Sadio Mane has been speaking out before his enforced two-week break from action.
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Liverpool’s leading goalscorer was sent off in their 5-0 defeat at Manchester City last weekend for a reckless, high challenge on City’s goalkeeper Ederson.
With Liverpool’s appeal over Mane’s three-match ban turned down by the FA, the Senegal international will now miss games against Burnley, Leicester City in the League Cup and Leicester against in the PL.
Speaking to reporters after Liverpool’s 2-2 draw at home against Sevilla in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday, Mane revealed his surprise at the sending off.
“Honestly, I was focusing more on the goalkeeper than the card and when I saw the red card I was surprised because I was expecting a yellow card,” Mane said. “But I’ll accept it and try to forget it. I was going for the ball and I didn’t have the intention to hurt him because I’m not that kind of player. I wish him a quick recovery. It’s not easy for me because I love to play football and I enjoy helping my team to win games.”
Ederson was substituted after Mane’s high tackle with Claudio Brvao coming on but after had eight stitches in the side of his face the Brazilian goalkeeper was back in training this week and played in Man City’s 4-0 win at Feyenoord with a protective helmet.
Mane’s insistence that the challenge was accidental seems genuine and with the pace both he and Ederson were traveling at, it’s understandable that a nasty collision could happen. That said, Mane’s challenge was reckless and the red card should stand.