A game for Liverpool where the moment was more important the performance, Sadio Mane was brilliant for Jürgen Klopp, helping The Reds to their first Champions League final in eleven years.
The Senegalese winger scored the first goal in the Stadio Olimpico in the final semi-final leg of this season’s prestigious competitions.
His goal also brings the fantastic three of Roberto Firmino, Mo Salah and himself to the record of the most prolific trio in Champions League history. The three of them have now scored 29 goals in this season Champions League campaign bettering the so-called ‘BBC’ of 2013/14 and Benzema, Bale and Ronaldo’s 28 goals.
Mane’s ninth goal of the competition wasn’t his best goal of the year but one of the most important. The goal was a classic Liverpool goal as The Reds nicked the ball off a sloppy Roma and broke away. Firmino played the ball into our man of the match’s path and he smashed it past Alisson.
The Senegalese international seems to perform so well in the Champions League. His hat-trick against Porto and rampant display against Manchester City. Once again, the 26-year-old performs in Europe and helps his side into one of the biggest matches in European football.
Mane was a willing runner throughout the game, He showed the whole of Europe why he is so important to that Liverpool front three. He may not get the headlines of Salah, or even Firmino but he is vital in his own way.
He manages to show composure to bring the ball forward, displaying his pace, and quick feet to get out of tricky situations. He ran the length of the pitch on countless occasions last night and looked to have more energy than his fellow attackers.
Sadio has been criticised this season for his complacent finishing, despite his 10 Premier League goals and 9 Champions League strikes. However, he proved his finishing wasn’t to be doubted tonight. His one chance in the early stages of the game he smashed home to score a vitally important goal for Liverpool.
Wijnaldum played an important role in the side today and was a very close run for the man of the match prize. He obviously scored his first away goal since playing for an English club and looked to protect Trent Alexander-Arnold in the second half.
Karius was also very good in goal and looked very solid. Not much he could do about any of the goals except when he palmed the ball to Dzeko. However, the German keeper caught many crosses and made a few vital saves and looks to be improving with every game.
The whole side was a lot better than in the draw against Stoke at the weekend, however, if The Reds want to win their 6th Champions League trophy they’ll need to step the performances up once again to take the trophy in Kiev.