Mane, Robertson strike for Liverpool to secure last-gasp win

Liverpool was heading for just its second Premier League loss of 2019 until Andy Robertson and Sadio Mane salvaged a dramatic victory.

Sadio Mane and Andy Robertson struck late on as Premier League leader Liverpool came from behind to claim a stunning 2-1 win over Aston Villa.   -  GETTY IMAGES

Sadio Mane and Andy Robertson struck late on as Premier League leader Liverpool came from behind to claim a stunning 2-1 win over Aston Villa.

Jurgen Klopp's side looked set to be heading for just its second top-flight defeat of 2019 at Villa Park, Trezeguet's 21st-minute effort having put the host ahead in a clash containing further VAR controversy.

Trezeguet's goal stood following a check for offside, but a review did not overturn the decision to disallow what appeared to be a valid equaliser from Roberto Firmino.

However, Liverpool's second-half dominance eventually finally paid off in a dramatic finish. Robertson headed in from point-blank range before Mane flicked home the winner in the fourth minute of added time, keeping the Reds six points clear of Manchester City at the summit.

 

What does it mean? Liverpool and City both come back from the brink heading into Anfield clash

Liverpool's powers of recovery are something to behold. Even with a draw, the Reds' lead at the top would have been whittled down to four points heading into the meeting between the two title rivals at Anfield, with City having also recovered from conceding first to beat Southampton on Saturday.

But once Robertson had restored parity, Klopp's side never looked likely to let the opportunity to claim all three points slip from its grasp.

Miraculous Mane makes the difference

With Salah failing to spark and Firmino denied by VAR, the ever-willing Mane took over for Liverpool late on. His cross for Robertson's equaliser was exquisite, while his winner was an impressive display of quality and composure.

VAR inconsistencies again come to the fore

 

The issues with the video review system seem no closer to being resolved. After several decisions were overturned in last week's Premier League fixtures, VAR did not intervene for either Villa's goal or Firmino's disallowed effort - the Premier League subsequently confirming via Twitter that the Liverpool striker's armpit was offside.

Mane was booked for simulation before half-time and, though he made the most of what was no more than a slight touch from Engels, the Reds may point to Brighton and Hove Albion being awarded a penalty for a similar infringement by Everton's Michael Keane during the previous weekend.

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