How Sadio Mane has become the Mr Reliable of Liverpool’s attack

Salah steals the headlines and Firmino is the thinking fan's favourite, but Sadio Mane deserves equal billing, particularly on recent form.
Ryan Baldi  |  12th February 2019

Mohamed Salah steals the headlines with his speed and his goals, and Roberto Firmino is the thinking fan’s favourite thanks to his clever movement and unselfishness.

But the third member of Liverpool’s vaunted attacking trio deserves equal billing, especially considering how his recent form has kept the Reds’ title ambitions alive.

Sadio Mane has scored in each of his last four games, and in six of his last ten outings.

Bet on all this week’s Champions League action here

Mane is seldom as spectacular as Salah, or as intricately skillful as Firmino, but he is increasingly becoming Jurgen Klopp’s Mr Reliable in this tightest of title races.

His goal against Bournemouth took him up to 12 league strikes for the season, just one shy of his previous best Premier League return, the 13 he scored in his first season with Liverpool, and only four short of his career best 16 with Red Bull Salzburg back in 2012/13.

Starting from the left flank, Klopp knows exactly what he will get from the 26-year-old former Southampton man: speed, directness and an undying work ethic. And, lately, goals.

Mane ranks in the top ten among Premier League forwards this season when it comes to successful take-ons, touches inside the opposition’s box, accurate passes, forward passes, open-play key passes and, of course, goals scored.

His output represents an incredibly well-rounded attacking arsenal, but he is equally as effective without the ball, with more successful tackles than any Premier League forward and the ninth-most interceptions.

And with the Reds set to take on German champions Bayern Munich in the last 16 of the Champions League next week, they will again be leaning heavily on Mane’s reliable contribution from the left side of attack.

Mane is 2.55 to score any time vs Bayern at Anfield*

Although Liverpool haven’t yet lit up Europe’s premier club competition as they did on their run to the final last season, Mane, despite scoring just once in the group stage, is still producing the goods, ranking in the top ten among the competition’s forwards for successful take-ons, open-play key passes, tackles won and touches in the opposition’s box.

Firmino vs Salah – who is the better No.9?

Klopp recently admitted that missing out on signing Mane when he was Borussia Dortmund manager is “one of my biggest mistakes ever”. But the Liverpool boss is delighted to have him on his side now.

“He’s an outstanding boy,” Klopp said of Mane, “and life gave me a second chance to work with him and hopefully we can both use it.”

Eyebrows were raised when Liverpool paid £34million to sign Mane from Southampton in the summer of 2016, but any doubts over his signing have long since been dispelled.

Mane’s contribution is proving pivotal to Liverpool’s efforts to win a first top-flight title in 29 years, and you can’t put a price on that.

*Odds subject to change

Leave a comment

Follow Ryan Baldi on Twitter @FB_WHISPERS
Share this article:

Comments

Follow Us

Latest Tweets

🎥 We’ve been graced with many lads at Anfield down the years who are boss at just sticking the ball in the onion bag. So how does Mane’s recent form compare with some of the legends to have graced the turf before him? | @FB_WHISPERS

https://t.co/Pqj4KNDOG3

"But on the road, Liverpool picked up just four wins from the 18 matches played directly after a European game. They added to that total by beating Fulham on Sunday but what lies in wait for the rest of this season?" | 🖊️ @BassTunedToRed

https://t.co/p4ld0VAs5r

🎥 We’ve been graced with many lads at Anfield down the years who are boss at just sticking the ball in the onion bag. So how does Mane’s recent form compare with some of the legends to have graced the turf before him? | @FB_WHISPERS

https://t.co/Pqj4KNmdht

Load More...

Brand Ambassadors

John Aldridge

Former Liverpool striker and Kop cult hero.

Callum Smith

Undefeated professional Super-Middleweight boxer and Liverpool fan.
* Odds subject to change. Maximum bet regulations may apply. Terms & conditions apply. 18+. Gambling can be addictive. Please bet responsibly.