Sadio Mane’s injury in the Merseyside derby proved to be the one negative of what was an outstanding performance and result.
The crunching tackles were flying about all over the pitch throughout and Mane was unlucky enough to get his leg caught in an uncomfortable position during a challenge with Everton’s Leighton Baines.
He had, up until that moment, been a menace and given his opposition a nightmare with his pace and movement across the front line.
Jurgen Klopp commented on Mane’s fitness after the game, telling Liverpoolfc.com: “Today we played a really good game. Nearly everything was perfect, we win it, the performance was good [but] then we lose Sadio Mane. When I saw him in the dressing room, it didn’t look like he’ll be ready for Wednesday,” said the manager.”
“We will see, hopefully it’s not that serious, but of course it’s not nothing and that makes our life not easier, I would say.”
“When asked to clarify what type of injury Mane had sustained. I don’t know exactly, I don’t want to speculate now.”
“Obviously he has pain and it didn’t look like it’s only a knock or a muscle or something, but we have to wait.”
“When I came in I was looking for him immediately and I saw him on the bed. He’d already had treatment, and it didn’t look like he felt really comfortable.”
The uncertainty surrounding Mane’s fitness makes Philippe Coutinho’s return to form all the more timely and crucial ahead of a season-defining run of games.
Initial reactions suggest Mane’s injury shouldn’t rule him out for too long but only a scan will tell. The Senegalese forward has been at the forefront of everything this team has excelled in when going forward this season and promises to be a devastating loss whether it is for a week or a month.
His potential absence means Coutinho’s derby magic has to be the start of a strong run from him as well as a similar rejuvenation from Divock Origi following his emphatic goal.