Mane sets a PL record at Chelsea, but controversy reigns after Liverpool opener


Sadio Mane sets a PL record at Chelsea, but controversy reigns after Liverpool openerSadio Mane sets a PL record at Chelsea, but controversy reigns after Liverpool opener

 

The name of Liverpool winger Sadio Mane has taken its place front and centre in the media chatter on Sunday, amid the early exchanges between Chelsea and Liverpool.

Reds on top

The marquee fixture of the Premier League weekend is of course currently playing out in the capital.

Amid the battle to keep pace with runaway table-toppers Manchester City, Chelsea have welcomed Liverpool to Stamford Bridge, for a highly-anticipated showdown between two of English football’s heavyweights.

And, as things stand in the first-half of action on Sunday, it is the visitors who boast the advantage.

An explosive opening to proceedings, during which either side could have opened the scoring, eventually resulted in the aforementioned Mane notching just inside the ten-minute mark.

After Trevoh Chalobah failed to deal with Diogo Jota’s intended through ball, Mane took full advantage, dancing beyond Edouard Mendy before slotting home in style:

*Update* – A chaotic end to the half has since seen all of Mohamed Salah, Mateo Kovacic and Christian Pulisic find the net, to make it 2-2.

Mane gets away with one?

Should Liverpool’s Senegalese wide-man, though, have even been on the pitch to roll home the opener?

Not in the eyes of many a viewer of Sunday’s action.

Incredibly, inside 15 seconds at Stamford Bridge, Mane was shown a yellow card by referee Anthony Taylor, for an elbow into the face of Cesar Azpilicueta.

Upon replays being broadcast of the incident, it quickly became clear that the ex-Southampton man was fully aware of what he was doing, culminating in widespread calls for a red card, and only adding further to the fury of all associated with Chelsea when, ultimately, it was Mane who found the net less than ten minutes later:

In the process of being booked, though, Liverpool’s explosive attacker did manage to secure for himself a piece of (unwanted) Premier League history.

As confirmed by statisticians Opta, Mane’s booking, at 15 seconds, marked the earliest in the English top-flight since such stats were first recorded all the way back in the 2006/07 campaign:

 

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 Manchester City 21 40 53
2 Chelsea FC 20 29 42
3 Liverpool FC 19 34 41
4 Arsenal FC 20 8 35
5 West Ham United 20 10 34
6 Tottenham Hotspur 18 3 33
7 Manchester United 18 4 31
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 18 -1 25
9 Leicester City 18 -2 25
10 Brighton & Hove Albion 18 -1 24
11 Crystal Palace 20 -1 23
12 Aston Villa 18 -4 22
13 Southampton FC 19 -9 21
14 Brentford FC 18 -4 20
15 Everton FC 17 -8 19
16 Leeds United 18 -18 16
17 Watford FC 18 -14 13
18 Burnley FC 16 -9 11
19 Newcastle United 19 -23 11
20 Norwich City 19 -34 10
Player Team Goals
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 15
Jota, Diogo Liverpool FC 10
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City 9
Dennis, Emmanuel Watford FC 8
Antonio, Michail West Ham United 8
Ronaldo, Cristiano Manchester United 8
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur 8
Smith-Rowe, Emile Arsenal FC 8
Raphinha Leeds United 8
Mount, Mason Chelsea FC 7
Sterling, Raheem Manchester City 7
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 7
Maupay, Neal Brighton & Hove Albion 7
Silva, Bernardo Manchester City 7
Mahrez, Riyad Manchester City 6
Saka, Bukayo Arsenal FC 6
Gallagher, Conor Crystal Palace 6
Jorginho Chelsea FC 6
Wilson, Callum Newcastle United 6
Cornet, Maxwel Burnley FC 6



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