Liverpool’s season hasn’t been perfect. There have been defensive struggles, runs of poor finishing, and a fair few injury issues to sort through. At their best, though, this is a side with the firepower and ruthless pressing to beat any other club in the world.
At least that’s what the players believe according to Sadio Mané, and with a few fewer of those aforementioned stumbles—especially in the Champions League against Spartak Moscow and Sevilla—the rest of the football world might well be saying the same thing.
“It is very important for us to be in the Champions League,” Mané noted ahead of Wednesday’s decisive clash with Spartak. “The fans deserve it, the club also. We want to play a big part in the Champions League. We want to go as far as we can.
“I think we have scored more goals than many other big teams and we just want to keep winning games. This is one of the biggest games of the season for us so it's exciting. We know it will be tough but we also know that we can beat any team in the world.”
Liverpool head into their final group stage match knowing that, one way or another, they will still be in Europe come the spring as they have secured at the very least a landing spot in the Europa League should Spartak and Sevilla both win tonight.
But it’s a deeper run in the Champions League that the players want, and the chance to prove that they belong on the game’s biggest stage alongside players at clubs like Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, and Juventus—all of whom Liverpool could face if they win.
“We are working hard every single day to be difficult for defenders,” Mané added. “We're going to try to do our best and cause as many problems as we can for the Spartak defenders.”