Sadio Mane took centre stage once again for Liverpool on Wednesday night and took further strides towards presenting himself as Jurgen Klopp’s star man.
Another breathtaking display from the forward saw him inspire a dominant 4-2 win over Hoffenheim and, in turn, lead the Reds to a place in the Champions League group stages.
It’s worth noting that he wasn’t alone in dissecting a defence that will be overjoyed to have seen the back of Liverpool’s attacking force.
If Mane wasn’t breezing past his marker, Roberto Firmino was giving the Hoffenheim central defenders a masterclass. If the Brazilian wasn’t causing chaos, Mohamed Salah certainly was.
Besides his role in the attacking moves and each of Liverpool’s goals, it was one moment in particular that stood out in Mane’s performance on the night- one that summed up his role at the club.
After being on the end of a dreadful tackle, Mane rose to his feet to applaud the Anfield crowd before proceeding to gee them up- something Reds fans responded to superbly. Amid the Philippe Coutinho sage, to see a player keen to connect to the supporters and so happy to be at the club is a welcomed sight.
He has earned the right to be dubbed Liverpool’s most important and now arguably best player. Someone with his talent deserves the chance to test himself against Europe’s elite and he will now get that chance.