Liverpool kept their hopes of finishing in the top-four alive with a crucial 1-0 victory against Wolves on Monday night.
Diogo Jota’s goal against his former club was the difference between the two sides as Jurgen Klopp’s men moved to within five points of Chelsea in fourth.
It certainly wasn’t the Liverpool of last season but it was a positive performance nonetheless.
Another clean sheet was very welcome but despite Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Jota in the front-three the champions didn’t look too dangerous going forward during the 90 minutes.
The solitary goal means they’ve scored just 10 goals in their last 15 Premier League results.
However, they would have scored a few more during that run if Mane wasn’t quite so honest.
In recent weeks, the Senegalese has refused to go to ground to win his side a penalty when almost every other professional footballer would do.
It happened against Sheffield United, Chelsea and it happened once again against Wolves.
In the first half, Mane rounded Rui Patricio as the Wolves goalkeeper caught the forward’s foot with an outstretched arm. However, Mane stayed on his feet as the golden opportunity came and went.
“GO DOWN” Liverpool fans would have been screaming.
Some neutrals will praise Mane for being honest and staying on his feet but those associated with Liverpool won’t.
But is there an ulterior motive for Mane refusing to go down?
Well, that’s what Michael Owen suggested earlier this month as he bizarrely claimed Mane simply doesn’t want to win his teammate Salah a penalty.
Following his decision not to go down after Andreas Christensen’s challenge during the 1-0 loss to Chelsea, Owen shared his ‘wild theory.’
“I couldn’t believe he didn’t go down there and look, I’m not advocating he does,” Owen said on Optus Sport.
“It was a great touch and he possibly thought he might get a chance at the end of it ... but he did something similar a week ago (against Sheffield).
“I just wonder, and it might be a little bit of devious thoughts creeping into my head, Mo Salah is the penalty taker in this team, and if he (Mane) thinks he’s getting a chance to score he thinks ‘well I’m going to score, if I don’t stay on my feet, Mo Salah’s going to get another penalty’.”
“These players have been going for the golden boot for the past couple of seasons.
“It might be a wild sort of theory, but the competitive nature of him and Mo Salah...we’ve seen them not passing to each other when one of them is in a much better position to the other.
“We’re seeing a little bit of selfishness, we’re seeing a little bit of disgruntled behaviour - Mo Salah shaking his head (when he was subbed off).
“I just think a couple of times there, I’ve seen Mane go down for those kind of opportunities...and (to not do it) two games on the spin? It just made me think a little bit.”
Yeah, we’re still not sure about that one, Michael…
Mane isn’t the only Premier League player who has been punished for staying on his feet in the penalty area in recent weeks.
Manchester City’s Phil Foden was somehow denied a penalty vs Southampton after he was fouled by goalkeeper Alex McCarthy.
No wonder why players fall to ground when given the opportunity...News Now - Sport News