Tuesday 14 August 2018

Mane gives 'right answer' to earn Klopp praise

Sadio Mane scores Liverpool's third goal Photo: Julian Finney/Getty Images
Sadio Mane scores Liverpool's third goal Photo: Julian Finney/Getty Images

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Jürgen Klopp hailed Sadio Mané for giving "the right answer" to questions about his form by hitting a hat-trick in Liverpool's 5-0 Champions League last-16 thrashing of Porto.

Mané had just two goals in his last 12 appearances before goalkeeper Jose Sa's fumble led to him opening the scoring at the Estadio do Dragao.

The Senegalese added to his first of the night with a close-range finish in the second half, then capped off Liverpool's night with a thunderous effort from range five minutes from time.

Mané's form of late has paled in comparison to that of team-mates Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah - who scored Liverpool's other two goals on the night - but Klopp believes the 25-year-old's hat-trick signals a return to form.

"He gave the right answer. I said to him after the last game (Sunday's 2-0 win at Southampton): 'Finally, you are back.' After the game we met on the pitch and tonight he showed it again."

The Liverpool manager added: "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 at 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.

"The first was a little lucky, but the other two - the second one was about being in the right place and he used his fantastic skills on the third one so it's good, really good. I'm happy about it."

Irish Independent

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