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7-day Mane secures 365-day Reds – 5 key stats from Liverpool 2-0 Sheffield United

Liverpool have now gone a year unbeaten in the Premier League, as Alisson kept a fifth consecutive clean sheet in a 2-0 win over Sheffield United.

Goals from Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane were enough to seal victory over the Blades, though the Reds’ dominance was certainly not reflected in the scoreline.

Jurgen Klopp‘s side produced another scintillating, suffocating display to keep United’s mini-slump running, after a phenomenal start to the campaign under Chris Wilder.

It was an evening of brilliance from Liverpool, as they restored their 13-point lead at the top of the league with a game in hand over Leicester and Man City.

Here are five key statistics behind the Reds’ 19th win in 20 games.


A Year Unbeaten

Liverpool's Mohamed Salah (centre) celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game with team-mates during the Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool.

Victory over United ensured the Reds have now gone 365 days without losing in the league.

Their last defeat was the close-fought 2-1 at Man City on January 3, 2019, and since then Klopp’s side have gone 37 games unbeaten.

Of those, they have won 32, amassing 101 points over that period—nine more than City in the same stretch of time, having played a game fewer.

They are only the third side to do so in the Premier League era, according to BBC Sport, and four more would see them surpass Chelsea‘s 40-game record between 2004 and 2005; Arsenal are top with 49.

The longest-ever unbeaten run in Europe’s top five leagues is 58 games, set by AC Milan between 1991 and 1993.


Pass Masters

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Thursday, January 2, 2020: Liverpool's captain Jordan Henderson celebrates after the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Sheffield United FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 2-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

There appears to have been a discrepancy in a statistic lauded by BT Sport in their coverage of the clash.

The broadcasters claimed that Liverpool had made the most passes of any side in a single game since records began in the Premier League, with the tally standing at 969.

But Opta, who provide data for BT Sport, have since confirmed that the number stands at 874, with Man City recording more in three games in 2018—the highest being 942.

Nevertheless, this is a remarkable statistic for the Reds to produce, and came in a game in which they enjoyed over 70 percent of possession; having also done so at Bramall Lane in September.

“They won every first ball, every second ball, dropped on every second ball, ran forward and ran back, and they did that miles better than us,” Wilder concluded after the game.


Alisson’s Clean Sheet Prowess

BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND - Saturday, December 7, 2019: Liverpool's goalkeeper Alisson Becker celebrates with manager Jürgen Klopp after the FA Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Liverpool FC at the Vitality Stadium. Liverpool won 3-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

After criticism of Liverpool’s defensive record earlier in the campaign, they have now passed the halfway mark with the best in the league.

The Reds have only conceded 14 goals in 20 games, and on Thursday night kept a fifth consecutive clean sheet—the first time they have done so since under Rafa Benitez in September 2007.

This is as much to do with the rest of the team as Alisson, but a goalkeeper’s performance is judged on how many times he picks the ball out of his net, and for our No. 1 it’s a rarity.

Alisson made his 50th league appearance for Liverpool against United, and in keeping his 26th clean sheet posted the third-best record for a goalkeeper in his first half-century of starts in the Premier League.

Joining him in the top five are Pepe Reina and Jerzy Dudek.


Seven Days a Week

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Thursday, January 2, 2020: Liverpool's Sadio Mané celebrates scoring the second goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Sheffield United FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Mane joined an exclusive group after he beat Dean Henderson to make it 2-0 in the second half.

Netting on a Thursday night, the Senegalese became the 14th Liverpool player to score on every day of the week, joining the likes of Divock Origi and Steve McManaman.

Since the start of last season, Mane has scored 25 times in the league at Anfield, with only two players producing a better run at a single stadium:

He is the first Reds player to break the 15-goal mark this season, with 11 assists bringing his total to 26 goal contributions in 28 appearances so far.

Only Jamie Vardy (17 goals, three assists) and Kevin De Bruyne (seven goals, 13 assists) have contributed more than Mane (11 goals, eight assists) in the Premier League.


Beating the Champions of Europe

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Thursday, January 2, 2020: Liverpool's Sadio Mané celebrates scoring the second goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Sheffield United FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool have only dropped two points in the whole of the campaign so far, with the 1-1 draw with Man United in October their sole league blemish.

They have picked up 58 of a possible 60, and a 13-point gap between themselves and Leicester is a testament to their dominance as overwhelming favourites to win the title.

Incredibly, the Reds now have the same number of points as they tallied in the entirety of the 2004/05 campaign—one which, of course, saw them end as European champions.

And as noted by Sporting Intelligence’s Nick Harris, if Liverpool, Leicester and City maintain the same trajectory over the remainder of the season, the Reds’ coronation would fall on a timely fixture:

Winning a first Premier League title by beating Everton at Goodison Park sounds idyllic.

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