to his team can see them rewarded for an outstanding year even if they do not match up to five-time winner Messi.

Asked if a defender could win the coveted award, Van der Vaart told reporters: "Yeah, of course. Why not?

"You can't compare players. If you choose a defender, it doesn't mean he is better than Messi. You have to see what he wins, how important he is for his own team. We will see what happens."

Netherlands have two of European football's foremost centre-backs, with Matthijs de Ligt having left Ajax for Juventus in the close season.

The 20-year-old endured a tough Bianconeri debut in a 4-3 win over Napoli, but Van der Vaart expects him to prove his worth.

"He could have played somewhere else - Bayern Munich or maybe for Barcelona - and now he's had a difficult start at Juventus," the former Real Madrid midfielder said.

"It's not easy - [Giorgio] Chiellini is injured now, it's going to be difficult for him, but he has so much talent.

"He also played two games for the national team and was by far the best man on the pitch [in the past week]. He's a great talent."

And Van der Vaart is hopeful of a bright future for Netherlands under head coach Ronald Koeman.

He added: "We are lucky that we have so many good talents at the moment, with De Ligt, [Frenkie] De Jong, Van Dijk, some special players.

"[Koeman] is a guy who brought stability to the team. You can see everyone likes to play for Netherlands again and, for a long time, it was not like that."

Manchester City remain favourites to win the Premier League ahead of Liverpool, according to Jamie Carragher.

Liverpool have made a perfect start to the league campaign, winning their opening four matches to hold a two-point lead at the top early in the season.

Jurgen Klopp's men pushed City all the way last season before Pep Guardiola's side defended their title.

Carragher, who won the Champions League during a stellar career at Liverpool, believes City are still favourites.

"I think it's a bit early yet. I think we've got to probably wait until Christmas," he said on Wednesday.

"I do feel around about Christmas time Liverpool and City will have a substantial gap and it looks like there's a little bit of a gap at this moment.

"But I still think City are favourites and are the best team in the Premier League at this moment because they won the Premier League and they proved that last season.

"So I think it's still on Liverpool to overtake City but they're more than capable."

Liverpool (12 points) and Manchester City (10) are ahead of Leicester City (eight) through four games.

Manchester City make the trip to Norwich City on Saturday, while Liverpool host Newcastle United on the same day.

Alisson is making steady progress as he continues his recovery from a calf injury, according to Liverpool's goalkeeping coach.

The Brazil international had to be substituted during the opening fixture of the Premier League season against Norwich City, which Jurgen Klopp's men won 4-1.

Adrian has since deputised for the Reds, who have a 100 per cent record and are top of the table, two points clear of champions Manchester City, after four rounds of games.

The international break has given Alisson time to work on his fitness but John Achterberg indicated a return to action may not be imminent.

"In the last few days he has been out on the pitch to do some catching and footwork, as well as small passing drills," he told the Mirror.

"He has made steady progress. It needs time and we cannot look too far ahead, so we take each day as it comes, see how he feels, and then make progress from that.

"Ali has been working with Dave [Rydings, rehabilitation fitness coach] in the gym a lot to improve the strength and try to keep the fitness levels up."

Liverpool are at home to Newcastle United on Saturday.

 

Carlo Ancelotti launched a searing attack on the local council over the state of Napoli's Stadio San Paolo, claiming the ground's redevelopment has left his players with inadequate dressing room facilities.

After playing their first two games of the season away from home, Napoli are scheduled to play Sampdoria at San Paolo on Saturday before the visit of Liverpool in the Champions League three days later.

But according to Ancelotti the work has fallen short of what was promised, and suggested the council of the municipality of Naples, which owns the ground, showed a lack of regard for his team.

In a statement published on the club's official website, Ancelotti said: "I saw the conditions of the San Paolo dressing rooms. There are no words.

"I accepted the club's request to play the first two games away from home to allow the work to be completed, as was promised. In two months you can build a house - they have not been able to redo the changing rooms!

"Where should we change to play against Sampdoria and Liverpool?"

The planned redevelopment works included big screen displays, upgraded lights and a new surveillance system, as well as new changing rooms.

The council reportedly said the failure to complete the works entirely would not affect Ancelotti's team, but the Napoli coach disagreed vehemently.

"I am outraged by the incorrectness and inadequacy of those who had to carry out these jobs," he said.

"How have the region, municipality and commissioners been able to disregard the commitments made?

"I see a contempt and a non-attachment to the city team. I am dismayed."

Liverpool have announced teenage striker Paul Glatzel has signed a new long-term contract after firing the team to FA Youth Cup glory last term.

Glatzel captained the Reds to victory in the competition, scoring eight goals in their run to the final, where he converted the winning penalty to down Manchester City.

The 18-year-old trained with Jurgen Klopp's first-team squad ahead of the 2019-20 campaign but is recovering from knee surgery after he was injured in a pre-season friendly.

"It's a great feeling obviously," Glatzel, who has represented both England and Germany at youth level, told Liverpool's official website.

"I was disappointed to get my injury at the start of the season, but it's a great feeling and it shows that the club has got faith in me. Now I can just focus on my rehab and get back on the pitch.

"I've been at the club for so long and I just want to keep going and see where it takes me. Hopefully I can crack on now and keep going. The contract makes it easier.

"Mentally, it's good to be able to focus on the rehab and know that there's people that have faith in me and they know I'll come back from my injury stronger and I'll be ready when I'm back on the pitch."

Glatzel scored 28 goals for Liverpool's Under-18s in 2018-19.

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