Sadio Mane says Liverpool have learnt from the pain of last season's failed title challenge

Sadio Mane says Liverpool have learnt from the pain of last season's failed title challenge
Sadio Mane says Liverpool have learnt from the pain of last season's failed title challenge

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Liverpool have turned the pain of losing the Premier League title to Manchester City last season into motivation, according to Sadio Mane.

Jurgen Klopp’s team are currently 13 points clear at the top of the table ahead of Sunday's match against Wolves and seem almost certain to win their first league title since 1990.

The Reds missed out on the title by just one point last season despite enjoying a 10-point lead in December.

This time they have been ruthless, with 17 wins and one draw from 18 matches. In their last clash, Liverpool crushed second-placed Leicester 4-0 on Boxing Day to consolidate their position, which was further strengthened by Manchester City’s shock loss to Wolves on Friday.

Mane, who has nine league goals this season, said Liverpool are not losing focus this time.

“We have learned from the mistake last year,” said Mane. “That was a tough time for us. If you lose the league that hurts you in the head mentally, so we always focus on the same target — we want to win something.

“We are better this season in what we’re trying to do. There are so many games but it’s not about physical tiredness. You have to be mentally sharp.”

Meanwhile, manager Jurgen Klopp said he always had faith in Roberto Firmino even when the latter was worried about lack of goals.

Firmino talked to Klopp after a run of one goal in 16 appearances. But the manager told the Brazilian he was a crucial member of the team. Since that chat earlier in the month, Firmino has been on a roll.

After his goals in the semi-final and final of the Club World Cup, Firmino bagged a double in the Boxing Day 4-0 rout of Leicester. After that match, Firmino embraced Klopp at the King Power Stadium.

“Journalists told me he hadn’t scored for a while, but the thing about Bobby is that I don’t think about scoring,” Klopp explained.

“I think about how important he is, so we had a little talk and I told him. For the first time he was a little bit concerned about that fact [he had not scored in so many games], and I told him I was not interested in that number.

“He is the connector for our team, he is so important for us. He is the only one who can play the position, and he plays the position in a very special way.

“He doesn’t have to come [for a hug] with every goal, but this time we had a little thing where, after being calm enough to leave him on the pitch in games that I never thought about [his lack of goals], he thought he would say thank you.”

Liverpool have now extended their unbeaten run in the Premier League to 35 matches, with their last defeat being to Manchester City in January.

Liverpool are closing in on Arsenal's all-time record of 49 unbeaten matches, which was set from May 2003 to October 2004.

Updated: December 28, 2019 03:24 PM

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