Jürgen Klopp (Getty Images)
Liverpool kept their hopes for the Premier League title Sadio Mane beat the winner Astan Villa 2-1 on Tuesday to move to the points level with Manchester City at the top of the table.
The Reds quickly made up for the slow start when Joel Matip canceled Douglas Lewis ’first shot six minutes later.
A thin blow to Manet’s head 25 minutes later did enough to keep up the pressure on City, who on Wednesday have an away game against the Wolves.
However, Liverpool’s small advantage keeps Pep Guardiola’s men higher on goal difference.
The win also cost the wards of Jurgen Klopp, who lost Fabinho due to a muscle injury that is likely to exclude him from Saturday’s FA Cup final and the Champions League final against Real Madrid on 28 May.
Glancing at Wembley with one eye, Klopp threw the dice with the team’s choice as Mohamed Salah and Thiago Alcantara remained on the bench and Andy Robertson had no place on the team.
The guests looked like a much changed side when Villa jumped out of the traps and caught a cold.
Alison Becker had already turned down Oli Watkins by the time Steven Gerrard’s men took the lead by three minutes.
Luis’s header parried Alison, but only returned in the way of his Brazilian teammate to score a rebound high into the net.
Last season, Villa won the match 7-2, but this time Liverpool bounced back from an early concession strike.
The hosts failed to cope with a free kick into the penalty area, and the ball eventually broke, and Virgil van Dyck decided to square, so that his partner on central defenders Matip brought the final touch.
In the frantic first half the odds continued to appear at both ends.
Manet headed in. From Liverpool before Danny Ings on the other end just failed to hit his head off Lucas Mean’s attractive canopy.
Liverpool’s difficult schedule began to manifest itself physically when Fabinho limped with a hamstring injury in the middle of the first half.
The sale of Philippe Cautinho to Barcelona in 2018 helped Liverpool finance the signing of Alison, Van Dyck and Fabinho.
As the Reds have gone from strength to strength in the four and a half years since then, Cautinho’s career has faded and he was largely anonymous in his first appearance against his former club since returning to English football.
Only a complete mistake by Nabi Kate with a goal gap kept the score at the break.
However, in the second period, “Liverpool” moved to show the gap in the classroom between the parties.
The arrival of Luis Diaz in January played a big part in keeping Klopp’s people in the fight for four trophies.
The Colombian became the winner when he teased Tyrone Mings before punching the point cross of Manet, who scored his 22nd goal of the season.
In the last quarter of “Liverpool” there were still nervous moments when Villa was trying to show his high line.
Twice Ings failed to take advantage when holding on to the goal before he was marked offside when he finally threw the ball into the net.
But Liverpool have held on and will hope that Gerard can finally come to their aid in the race for the title.
Gerard is known to have never won a league title in his brilliant playing career at Anfield, but on the last day of the season will meet Villa against City at the Etihad.