Football

Mane.

Sadio Mane had a bit of a nightmare in the warm-up before scoring hat-trick vs Porto

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Apparently, Sadio Mane isn’t having a very good season.

If that’s the case, there will be plenty of footballers that dream of having not very good seasons.

That’s because Mane has already scored 12 goals in all competitions for Liverpool and has just scored a hat-trick in the knockout stages of the Champions League.

However, those football fans that have criticised Mane in recent weeks do have a point. The Senegalese international has struggled at times and doesn’t appear to be the same player that we saw last season.

And his struggles looked as though they might continue ahead of Liverpool’s Champions League clash against Porto.

That’s because Daily Mail’s Dominic King noticed what was happening with Mane in the warm-up ahead of the last-16 clash.

SADIO MANE IN THE WARM-UP

King wrote: "During the shooting drill that Liverpool’s players undertake before every game, Sadio Mane was getting increasingly irritated.

"The routine sees them have a shot from the edge of the box, run into position to receive a cross from the right wing and the swiftly turn to take a ball from the opposite flank. It is done to help the forwards get their eye in and find rhythm.

"It all seemed easy for Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino but Mane had trouble with his aim. Though a few strikes whizzed in, a succession of shots crashed into the advertising boards or were smothered by goalkeeper Loris Karius, leaving him kicking at the turf in frustration."

FC Porto v Liverpool - UEFA Champions League Round of 16: First Leg

That sums up what Mane’s season has been like.

And the match didn’t start too promisingly for the former Southampton man either.

He was dispossessed on a number of occasions and just seconds before he gave Liverpool the lead, he should have passed the ball across to Georginio Wijnaldum for a tap-in.

But after Porto goalkeeper Jose Sa allowed his tame shot to roll into the back of the net after 25 minutes, Mane didn’t look back.

He suddenly looked like the player that we saw last season.

FC Porto v Liverpool - UEFA Champions League Round of 16: First Leg

And in the second-half, he got his reward for a much-improved display.

He made it 3-0 after Roberto Firmino’s shot was saved, before his brilliant work allowed his Brazilian teammate to make it four.

Mane completed his hat-trick with a fantastic strike from outside the box.

Maybe he was simply saving his best finishing for the actual match, rather than wasting it all in the warm-up…

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Topics:
Premier League
UEFA Champions League
Liverpool
Football

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