LIVERPOOL, England (AP) — Sadio Mane scored twice as Liverpool marched three points clear at the top of the English Premier League after crushing promoted Cardiff 4-1 at Anfield on Saturday.
With morning leader Manchester City not in action until Monday’s visit to Tottenham, Liverpool went ahead early on.
Mohamed Salah, who scored his 50th goal for the club midweek, took his tally to 51 in 66 Liverpool games after Mane’s 10th-minute shot was blocked.
Senegal forward Mane made it 2-0.
Callum Paterson pulled one back in the 77th for Cardiff, with the aid of a deflection from home defender Virgil van Dijk.
Xherdan Shaqiri avoided a tense finish for the hosts, scoring Liverpool’s third goal, then Mane clipped the ball over goalkeeper Neil Etheridge with three minutes left.
The only negative for Liverpool is that it failed to set a club record of 10 consecutive home clean sheets in the top flight.
“Staying at the highest concentration level is another challenge for us,” manager Juergen Klopp said. “Conceding goals is not nice. I don’t like it, my boys don’t like it, but today it helped to wake us up.
“I thought we did well at the start, created chances, and maybe because of last Wednesday’s game (against Red Star Belgrade) our concentration slipped a little bit and we became a bit sloppy. But if someone would have told me before the game that we would win 4-1, I would have taken it.”
Liverpool has 26 points from 10 games, three more than Manchester City and five in front of Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham.
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