Sadio Mane’s goals are the reason all Liverpool fans will have been able to wake up today with something to smile about.
That was the kind of impact we were expecting following his return from the African Cup of Nations.
The Senegalese forward reminded his manager, his teammates and Reds supporters all over the world of what we have been missing in his absence.
His is quick, very quick. Not only can he run, but he can finish, he can create and he can win the ball back. It was an all action display from the £34million man.
While discussing the Liverpool game on Match of the Day, former Arsenal striker Ian Wright highlighted Mane as the key figure in Jurgen Klopp’s attacking set up.
“He’s the top man. They couldn’t win a game without him,” he said, as quoted by the Liverpool Echo.
“He intercepts, he’s away, threatening behind. They weren’t doing that recently.”
“With the goal, Ben Davies had no chance trying to mark him what with his strength, pace and composure.”
“He’s excellent at sensing danger and nicking the ball. Tottenham couldn’t deal with Mane – they were back to their top stuff Liverpool.”
“Mane is phenomenal and he got a nice hug from his manager after.”
There is no shame in admitting that we missed him dearly. Any team would miss what he offers, as Klopp suggested after the game.
We have our main source of pace and power in behind back and if Saturday’s win is anything to go off then the players look ready for a strong finish to the campaign.
Mane and his teammates have a 16 day break between now and their Premier League clash with Leicester to refresh their legs and ensure we are prepared to maintain our fight for a Champions League place.