Sadio Mané is living his best life right now. The Liverpool and Senegal striker has been in a streak of sensational form since this winter. He captained his national team to the African Cup of Nations title, scoring the penultimate penalty kick against teammate Mohamed Salah and Egypt. He also lead his side to qualify for the FIFA World Cup, also over Egypt.
Since returning from the AFCoN, Mané has also been scoring goals by the bucket load for Liverpool. He has 8 goals in 15 matches during that streak, including a brace against Manchester City in the FA Cup semifinal.
Sadio Mane with all of the goals since returning from AFCON. pic.twitter.com/ds6QJcaoPP— Sam McGuire (@SamMcGuire90) April 17, 2022
After the match, Mané spoke to the BBC about the feeling of reaching a second trophy match this season with his club team.
“I think today is special because it wasn’t an easy game, of course we faced one of the best teams in the world. So, of course if you win this kind of game – especially a semi-final – of course it’s a big dream, a big win. We are very pleased and very happy to qualify for the final.”
“To be honest, I think from the start of the game we played very well. We started very well. Everybody was on the front foot, we pressed them high. We pushed them to make a mistake and for that we got our reward. That’s Liverpool, that’s our style of play. Of course it was not easy for them. I think that made the difference.”
Got our reward, indeed. Mané’s energetic press of Manchester City goalkeeper Zach Steffen caused the second goal, tackling the ball off of Steffen’s foot into the net.
Relentless pressing from Sadio to double our lead pic.twitter.com/F9iHJtyXxN— Liverpool FC (@LFC) April 17, 2022
Mané, who has always avoided the spotlight himself, deflected credit away for his two goals, instead wanting to point out the efforts of his teammates. While his second goal, which ultimately would be the game winner, started with fantastic team play, was finished off with and astounding technical finish where Mané sliced down on a volley to drive the ball just inside the near post.
“Very happy to score the two goals for the team. But I think the performance of the team today was fantastic, every single player enjoyed the game because we did the right things at the right time. And it paid off.”
Doing the right things at the right time indeed.
Everything about it is beautiful. What a goal pic.twitter.com/xPlL2tKC2y— Liverpool FC (@LFC) April 17, 2022
With the win, Liverpool keep their hopes alive for a quadruple. Mané mentioned how difficult it will be for his team to accomplish the feat, but of course they will fight to attain that dream.
“We’ll see. We have a lot of games to go, we will try to do our best. It’s a dream, for sure. We’ll go for it, we’ll fight for it.”