Liverpool lost their chance to become Premier League centurions on Wednesday night when they suffered a 2-1 loss to Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal. Sadio Mané scored the only goal for his side.
Mistakes from unlikely sources prevented Jürgen Klopp’s side from picking up all three points at the Emirates Stadium, with both Virgil van Dijk and Alisson Becker uncharacteristically gifting the Gunners two goals.
Overall, it was an underwhelming performance steeped in errors and a lack of the cutting edge quality which would be expected of champions. However, Sadio Mané was an exception.
The Senegalese was one of the only players on the pitch who showed any real desire against the Gunners and his performance was rewarded with a goal. For his goal, the No.10 got onto the end of an Andy Robertson cross and shot first time past Emiliano Martínez for his 17th league goal this season.
The left-sided forward was also the Reds’ most dangerous and creative outlet against the north London side. He created four chances – the second most of any player on the visiting side – and completed two out of three dribbles.
His determination to make things happen for his side was evident in his defensive contribution too. Mané won one tackle, won two aerial duels and also completed two interceptions. The former Southampton man was sharp, quick and intelligent on the ball and whilst his teammates did not perform to the level of champions, he certainly did.Embed from Getty Images
It builds on a common theme this season. Even when those around him have dropped a level, the Senegalese’s competitive streak drives him on to continue to push for more – mediocrity is not in this man’s dictionary.
Next up for Liverpool is Chelsea at Anfield where we will see Mané and the rest of the squad lift the Premier League trophy in the Kop End for the first time in 30 years.
Hopefully, before that long-awaited moment, we will see a performance filled with desire from all who pull on the red shirt.
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