- Jurgen Klopp welcomes Sadio Mane back to form after superb Champions League display
- Senegalese star scored a hat-trick in Liverpool’s 5-0 away win against Porto
- Klopp confident the forward has put difficult spell behind him
- SEE MORE: Robbie Fowler’s tweet about Porto 0-5 Liverpool is incredible…
Jurgen Klopp has greeted Sadio Mane’s return to form with open arms following a memorable European night for Liverpool.
The Reds cruised to a 5-0 win away to Porto in the first leg of their last 16 tie, with Mane grabbing a hat-trick in an admirable response to his apparent dip in form in recent weeks.
Alongside trusty companions Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino, Mane spearheaded a typically devastating attacking performance to inflict a notably rare home defeat on Porto and afford Klopp’s men breathing space heading into the return leg at Anfield.
“He gave the right answer. That’s good. I said to him after the last game ‘finally you’re back’ immediately after when we talked on the pitch,” Klopp told Liverpoolfc.com.
“Tonight he showed it again what a fantastic player he is. He was always important, he was always fantastic for us, even in his not-that-good moments.”
“That’s a real quality if you are not 100 per cent and still scoring, maybe not that often but involved in goals, then that’s really important.”
“They will come if you keep on working really hard like he did, then there can be a moment like this.”
A familiar rampant Liverpool were undoubtedly worth their reward having oozed superiority from defence to attack throughout the evening.
Virgil van Dijk enjoyed a pleasing debut on the European stage for the Reds as he patrolled his side’s defensive quarters in dominant fashion, producing a superb late block to help earn a valuable clean sheet.
It was Mane, however, who rightly stole the headlines with an impressive treble to compensate for his uncharacteristic lack of composure in the final third in recent weeks.
His first arrived thanks to a spot of luck when his shot squeezed beneath goalkeeper Jose Sa before an early second-half attack saw Mane position himself well to slot home a rebound in less-fortuitous style.
The 25-year-old earned the match ball with a fierce strike from 20-yards five minutes before the end.
As Klopp noted, he is back.