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Liverpool FC’s all-time top 10 attacking partnerships

Anfield has housed some of the great football strike partnerships, but who do the stats say are Liverpool’s most prolific duos of all time?

Could the likes of Darwin Nunez and Luis Diaz feature on this list in the years to come?

As the Reds refresh their forward line for the 2022/23 campaign, we look back and admire the top 10 attacking partnerships in Liverpool’s history, ranked by their goal and assist combinations.

 

10. Roberto Firmino & Sadio Mane – 23

ISTANBUL, TURKEY - Wednesday, August 14, 2019: Liverpool's Sadio Mane celebrates scoring the first equalising goal with team-mate Roberto Firmino (#9) during the UEFA Super Cup match between Liverpool FC and Chelsea FC at Besiktas Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The partnership that this duo struck up as part of the iconic Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah triumvirate will live long in the memory.

To date, Firmino has laid on 17 assists for Mane, with the Senegalese returning the favour six times.

Perhaps their most memorable goal combination came in the 2020 Club World Cup final, when Mane unleashed his Brazilian strike partner to score the winning goal against Flamengo in extra-time.

 

9. Steve Heighway & John Toshack – 24

Steve Heighway, Wembley, March 1978 (All Action/EMPICS Entertainment)

Two of Liverpool’s most iconic attacking players combined to devastating effect between 1970 and 1977.

The partnership between flying winger Steve Heighway and striker John Toshack was a big reason why the Reds went on to win two league titles, the European Cup, two UEFA Cups, the FA Cup and the UEFA Super Cup within that time period.

Heighway created 14 goals for Toshack, with the former Wales striker returning the favour 10 times.

 

8. Kenny Dalglish & Terry McDermott – 27

Terry McDermott, Liverpool (Peter Robinson/EMPICS Sport) 10-May-1978

The great Kenny Dalglish features three times on this list, which goes some way to explaining the significance of his role in a team that became serial winners in the late ’70s and ’80s.

His partnership with Terry McDermott, a spectacular midfield player who created a legacy of his own, produced 27 goals, with Dalglish assisting 15 of them.

One of the great Liverpool duos.

 

7. John Barnes & Ian Rush – 28

Liverpool's John Barnes (left) celebrates the winning goal with Ian Rush (right) 1989 FA Cup final, Wembley (PA Images)

Now this was a proper attacking duo. John Barnes and Ian Rush terrorised defences for years.

As you’d expect, Barnes was the main creator, assisting 22 of the 28 goals the pair combined for between 1989 and 1995.

However, it should be remembered that Barnes actually scored four more league goals than Rush in the team that won the 1990 league title. All from the left wing, too.

 

=5. Mohamed Salah & Sadio Mane – 30

Mane and Salah celebrate, Wembley, FA Cup semi final vs Man City April 2022 (Image: Andrew Orchard sports photography/Alamy Live News)

Salah and Mane have been ripping through defences for the last five years, spearheading an incredible team masterminded by Jurgen Klopp.

For the vast majority of that time, both players have been positioned in wide attacking roles, something that makes their sublime goal record all the more impressive.

 

=5. Steve McManaman & Robbie Fowler – 30

Liverpool, England - Wednesday, November 27th, 1996: Liverpool's Steve McManaman celebrates scoring the opening goal with team-mate Robbie Fowler during the 4-2 victory over Arsenal during the 4th Round of the League Cup at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Having come through the ranks together at Anfield, Steve McManaman and Robbie Fowler were best friends, as well as one of the most exciting strike duos in the world, during their time at Liverpool in the ’90s.

McManaman, a tricky winger, set talisman Fowler up for 25 of the 30 goals they combined for between 1994 and 1999.

 

4. Roberto Firmino & Mohamed Salah – 31

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, February 1, 2020: Liverpool's Georginio Wijnaldum (L) and Southampton's James Ward-Prowse during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Southampton FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The last possible combination of the Mane, Firmino and Salah trio and, according to the stats, the best.

Their most prolific match together came in the 5-2 first-leg victory over Roma in the 2017/18 Champions League semi-finals at Anfield.

Firmino set up two goals for Salah, with the Egyptian returning the favour in the second half, leaving then-Roma goalkeeper Alisson totally helpless.

You would expect Firmino and Salah to move further up this list in the 2022/23 season.

 

3. Kenny Dalglish & David Johnson – 32

Liverpool and Scotland striker kenny Dalglish waits for the ball. He joined Liverpool from Celtic. (PA Images)

Supported by Dalglish, David Johnson was a free-scoring forward as Liverpool regained the league title in 1979 and retained it in 1980.

Dalglish set up 23 of the 32 goals they combined for.

The pair were at their best as individuals in the 1978/79 season, with Dalglish scoring 21 league goals and Johnson scoring 16.

 

2. Kevin Keegan & John Toshack – 45

Kevin Keegan leads Liverpool out at Anfield (PA Images)

These two were simply devastating.

Kevin Keegan, who will rightly be remembered as one of the finest players to wear red, had a brilliant understand with Toshack in the ’70s, setting the Welshman up for 27 of the 45 goals they combined for.

With Keegan at 5’8″ and Toshack around 6’1″, together they became one of football’s most famous little-and-large strike combinations

 

1. Kenny Dalglish & Ian Rush – 48

Kenny Dalglish, Jan Molby and Ronnie Whelan congratulate Ian Rush (second l) on one of his two goals vs. Everton in FA Cup Final 1986 (Picture by Peter Robinson EMPICS Sport)

There may not be any Liverpool duo that manages to eclipse the 48 goals Dalglish and Rush combined for between 1981 and 1987.

In their time together at Anfield, they won four league titles and two European Cups.

Quite simply, the best attacking tandem in Liverpool and possibly even football history.

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