Reds’ Mane man leads rout against Bay­ern

New Straits Times - - Sport -

BER­LIN: Sa­dio Mane pro­vided a thrilling re­minder of what Liver­pool missed last sea­son as he led Liver­pool into the fi­nal of the Audi Cup.

Though Liver­pool ul­ti­mately clam­bered into the top four, Mane’s ab­sence through in­jury was keenly felt in the clos­ing weeks but, on the ev­i­dence he pro­vided against a star­tled Bay­ern Mu­nich, he has re­turned bet­ter than ever.

There was a st­ing in the tail for Jur­gen Klopp, how­ever, who saw Daniel Stur­ridge sus­tain what ap­peared to be a thigh in­jury as he scored the fi­nal goal in a com­pre­hen­sive 3-0 dis­man­tling of their distin­guished hosts.

Mane opened the scor­ing in the sixth minute with a won­der­ful fin­ish and then pro­vided a piece of magic to cre­ate for the sec­ond as Liver­pool blitzed Carlo Ancelotti’s team, scor­ing three unan­swered goals to set up a col­li­sion with Atletico Madrid, who had ear­lier beaten Napoli 2-1.

Bay­ern had a lot of the ball but they never looked like trou­bling Liver­pool and Klopp will have been en­cour­aged with how they de­fended, not least young Trent Alexan­der-Arnold, the 18-yearold who is set to begin the Pre­mier League cam­paign at Wat­ford; he was never flus­tered by this stage.

If any­thing, Liver­pool looked the most likely team to add to their ad­van­tage and only an in­spired piece of goal­keep­ing by Ul­re­ich — stretch­ing his fingers to the limit — stopped Al­berto Moreno’s dip­ping free-kick from find­ing the top cor­ner of the net.

Moreno could move this sum­mer but he played like some­one who wants to pro­long his ca­reer on Mersey­side and he was heav­ily in­volved in the sec­ond goal, which left Bay­ern’s play­ers look­ing at each other in dis­be­lief.

It was Mane, though, who pro­vided the magic, his drag-back and back heel flum­mox­ing Bay­ern de­fender Javi Martinez and al­low­ing Moreno to ham­mer in a shot; once again, Ul­re­ich was equal to the task but this time Salah was on hand to head home the re­bound.

It looked when Liver­pool signed Salah that they had been held to ran­som by AS Roma and paid an ex­ces­sive fee for a player whose only pre­vi­ous ex­pe­ri­ence of Pre­mier League foot­ball was a floun­der­ing one at Chelsea. Daily Mail

REUTERS PIC

Liver­pool’s Sa­dio Mane (cen­tre) scores their first goal against Bay­ern Mu­nich in the semi-fi­nals of the Audi Cup in Mu­nich on Tues­day.

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