Friday, September 13, 2019

Sadio Mane scored just three goals in a run of 17 games for Liverpool last season.


It's almost unbelievable to think the Liverpool superstar had such a long period with such a low return.

The Senegal international seemed to almost single-handedly keep up the Reds attacking prowess at times last season on his way to claiming the Premier League's Golden Boot alongside Mohamed Salah and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang while also helping his side to Champions League victory.

There is, therefore, no doubting the attacker's world-class ability but it is a fact that remains and it was exactly during this next run of games last term when his goal drought took place.

Mane scored four goals for Liverpool at the start of last season, two against West Ham and one against both Crystal Palace and Leicester, before then flying off with his compatriots to face Madagascar during the September international break.

After returning back to Anfield, Mane failed to hit the back of the net against Tottenham, Paris Saint-Germain, Southampton, Chelsea, Napoli and Manchester City.

He then scored one goal in the 4-0 win against Red Star Belgrade and two in the 4-1 victory over Cardiff in late October before going on a run of eight games without scoring a goal until the Reds 3-1 home win over Manchester United.

This term Mane has scored four goals for Liverpool, two against Chelsea and one against both Southampton and Burnley, before the September international break.

After winning the Champions League with the Reds back in June, Mane was then whisked off to Egypt to play in the African Cup of Nations and his Senegal side made it all the way to the final where they were beaten 1-0 by Algeria.



His punishing schedule meant he didn't return to training until five days before the season started for the European champions, virtually wiping out an entire pre-season programme.

"I haven't had holidays of over 20 days for seven years but I am used to it," was Mane's take on his busy year. "I am ready. I am here now so let's do it."

So the news that both Mane has been given time off from his nations' games over the last two weeks will be a huge boost.

He was excused from international exploits with Senegal during this September break and isn't currently scheduled to feature for the African side until at least the third break of the season in November.

Liverpool play six times between September 14 and October 2 and will need all hands on deck for a busy period of action that includes game in the Champions League, Premier League and Carabao Cup.

What is also different for Mane this year when comparing his exploits to last term is that he has now scored 16 Premier League goals in 2019 without taking a single penalty. He has 19 goals in 29 appearances in all competitions for Liverpool this calendar year, along with three goals for Senegal in the African Cup of Nations this summer.

The fleet-footed attacker is in a rich vein of goalscoring form and the sensational output he has been showing for Liverpool will not disappear overnight.

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