Sadio Mane Is ‘Back,’ Says Jurgen Klopp After Hat-Trick in Liverpool’s Porto Win

Sadio Mane Is ‘Back,’ Says Jurgen Klopp After Hat-Trick in Liverpool’s Porto Win

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Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp hailed Sadio Mane’s return to form after he bagged a hat-trick in the Reds’ 5-0 victory over Porto in the UEFA Champions League Wednesday. 

Per the Guardian‘s Andy Hunter, he said:

"He gave the right answer. I said to him after the last game when we met on the pitch: ‘Finally, you are back.’ Tonight he showed it again.

"He was always important, he was always fantastic for us even in his ‘not that good’ moments. That’s real quality. If you are not 100 per cent but still involved in goals that’s really important. Then it will come, if you keep working really hard like he did."

Mane opened the scoring after 25 minutes at the Estadio do Dragao when Porto goalkeeper Jose Sa allowed his shot to squirm underneath him.

Mohamed Salah then netted a sensational second, juggling the ball with his feet and head to round Sa after James Milner’s effort rebounded off the post.

Despite the winger netting Liverpool’s first, football writer Jack Lusby noted his lack of form at the break:

The Senegal international had another soon after, though, when he tapped in a simple rebound. He then played a key role in the build-up to Roberto Firmino’s effort, showing strength and drive in the centre to hold off a challenge despite his shirt being pulled to free Milner on the left.

Mane wrapped up his hat-trick late on with a vicious effort from outside the area, taking Liverpool to 28 Champions League goals for the season.

Football writers Leanne Prescott and Joel Rabinowitz hailed the Reds:

Mane’s return to form is a promising sign for Liverpool. Salah and Firmino have shouldered the attacking burden following Philippe Coutinho’s January departure, and while they’ve done a superb job, having another of their top stars back on song makes them even more potent.

Klopp will not accept complacency from his players ahead of the second leg, though. According to James Pearce of the Liverpool Echo, when asked if the tie was finished, he said:

"No, of course not. Why should I think that? We came here to create the basis for the second game at Anfield, no more no less.

"I’ve said many times I’m too long in the business to think anything is sorted before the final whistle is done."

While at 5-0 the Reds should be able to progress comfortably, their occasional tendency toward disaster at the back merits caution.

Liverpool let slip a 3-0 lead in just 45 minutes against Sevilla earlier in the season, and they’ve also lost 5-0 and 4-1 to Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur this season, while recently they shipped three goals at home to West Bromwich Albion.

It would still take an unprecedented calamity for them to be at risk here, but Klopp’s approach is wise.

Breaking Sports News

via Bleacher Report – Front Page http://ift.tt/yO6Sgr

February 15, 2018 at 03:03AM

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