Sadio Mane has enjoyed many standout moments since joining Liverpool from Southampton back in 2016, but Wednesday night at the Allianz Arena probably tops the list.
The Senegalese forward was the Reds’ hero, scoring two goals against Bayern Munich to help his side secure qualification for the Champions League quarter-finals.
Mane’s first goal was arguably the best of his Liverpool career so far. His initial touch from Virgil van Dijk’s long pass was fantastic, but the spin around Manuel Neuer and the finish were world class.
Joel Matip’s own goal shortly before half-time made it 1-1 at the break, but headers from Van Dijk and Mane sent Jurgen Klopp’s men through to the next round.
Bayern paid the price for failing to score an away goal in last month’s first leg at Anfield.
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Robert Lewandowski was critical of Niko Kovac’s defensive tactics after Bayern’s elimination was confirmed on Wednesday, believing they would have stood a better chance if they’d attacked more.
But aside from that, Bayern also paid the price for failing to control Mane, who was outstanding.
Footage shows that Mane exacted revenge on Joshua Kimmich, who screamed at the 26-year-old in celebration after tackling him during the first leg.
Mane, to his credit, smiled at Kimmich’s unnecessary behaviour. Perhaps this was the moment Mane knew he was about to punish Bayern.
He did just that, of course, and the suspended Kimmich could do nothing about it.
Revenge is a dish best served cold.
After the match, Klopp reserved special praise for his match-winner.
“It’s so obvious that I don’t have to speak about it,” Klopp was quoted as saying by the Liverpool Echo when asked to surmise Mane’s impact since the turn of the year.
“He knows it, everybody knows it. I don’t want to speak about it really.
“It’s so important that these boys stay fit.
"Remind me after the season and I will sing my own song about Sadio Mane if you like.
"He’s a really good footballer and long may it continue!”News Now - Sport News