Sadio Mane has escaped any punishment for his clash with Stephan Lichtsteiner

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It’s been a pretty incredible December for Liverpool.

Eight matches, eight wins, qualification into the last-16 of the Champions League secured and a seven-point lead at the top of the Premier League established.

And Jurgen Klopp’s side finished the month and year in style.

Arsenal came to Anfield and were thrashed 5-1.

But it wasn’t the best of starts to the match for Liverpool.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles put Arsenal 1-0 ahead after just 11 minutes.

But even before that, Sadio Mane could have been sent off.

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As the Liverpool winger attempted to get on the end of a through ball, he clashed with Stephen Lichtsteiner.

Lichsteiner appeared to catch Mane with a sly elbow before Mane reacted by putting his hands around the neck of the Swiss defender.

It was a moment of madness from Mane and Liverpool fans were suddenly fearing that he could be suspended ahead of the massive clash against Manchester City on Thursday.

However, on Monday, the FA announced that Mane would not face any retrospective punishment.

But why?

Well, since match referee Michael Oliver saw the incident and awarded a free-kick to Arsenal, Mane couldn’t be punished.

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Mane may well consider himself slightly fortunate.

Instead, he and his Liverpool teammates can now prepare for their trip to the Etihad on Thursday.

The Merseysiders can take a seven-point lead into that game and have the opportunity to move 10 points clear of Pep Guardiola’s side.

But a loss would see it trimmed to just four and the title race would be well and truly on.

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