Watch: Sadio Mane fools defenders with clever run before Jota’s goal
While Liverpool’s Sadio Mane didn’t register a goal or assist against Arsenal, he played a key role in their 2-0 win at the Emirates.
Mane has managed to rediscover his best form during 2021-22, scoring 12 goals and making two assists in 26 Premier League appearances.
But Liverpool’s £37.5million move for Luis Diaz in the January transfer window naturally led to questions over Mane’s long-term future at Anfield.
The Senegal international has still remained a key part of Jurgen Klopp’s side and started in a front three alongside Diaz and Diogo Jota against Arsenal.
With the scores level at 0-0 in the 54th minute, Mane managed to district Ben White by making a clever run. This then allowed Thiago to pick out an unmarked Diogo Jota, who fired past Aaron Ramsdale.
Roberto Firmino doubled Liverpool’s lead a few moments later and they are now just one point behind Premier League leaders Manchester City.
During the first half, Mane was also involved in a moment of controversy when he went down anticipating a challenge from Arsenal defender Gabriel which never came, leaving home fans calling for referee Andre Marriner to book him.
But he wasn’t booked and Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp defended the Senegal international during his post-match press conference.
“The situation with Sadio Mane. I’m sick of it, sick of it that you take a player out, it’s like [an Arsenal defender] could have done what he wanted,” Klopp said.
“Everything was he fouled or he didn’t get fouled. That was what I was talking about, nothing to do with the game.
“Really, I have no idea. Maybe somebody can explain it to me why Sadio doesn’t get free-kicks and don’t tell me he’s a diver or whatever. He’s not. I know him better than anybody else. He’s not.”
Sadio Mané 👏 pic.twitter.com/qHdjQExdXs
— The Anfield Talk (@TheAnfieldTalk) March 17, 2022