The real truth behind Salah-Mane ‘bust-up’ doesn’t match the media narrative – or anyone’s preconceptions

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Sadio Mane’s reaction to Mo Salah not passing to him at Turf Moor on Saturday evening dominated a lot of headlines on Sunday, but the real truth is somewhat different to the narrative that is being painted.

When the statistics for both players are compared, calling Salah a selfish player is simply wrong, even if on this occasion he made a poor decision.

Mane only assisted once all season last year in the Premier League compared to Salah’s eight. There’s nothing wrong with that, and it doesn’t mean Mane is the selfish one, but the idea that Salah is always hogging the ball does need to be challenged.

That pattern of creating goes back further as well: it wasn’t just last season. Since he arrived at Anfield, Salah has been one of the Reds’ most creative players, while scoring 57 league goals at the same time.

At Burnley, Salah clearly should have passed to Mane rather than attempt an extra trick to engineer a shot for himself. But if you think this is ‘becoming a problem’, that’s more based on preconceptions than anything else.

Salah’s social media reaction will calm Reds fans

Salah is sometimes wasteful when he could have passed, and it was selfish to try and get on the scoresheet when Mane was better positioned, but that’s only natural for a goalscorer like he is.

For some reason, the idea exists that he is selfish when actually that is not normally the case. When it does happen though, confirmation bias makes it stand out.

The narrative that Match of the Day and the like are trying to create is that this incident was a big deal. The reality is, by the time the players come back from the international break, both will have forgotten about it and moved on.

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