Sadio Mane leads goal celebrations, (c) Liverpool Twitter.

3 talking points as Liverpool earn top four finish by beating Crystal Palace

Liverpool secured the three points needed to qualify for next season’s Champions League, thanks to two goals from Sadio Mane and another clean sheet.

Liverpool ensured there were no further hiccups this season as two goals from Sadio Mane gave them a crucial win over Crystal Palace to secure their place in the top four. The Reds competed with Leicester City and Chelsea going into the final day but in the knowledge that three points would be enough to qualify for the Champions League.

Despite a nervy start, which saw Andros Townsend miss a gilt-edged chance to score for Palace, Liverpool dominated, and Mane’s first goal on eased the tension around Anfield. The Senegalese forward then gave his side some breathing space in the second half, firing a left-foot shot past Vicente Guaita from outside the box and put Liverpool on their way.

What were the talking points from what turned out to be a relatively comfortable win for the Reds?

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MANE FINALLY COMES UP BIG FOR LIVERPOOL

Sadio Mane might not have enjoyed a prolific season in front of the goal but was on target against Crystal Palace to give Liverpool a well-deserved lead in the first half. He was at the right place at the right time to poke in a loose ball past the goalkeeper following a routine corner. It was the Senegalese forward’s tenth league goal of the season. He scored another on the night to finish with 11 for the league campaign.

Mane has now netted at least ten league goals in each of his five Premier League campaigns. He bagged his second of the night in the 74th minute, though his left-footed strike was helped by a massive deflection. Mane had a rather quiet campaign but his brace ensured Champions League qualification for Liverpool. In the process, Sadio Mane became just the second player to score in eight consecutive Premier League appearances against an opponent, after Robin van Persie against Stoke City.