With Liverpool 3-0 up at the weekend, Jurgen Klopp brought Sadio Mane off.
The Senegalese forward lost his temper after being substituted and, frankly, the outburst was great to see.
At first, we thought Mane was taking exception to being brought off but, on closer inspection, it became apparent he was furious with teammate Mo Salah’s refusal to square him the ball when one-on-one.
Firmino sought to empathise with Mane, nodding along and reassuring him that he understood his grievance with Salah; Bobby had also found himself unfed by the Egyptian when unmarked in the box against Burnley.
Klopp laughed off the outburst, while speaking to Sky Sports after the game, saying he “clarified it in the dressing room”. The unity in the Liverpool camp is such that we have no reason to believe that this will become an ongoing saga. All the Mane outburst showed us is just how desperate for goals the Liverpool attack is.
On one hand we have Salah with the blinkers on, ignoring the completely free Mane and instead trying to do it himself – hungry for goals. On the other hand, we have Mane, coming off the pitch and losing his temper over his missed opportunity – hungry for goals.
Can we blame Salah? Not at all, as Klopp correctly pointed out: “[he] could describe five or six situations when everyone thought ‘pass it, pass it, pass it’ and then he scored”.
Can we blame Mane? Not at all, if he keeps this attitude up he’ll have (at least half of) the Golden Boot again. That outburst was great to see.