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