Mane denies Klopp first victory

Liverpool, October 26

Jurgen Klopp was denied his first win as Liverpool manager as Sadio Mane’s late equaliser earned Southampton a deserved 1-1 draw at Anfield on Sunday.

Klopp had looked set for his maiden victory when substitute Christian Benteke powered in a header from James Milner’s cross with 13 minutes to play. But Liverpool, who had drawn each of their new manager’s first two matches in charge, were held once again as Mane bundled in his fifth goal in five matches with four minutes remaining. The winger was then sent off late on after receiving two yellow cards in quick succession, the second of which was for a crunching challenge on Alberto Moreno.

Klopp has been left desperately short of attacking options in his early matches, and will have been pleased to see Benteke and Roberto Firmino continue their recovery from injury problems with second-half substitute appearances. But Liverpool’s defensive weaknesses cost them dearly, with Jose Fonte and Gaston Ramirez able to win headers from the free-kick that led to Mane forcing the equaliser.

With Daniel Sturridge missing a third successive match because of a knee problem and neither Benteke nor Firmino fit enough to start, Divock Origi was once again pressed into service as the main striker. There were few signs of the high-energy pressing game for which Klopp’s teams have become famous. Philippe Coutinho had an early shot charged down by Southampton right-back Cedric, before Emre Can hooked a James Milner corner into the side-netting at the near post. But Coutinho, Origi and Adam Lallana struggled as the visitors defended solidly.

Elsewhere, Harry Kane ended his goal drought in spectacular fashion as the Tottenham Hotspur striker’s hat-trick inspired a 5-1 demolition of Bournemouth. Kane had scored only once in his last 11 games for Tottenham and England and had just a solitary club goal to his name this season. Mauricio Pochettino’s side had actually fallen behind after just 49 seconds to Matt Ritchie’s strike. But Kane led the fightback, equalising with a penalty before goals from Mousa Dembele and Erik Lamela put Tottenham in control prior to half-time. Kane struck twice in seven minutes in the second half to confirm his return to form, lifting Tottenham to sixth place and leaving Bournemouth hovering just above the relegation zone.