In his second game for Liverpool since returning from the African Cup of Nations Sadio Mane reminded everyone of how important he is to this team and just how incredibly quick he is.
There was a moment when he managed to beat Tottenham left-back Ben Davies to the ball despite starting about five yards behind him. He was an absolute nightmare for his marker from the off and spearheaded the return of the high intensity attacking football that seemed to have disappeared over the past month.
Speaking after the game, Mane opened up on what he thought was the difference between Liverpool and their opposition.
He told Liverpoolfc.com: “The difference was the quick start. At 2-0, we stayed compact as a team and worked together.”
“We’re doing our best all the time on the pitch. Until now, nothing is done. We’re going to take it game by game until the end of the season.”
“It was amazing. We are very happy to get the three points.”
“It was not easy in the last few weeks, but it’s football and that can happen. More important is the reaction – we did it and we’re just going to try to keep going.”
The team looked re-energised, re-motivated and back to the way it looked during the opening months of the season.
Red shirts were hunting down the ball in packs from start to finish, bodies continued to break forward when we won back possession and the players bullied a strong Tottenham side. It was a joy to watch.
Mane gave us that threat in behind once again and re-introduced the sheer pace and variety of movement that the team had been missed in his absence.
That’s the kind of performance we need every week until the end of the season.