Mohamed Salah probably thought he had given himself some room to breathe.
After a opening-day hat-trick against Leeds last Saturday, the Liverpool forward sailed to the top of both the Premier League and the club’s own in-house scoring charts.
His attempts to become the Reds’ top scorer for a fourth successive season were up and running in style.
In his three campaigns at Anfield so far, Salah has provided a return of 44, 27 and 23 and is already well underway again after his trio helped secure a late win at Anfield on September 12.
But if Salah thought his performance against Marcelo Bielsa’s side afforded him ample wriggle room at the top of charts, it didn’t take long before his team-mate, Sadio Mane, started to chase him down.
Mane responded to Salah’s opening weekend heroics with a brace to make sure Liverpool emerged from their trip to Chelsea with maximum points.
It had been subdued first 45 minutes for the Senegal superstar before he sprung into life and turned the game the way of the champions.
Between minutes 46 and 54, Mane forced Andreas Christensen to commit a foul that saw him given a straight red and bagged two goals that secured the win.
The electric winger – like his colleague on the other side – is capable of deciding games on his own.
It’s no wonder the two jewels in the crown of African football finished inside the top five of last year’s Ballon d’Or standings.
For all the beauty and power in this Liverpool squad that Jurgen Klopp has carefully constructed over the last four years, it is Mane and Salah who remain the key men.
A £41m+ deal has been agreed to bring the forward to Anfield from Wolves, and he’s ready to kick on for Jurgen Klopp.
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If the Reds are to retain their Premier League title, it will be the goals of their two wing wizards who will fire them there.
In modern football, it is the inside forward who is king.
A glance at the most recent Champions League final is evidence enough of that given the importance of players such as Kylian Mbappe, Neymar, Serge Gnabry and match-winner Kingsley Coman to Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich who contested it.
And at Liverpool, Klopp has two of the most elite-level thoroughbreds in that position in the game today.
Alongside the middle man, Roberto Firmino, the attacking trident has become arguably the most feared in world football.
For all the bold predictions and excitement over at Chelsea following their £200million splurge on the likes of Hakim Ziyech, Timo Werner and Kai Havertz, there is a lot to be said for Liverpool’s continuity at the top end.
Diogo Jota will add some top-quality competition for a place in Klopp’s front three but there would appear to be little slowing down of Mane, Salah and Firmino after kicking off their fourth season together.
During that time, they’ve bagged 222 times between them with Salah and Mane accounting for 167 of them.
Given how the pair have started this season, those numbers are only set to rise significantly over the coming months.