Sadio Mane said Liverpool deserved an “emotional” Premier League victory over Leicester City that kept the Reds soaring clear at the top.
Mane gave Jurgen Klopp’s men the lead at Anfield on Saturday by converting a superb pass from James Milner, but James Maddison levelled in the 80th minute.
A draw at home to the Foxes in January damaged Liverpool’s 2018-19 title bid, contributing to Manchester City being able to retain their title by a single point.
But Liverpool this time extended their winning run to 17 Premier League matches thanks to a penalty converted by Milner in the fifth minute of added time.
Marc Albrighton tangled with Mane in the box and after the Senegal international went down, referee Chris Kavanagh pointed to the spot with the decision ratified by VAR.
Mane, who also opened the scoring against Leicester in that January meeting, conceded Brendan Rodgers’ visiting team tested Liverpool on the Northern Irishman’s Anfield return.
“Emotional today,” Mane told Liverpool’s official website. “To be honest, I think it was a really, really tough game. We knew that before and expected it.
“We played in the Champions League [on Wednesday against Mane’s old club Salzburg] and now we carry on with this intense game. But it’s normal, it’s the Premier League and we have to expect it all the time.
“At the end of the day, the most important thing is the three points, it doesn’t matter how tired we are.
“I think it would have been so important for us to keep managing the game, but sometimes it’s not easy because Leicester is a very, very good team and caused us many problems.
“They equalised the game and that’s why in football you never give up, that’s what we try to do as a team.
“At the end of the game, we got a penalty. To be honest, we just have to say we deserved to win this game.”
Liverpool’s win nudged them eight points clear of defending league champions City, who were in action and looking to cut that deficit at home against Wolves on Sunday.