Sadio Mane relished taking a central role in Liverpool’s 5-0 demolition of Watford.
Jurgen Klopp’s men remained a point ahead of champions Manchester City at the Premier League summit as Mane’s first-half double set the rout in motion.
The Senegal international powered home a ninth-minute header from Trent Alexander-Arnold’s cross, who was again the provider when Mane redeemed a poor first touch with an audacious backheel to befuddle Watford goalkeeper Ben Foster.
Roberto Firmino’s injury absence meant Mane was deployed in an unfamiliar position as a striker, flanked either side by Mohamed Salah and Divock Origi, and it was a responsibility he thrived under.
“It was my first time since I came to Liverpool I played centrally. I always said I’m here for the team, so I try to play any position the coach asks me to play to help the team,” the 26-year-old told Liverpool’s official website after taking his Premier League goals tally this season to 14.
“We started fast in the game, we moved quickly with and without the ball and created many chances. We scored five goals and we deserved the win.
“The team was fantastic, everybody played well. It was the key.”
City’s 1-0 win over West Ham kept things tight at the top and Liverpool face a feisty trip to Goodison Park for Sunday’s Merseyside derby against Everton.
“The win [over Watford] gives us more confidence,” Mane added.
“We know playing against Everton is never easy but we are a great team and we are used to playing this kind of game.
“We’re going to go there and try to do everything to win there.”