Sadio Mane returned to Southampton and scored a stunner and had a hand in the eventual game-winner as Liverpool left St Mary’s with a wild 2-1 win.
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Superb goals, stunning saves, a horrendous howler and a miss of the season contender, this game had it all.
Speaking to the BBC after the game, Mane apologized for scoring against his former club and was happy to escape Southampton with a win.
“I’m sorry it is against my old team and sorry I have to score but I’m wearing a Liverpool shirt now,” Mane said. “Southampton was a very good step for me, I have big respect for this club. It is an amazing place. I learned a lot here and they are very nice people. But it is part of football and you have to deal with it.”
Mane pointed to the Super Cup final win in Istanbul against Chelsea on Wednesday — he scored twice in his first start of the new campaign after missing preseason due to the Africa Cup of Nations — as a factor in Liverpool’s sluggish start, but as soon as he scored the superb opener they clicked through the gears.
“What a game, it was not an easy game but you have to expect a tough game like this at this stage of the season,” Mane said. “After playing 120 minutes on Wednesday it was not easy and we know it would be difficult. It was not easy and it took us a little bit of time to get going. But we got the three points and I think we deserved it. Once we scored the first goal it was easier for us.”
Liverpool rode their luck late on after Adrian’s howler allowed Danny Ings to score and the former Liverpool forward then whiffed on a shot six yards out as Saints pushed to make it 2-2.
Mane’s quality is clear and he looks fresh despite his busy summer with Senegal and set up Andrew Robertson late on with an audacious back heel.
Liverpool will have to manage his minutes when December and January roll around, but on this form, how on earth does Klopp leave him out?