Liverpool forward Sadio Mane has been defended by former Red John Barnes as his poor form in front of goal continues.
The Senegalese forward has scored just twice in his last 13 games with his fortunes mirroring those of his team.
Liverpool succumbed to their second Premier League defeat of the season at Southampton as they opened the door for both Manchester clubs.
The Reds' misfiring attack has copped plenty of criticism following successive shut outs.
Mane's own form has been highlighted, but Barnes believes the forward is contributing plenty despite failing to find the net.
He told BonusCodeBets: “This is very much the same thing we talked about last year with Firmino; where we won the league by 20 points yet people were complaining that he wasn't scoring enough goals.
"Yet, he was playing every game and contributing to the team’s overall performance.
“Firstly, it’s important to remember that Mane has been one of the most important players in the team and his form is excellent.
"Perhaps not excellent in terms of number of goals scored, but excellent in terms of what he does for the team.
"I’d even say that Mane has a lot to do with why we’re at the top of the league; and that’s done both on and off the ball.
“His goalscoring, his creativity – it’s a package deal. So I don't see why it's all doom and gloom for a team that's top of the league.
“And yes, the last two games haven't gone our way, but that could easily be turned around and I expect them to do so."
You have to go back to May 2018 to find the last time Liverpool failed to score in successive games.
Their loss at Southampton also served to further highlight their woes on the road.
Jurgen Klopp has seen his side win just two of their nine games away from Anfield.
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