The remarkable stats behind ruthless Sadio Mané’s record-breaking season

Quick Reads

Liverpool‘s Sadio Mané is enjoying the best season of his career, a crucial player in their campaign for a Premier League and Champions League double.

The Senegalese international has been on a fine goalscoring run of late, and was often the one banging them in as teammate Mohamed Salah suffered a goal drought.

A fan favourite for the Reds, Mané just seems to be getting better and better, and could yet end the season as the Premier League’s top scorer. Here are the stats behind his remarkable rise:

Goals

Mané’s opener in the second leg of the Champions League quarter-final at Porto was his 22nd in all competitions this season for Liverpool – that’s just one off his best-ever tally, with a month left to play.

He scored 23 goals in 50 appearances for Red Bull Salzburg in 2013-14, 10 of which were in the domestic cup and Europa League, with 13 in the league.

18 Premier League goals is his best tally yet in a league campaign, and already five more than he’s managed on these shores for Southampton and previous seasons at Liverpool. Not only that but he’s a candidate for the Golden Boot this year, currently just one goal behind Salah and Sergio Aguero.

Big Impact

Mané’s goals have often come at important times for Liverpool. His latest, a killer away goal in Porto, came as his team were under heavy pressure as the hosts looked capable of turning the tie around. In the round before, he scored Liverpool’s first and third in Munich as Liverpool beat Bayern 3-1.

Days before that he provided Liverpool’s opener against Chelsea, one of many vital contributions he’s made in Liverpool’s title challenge this season.

In fact, it was the eighth time that Mané has broken the deadlock for Liverpool in the league this season, having scored the opening goal against Fulham, Leicester twice, Watford, Bournemouth, West Ham and Manchester United.

Many of those goals came in a remarkable run where he scored 11 goals in 11 games from January into March, often stepping up when Salah was misfiring.

Ever-present

One of Liverpool’s strengths this season has been having key figures fit and firing throughout – Alisson, Virgil van Dijk, Andy Robertson, Salah, et al.

Mané’s no exception, starting 31 of Liverpool’s 34 Premier League game so far, clocking up more than 3500 minutes in all competitions. This is already the most minutes he’s played in an English season, in his fifth year here.

Despite featuring so regularly, he still has a better goals-per-minute ratio than any season before, averaging a goal every 151 minutes. That’s more or less the same strike rate as Salah, who averages one every 153 minutes.

Attacking Stats

While his goalscoring ratio has improved, there’s not actually been a great deal of difference in his all-round game, recording similar figures in terms of key offensive metrics.

This suggests he’s simply become more clinical at putting away his chances.

He actually takes fewer shots per game than last season – averaging 2.4 this time, in comparison to 2.8 last year, though it’s up from 2.1 in his first season at Anfield.

In terms of dribbles, he averages 1.5 per year this season, down from 1.9 last season and 2.5 the season before.

He plays fewer key passes – the last pass before a teammate takes a shot – 1.1 per game in comparison to 1.7 and 1.6 in the two years before. In fact, he’s only recorded one assist in the league this year, down from seven last year and six the year before.

But this more ruthless, eyes-for-goal style certainly isn’t causing any issues – and he’s more than making up for a lack of assists by banging more in himself.


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