At the top of the group with victories over AC Milan and Porto, the six-fold European Cup winners travel to Madrid to face Spanish champions Atletico.
Against Watford, Sadio Mane only became the third African to score 100 Premier League goals. PA
Sadio Mane issued an ominous warning to rivals Liverpool by insisting the Reds can still improve after warming up for the Champions League clash on Tuesday with Atletico Madrid by beating Watford.
Jurgen Klopp’s side clinched a 5-0 victory at Vicarage Road on Saturday to keep their Premier League title challenge on track.
With Liverpool just one point behind leaders Chelsea, they can look to their most demanding of their Champions League Group B fixtures.
At the top of the group with victories over AC Milan and Porto, the six-fold European Cup winners travel to Madrid to face the Spanish champions.
Coming out of the Wanda Metropolitano stadium with three points will be a tricky task, but Liverpool can call on an attacking trio that are once again the envy of the rest of Europe.
Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino were unstoppable when Liverpool won their first Premier League title in 30 years during the 2019-20 season.
But in the tame crown surrender last season, Mane and Firmino were far below their best.
Pulling the three in unison was a key task for Liverpool boss Klopp this year and the demolition of Watford suggests he has achieved that goal.
It was a day to remember for the Holy Trinity of Liverpool.
Senegalese striker Mane only became the third African to score 100 Premier League goals with a clinical finish on Salah’s pass.
“Honestly, when I came to the Premier League my dream was to score as much as possible and most importantly to win trophies,” Mane said of his defining moment.
Salah produced another sublime strike, dancing through Watford’s defense to overtake even the brilliant goal he scored against Manchester City before the international break.
The Egyptian star has scored in eight consecutive matches in all competitions for the first time in his career.
With 10 goals in 10 total appearances this season, it is surely only a matter of time before Liverpool bow to the 29-year-old’s salary demands in their ongoing contract talks.
“I think it’s a better goal than City. But it’s no surprise to us because we know his quality, one of the best players in the world. He showed it,” Mane said of the comment. of Salah.
Then there was Brazilian striker Firmino, who enjoyed his first league start in five games with his first hat-trick at Liverpool since 2018.
Firmino has lost his spot to Diogo Jota on several occasions since last season and his hat-trick has reminded Klopp at the right time that he can still be a key figure.
“Bobby too, he showed it, one of the best in the world for sure,” Mane said.
“It wasn’t an easy time for him with injuries but he’s back and I’m happy for him.
“I hope he will be there for us and score more goals for us until the end of the season.”
It was Liverpool’s biggest win since their 7-0 win over Crystal Palace last December, the last time Firmino, Salah and Mane all scored in a top-level game.
Amid a crucial streak of matches, including two Champions League games against Atletico and a visit to fierce rivals Manchester United, Liverpool’s dreaded performance came at an opportune moment.
Liverpool have scored three or more goals in their six away games in all competitions this season.
However, Mane believes there will be even better to come as long as they don’t lose their focus.
“We know our qualities and how well we could get there. That’s what we’ve been doing over the weekend and over the weeks,” Mane said.
“We worked really hard and we showed it today. It was just amazing and I hope we will continue like this.”