Liverpool absolutely destroyed Spartak Moscow on Wednesday at Anfield to lay claim to a seeded place in the knockout rounds of the UEFA Champions League.
Philippe Coutinho scored a hat trick, Sadio Mane bagged a brace, and both Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah also scored in the rout.
[ MORE: Champions League standings ]
The Reds scored two goals within four minutes on two occasions, netted a penalty (Coutinho’s first) and barely gave goalkeeper Loris Karius much to do at the back.
Mane’s second half pair were beautiful for different reasons.
The second was an agile reach back to tap a mishit pass into the goal, while the first was this acrobatic rocket volley that threatened to tear through the net.
Jurgen Klopp insists that all remains completely well at Liverpool, even after the Reds boss was seen participating in a heated discussion with Sadio Mane following the side’s 1-1 draw with Chelsea on Saturday.
[ MORE: Saturday’s PL roundup | Sunday preview ]
Mane, who played all 90 minutes and scored a goal during Liverpool’s 3-3 draw with Sevilla in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday, was unhappy after being left out of the starting lineup ahead of such a critical top-four battle in the Premier League. Mane was then scantily used against the Blues, coming on as an 89th-minute substitute with the two sides deadlocked at 1-1.
After the game, rather than the customary handshake and hug, Mane appeared to confront his manager who was more than happy to explain the decision to his star winger right then and there, rather than let the Senegalese dynamo sulk and stew on it another five minutes — quotes from Liverpool Echo:
“I was shouting at him because he was in the centre. But no player’s happy about that when you come on to the pitch with three minutes left and you feel like you’ve got 150 minutes in your legs already.
“I wanted to sort it immediately. He was not happy and said to me, ‘Mo (Salah) wanted to come in the position’ but Mo already had 90 minutes in his legs. So it would have made more sense that Sadio was close to the right wing and starts from that position.
“It’s not a big thing, we could have done it in the dressing room, it would have been the same thing. Everything is sorted immediately.”
West Ham’s plans to topple Liverpool quickly went to the birds on Saturday at the London Stadium.
The Reds struck like lightning off a West Ham corner, and Opta tweeted that it took Mohamed Salah 13 seconds from the set piece to the back of its own net.
[ STREAM: West Ham – Liverpool ]
Edimilson Fernandes didn’t help things by charging and missing the counter attack, and Sadio Mane dribbled long down the pitch before setting Salah up for the goal.
It took under three minutes for Liverpool to double its lead and heap misery on Slaven Bilic‘s men. Salah’s corner was almost an own goal, but Joe Hart made a solid reaction save off Mark Noble only to see the ball zip to the path of Joel Matip for a tap-in.
Liverpool star Sadio Mane is out with a hamstring injury.
Mane, 25, was injured while on international duty with Senegal and will miss Liverpool’s huge clash with Manchester United at Anfield on Saturday and is expected to be out for up to six weeks.
We break down what Mane’s absence could mean for Liverpool in the video above as this injury comes out a really bad time for the Reds with PL clashes and UEFA Champions League encounters coming thick and fast.
In a club statement, Liverpool had the following to say as losing their reigning Player of the Season for a key stretch of the season is a huge blow for Jurgen Klopp‘s men.
Sadio Mane is facing a spell on the sidelines after sustaining a hamstring injury on international duty, Liverpool FC can confirm.
The winger was substituted 89 minutes into Senegal’s 2-0 World Cup qualifying win over the Cape Verde Islands on Saturday.
And it has now been confirmed that he picked up an injury during that fixture that could keep him out of action for up to six weeks.
Mane, whose lay-off will commence when Manchester United visit Anfield on Saturday, has scored three goals in four Premier League appearances this term.
As far as Ederson is concerned, Sadio Mane‘s studs-to-face assault is a thing of the past — save for, the elongated scar he’ll likely wear on the left side of his face for the rest of his life, of course.
[ PL ROUNDUP: Goals galore on a wild Saturday ]
The Manchester City goalkeeper, who was forced from his side’s 5-0 victory over Liverpool on Sept. 9 after his face was raked by the studs of the Reds’ star attacker, revealed this weekend that he received — and accepted — Mane’s personal apology in the days immediately thereafter — quotes from Goal.com:
“Yes, I had contact with him, he sent me a message. I told him to stay calm, those things happen inside the pitch, it could happen anytime. I told him to not worry and wished him a good season.”
“I ended up having a hard hit in the face, but in the same week, I was ready to play in Champions League. I felt a strong kick, but I was always conscious. I knew it had been a long cut. I wanted to keep playing but, for medical issues, I couldn’t keep playing.
“But I was always conscious, even if I had my face a little bit swollen. But after a week it was normal again. In the same week, I was ready to play in Champions League. I faced that game full of confidence again, without any fear and happy for the result we achieved.”