Sadio Mane was the saviour of Liverpool as they came from a goal down to snatch an incredible 2-1 victory extremely late on at Aston Villa.
Jurgen Klopp’s men were staring a first Premier League defeat of the season right in the face before mounting a stunning late comeback with their mercurial Senegalese forward at the heart of it all.
He first created Andy Robertson’s equaliser, cancelling out Trézéguet’s opener, with three minutes of the game remaining before converting that prized winner following a “routine” they had been working on deep into stoppage time.
Once again, the Reds illustrated their powers of recovery; for the fourth time in this campaign, they’d find themselves behind and in across those outings the league leaders would rescue 10 points combined, more than any side.
But perhaps Mane scoring after the 90th minute should not have come as a surprise, given his growing reputation. Not only is he Liverpool’s most in-form attacker, but he’s also developing a bit of a habit of producing the goods late on (see below).
Mane’s manager was appreciative of his contribution, as well as the manner of the winning goal.
“The best possible in football. Really satisfying,” he told reporters regarding the emotions of Mane’s late winner.
“The routine [for Mane’s goal], we’d tried before a couple of times and we thought it could be a space where we could make a little advantage. It was not the only routine we had, but it was one I saw in the game two or three times before. We worked yesterday on that and then if you can use it in a very decisive moment then it’s really good.
“Sadio [also] crossed the ball for Robbo’s goal. Being there for that goal after the situations he had in the game when he got a yellow card – I think when you see it back, it is for sure not diving, there is contact, but it is the decision you have to accept.
“In the moment, then the crowd takes you a little and try to make you even more insecure – but that’s obviously not possible with Sadio. He stayed in the game, got the yellow card there, but still stayed in the game even defensively. Very good.”
This latest effort was Mane’s third Premier League goal in injury time this year. No one playing in England’s top division in 2019 has registered a better total. His resilience will no doubt be handy when Liverpool welcome title rivals Manchester City to Anfield next week.
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