Sadio Mane on Suggestions Liverpool Are Enjoying 'Easy' Title Race: 'I Wish'

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistFebruary 28, 2020

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 24: Sadio Mane of Liverpool during the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and West Ham United at Anfield on February 24, 2020 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Visionhaus)
Visionhaus/Getty Images

Liverpool star Sadio Mane has dismissed the notion the Reds have enjoyed a comfortable time in this season's Premier League title race, which he said "has not been easy."

The Reds are 22 points clear of Manchester City in England's top flight, leaving them on the verge of their first title since 1990.

Mane told BBC World Service:

"Easy? Oh, I wish. We know the Premier League is the best league in the world, and every single game you have to give 100 per cent if you want to win.

"It's what we always try, and I think it's working very well, but we have to keep working hard to get what we want.

"Our target from the beginning was to win the league, so if we win it, it will be great for the club and for the fans."

Jurgen Klopp will almost certainly oversee the end to the Reds' 30-year wait for their 19th league title, and he  guided them to their sixth European Cup/UEFA Champions League last season.

Given his accomplishments, Mane expects the coach to receive a statue at Anfield: "For sure, I think there will be one because he is a great manager and he is doing very well for the club and the players."

It may not have been easy for Liverpool this season, but they have made it look straightforward. They are unbeaten in the league, having picked up 26 wins from 27 matches.

On Monday, they came from behind to beat West Ham United 3-2:

Mane notched the winner from close range late on with his 17th goal of the season:

In securing the victory, Liverpool equalled a record:

They also moved on to 79 points, which Opta's Duncan Alexander put into impressive context at this stage of the campaign:

With 11 games remaining, they need just 12 points to guarantee them the title, while 22 points will set a new points record for the Premier League.

Liverpool haven't had much competition from their traditional top-six rivals this term. City have dropped off from their exceptional standard in recent seasons, having failed to win nine matches already, while the next highest-placed is Chelsea, who have just 44 points.

Even so, the standard the Reds have set is remarkable. City got 98 points last season, but Liverpool's total of 79 points at this stage would have still given them a 14-point lead in the title race.

The Reds would be seven ahead of the City side that set the 100-point record in 2017-18 at this stage too.

Liverpool can set a new record of 19 consecutive wins with a victory at Watford on Saturday. The Reds have won 12 of their past 14 meetings with the Hornets, and in their past four clashes with them, they have scored 15 goals and conceded none.

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