Liverpool fans were quite rightly over the moon with a win over Arsenal at the Emirates on the Premier Leagues opening weekend.
The Gunners took the lead through Theo Walcott but a 25-minute splurge from the away side saw Klopp’s men take an astonishing 4-1 lead. Despite almost throwing it away after all the hard work, Liverpool fans were understandably happy with the result and one players performance in particular really pleased the fans.
That player was £34million signing Saido Mane, who made an instant impact on his Liverpool debut. The wide midfielder made light work of a makeshift Arsenal defense and ultimately netted the vital 4th goal which turned out to be the winner. For the goal Mane took it upon himself to embarrass Calum Chambers in a 1 vs. 1 duel and then finish cooly. Mane showed he has both the pace and the efficiency in the final third to be a real asset for Klopp’s energetic Liverpool team this season.
But his goal was not the former Southampton mans only achievement in this game. Often criticised for his lack of consistency in his technical play, Mane shut away the doubters with a pass completion rate of 93% in this game. He was such a reliable outlet on the ball. 93% accuracy for an attacking player is brilliant, especially a player who is often looking to play forward. Mane has perhaps already shown that he is very adaptable and that could be why Klopp was happy to pay so much money for him. He also managed 4 successful take ons to get past a very experienced Nacho Monreal and ultimately pile pressure on the inexperienced duo of Chambers and Rob Holding.
Perhaps the most telling statistic of all though, was Mane’s defensive workrate. He was constantly back and helping Clyne, and he managed to make 4 tackles, winning the ball high up the pitch and again putting the pressure straight back on Arsenal – he did this particularly well in the second half.
Before we start with the Liverpool fans reactions, let’s look at how Arsenal’s official account reacted..
Mane makes it four.#AFCvLFC ?1-4⚫ (63)
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) August 14, 2016
Here’s what some Liverpool fans thought of Mane’s performance.
— Graeme Kelly (@GraemeKelly1) August 14, 2016
This is where Mane picked up the ball before scoring. Amazing. ??? pic.twitter.com/kKWOp3VSRj
— Empire of the Kop (@empireofthekop) August 14, 2016
In theory, I thought the Mané signing was great. But in practice, even if it’s still very early stages, I’m loving it even more. Great fit.
— The Tactics Room (@TheTacticsRoom) August 14, 2016
Mane making that run before the 4th goal pic.twitter.com/Ltro0HaU6d
— joseph schooling fan (@kxsmo) August 14, 2016
Sadio Mane’s goal was magic.
— Sam McGuire (@SamMcGuire90) August 14, 2016
Mane looked every bit a £30m player out there. Perfect fit for this Klopp team
— James Pearce (@JamesPearceEcho) August 14, 2016
Not bad for a start. Mane man of the match for me. Great game, great signing. #LFC
— Artur Petrosyan (@arturpetrosyan) August 14, 2016
And to think that some people were genuinely annoyed when we signed Mane.
— Green Scouser (@Green_Scouser) August 14, 2016
Mane is a game changer for us. The pace, tenacity and finishing.
— Jay (@Jay82_LFC) August 14, 2016
Liverpool fans will now hope that Mane can offer more consistency than he has previously. If he can keep up that kind of form he will certainly be worth the hefty £34million they paid.