However, all three points were sealed five minutes later when substitute Milner stepped up to convert in front of an elated away end after Mane had been fouled in the area.
Here are five talking points to emerge from a dramatic afternoon at Craven Cottage
Liverpool will spend the international break at the summit of the Premier League.
Top spot was reclaimed from Manchester City with Sunday’s victory, and the Reds now sit two points clear – albeit having played one game more than Pep Guardiola’s team – as the season edges towards its conclusion.
With 11 goals in his last 11 appearances, it’s fair to say Mane is a man in form.
And, just four days on from his breath-taking brace at the Allianz Arena, Liverpool’s No.10 was at it again at Craven Cottage.
Slick, quick link-up with Roberto Firmino afforded Mane the chance to extend his rich vein of goalscoring form 26 minutes in – and it was no surprise whatsoever when he fired past Sergio Rico with unerring certainty.
That strike took the Senegalese to 20 for the season in all competitions – equalling his total for the entirety of 2017-18 – and means he now sits just one goal adrift of current Premier League Golden Boot front-runner Sergio Aguero, who has 18 to his name.
Liverpool still have seven Premier League games left to play this term – and they have already topped their points total for the whole of last season (75).
Their 31 top-flight matches to date in 2018-19 have yielded 23 wins, seven draws and just the one defeat.
And that the Reds’ current tally of 76 points has only been bettered four times by the club in the 28-campaign Premier League era is testament to the remarkable relentlessness of Klopp’s current vintage.