Sadio Mane hasn’t been quite the same player this season that we saw during his debut campaign at Liverpool.
However, despite underperforming at times, Mane has now scored 12 goals in all competitions this time around - just one less than last season.
And he reached that tally with a brilliant hat-trick against Porto in their Champions League last-16 first-leg - a tie in which Liverpool won 5-0.
Mane - who holds the record of the quickest Premier League hat-trick whilst at Southampton - helped Jurgen Klopp’s side pretty much book their place in the quarter-final of the competition with his three goals.
And every football fan knows what three goals mean - the match ball.
However, Mane almost missed out on his souvenir because of a ball boy.
It’s being reported that a young ball boy thought he had bagged himself a brilliant present by running onto the pitch at full-time to grab the ball.
However, one Liverpool player was alert.
ROBERTSON GRABBED MANE THE MATCH BALL
Dominic King from the Daily Mail told the story in his tweet:
“Andy Robertson proving again what a team player he is. A young ball boy thought he had a memento for himself, Robertson quickly spotted him and made sure the ball was delivered to Sadio Mane. A souvenir of a spectacular night.”
Of course, with the multi-ball system in play in Champions League matches, Mane could have picked any ball to take home. But Robertson clearly wanted him to have the ball they finished the match with.
LIVERPOOL FANS REACT
Taking a ball from a young kid to give to Mane. Harsh? Brilliant? It seems Liverpool fans can't quite decide...
And, after the match, Robertson explained his action:
“I had to go running after the ball boy for his ball at the end – he was nearly upset! Luckily, I managed to get it. They were three class finishes from him.
“Mo and Bobby have stolen the headlines in the last couple of weeks. But Sadio is on my side [of the pitch] and he is a workhouse, he works so hard. He took the limelight and got his three goals.”
In Robertson's defence, Mane earned that match ball so, technically, it wasn't "stealing."
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