London — Sadio Mane helped Liverpool keep alive their bid to set a new Premier League points record as the champions beat Aston Villa 2-0.
Jurgen Klopp's side are hoping to break Manchester City's Premier League record of 100 points and second-half strikes from Mane and Curtis Jones kept them on course to shatter that mark.
Back at Anfield for the first time since clinching the English title last week, Liverpool were lacklustre for long periods as they looked to bounce back from Thursday's 4-0 thrashing at Manchester City.
But Senegal winger Mane broke struggling Villa's stubborn resistance in the 71st minute, smashing Naby Keita's pass in off the underside of the crossbar from close range.
Mane's 20th goal in all competitions this season was followed by Jones' 89th-minute strike.
Jones netted from 12 yards for his first Premier League goal, just 24 hours after the promising midfielder signed a new contract.
Liverpool need 12 points from their remaining five games to surpass City's 100-point total from 2017/2018.
“The only thing I can say is there's no chance to win records if you constantly think about records,” Klopp said.
“We don't want a record we want the three points. We don't think about these things, three points is difficult enough Aston Villa was fighting with all they had and it makes life uncomfortable. It was not a brilliant performance but it was a good performance that gets us three points.”
Villa remain in the relegation zone, one point from safety as they battle to avoid an immediate return to the Championship.
Second-placed City visit Southampton in Sunday's late game.
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