Sadio Mane was delighted to hear about Liverpool’s victory over Manchester City in the Premier League on Sunday evening.
Mane spent six years with Liverpool, contributing 120 goals and 48 assists in 269 appearances for the club before leaving for Bayern Munich in a £35million transfer in the summer. He has settled into his new team, scoring nine goals in 16 matches for Bayern, but it seems he still has an eye on his old team.
Liverpool picked up a statement 1-0 win over defending champions City at Anfield on the weekend, thanks to Mohamed Salah’s dramatic second-half goal. Mane was busy scoring in Bayern’s 5-0 thumping of Freiburg on Sunday afternoon, so missed the game on TV, but still sent his best wishes to Jurgen Klopp’s team.
“I’m very happy for the boys that they beat City,” he told BILD. “I couldn’t watch because we were on the bus. I have a lot of faith in the boys and the coach that they’ll get back to the top!”
Liverpool’s win was just their third in nine Premier League matches this season and they remain a long way off the pace being set by Arsenal at the top of the league. Klopp’s side are now eighth, 10 points adrift of second-placed City and 14 off the Gunners.
But the nature of Sunday’s win will give the Reds renewed confidence following a rocky start to the season. Klopp’s side defended stoutly to deny Erling Haaland and, although they needed VAR to intervene to chalk off Phil Foden’s goal, they were good value for their win.
Salah made the difference, netting one-on-one with Ederson after Alisson launched a counter-attack with a long kick, while Virgil van Dijk led the defence to a much-needed clean sheet. The game underlined the Liverpool centre-back’s point about not missing Mane.
“That’s funny, but I don’t think it’s that personally,” he told Sky Sports when asked about whether Mane’s departure had hindered the side before the City win. “Obviously Sadio was a massive player for us, but he wanted to leave, it’s not that we wanted to let him go.
“We have players that have come in. Luis Diaz, outstanding. Darwin [Nunez] is getting to know how we really want to defend from the front and the importance of when we have the ball and when we don’t have the ball. It takes a bit of time in this case, but I don’t think that’s the exact reason why we are not performing.”
Klopp made a similar point after Mane left. “It’s completely normal that sometimes in relationships there are changes needed,” he said. “In this case, Sadio wanted it and we reacted and now we both try to make the best of it. I’m really fine with the situation. We will miss him from a sports point of view and as a person as well. But I am fine because that’s how life is.”
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