Sadio Mane deserves some more credit for his display vs Wolves. The winger wasn’t perfect but he delivered a promising performance.
Sadio Mane was not Man of the Match against Wolves. It wasn’t what you’d call a standout performance, either.
But it was a very promising one. And at a time when Mane isn’t playing at his best, he deserves credit for it.
For instance, Mane completed seven dribbles in the game. He only attempted eight – a fantastic completion rate. It meant he dribbled past seven Wolves players over the course of the 90 minutes.
The only player who bettered that was Adama Traore. He also completed seven of eight but managed to take it around an extra player.
But as for Liverpool, the next highest was three dribbles from Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Mane used his dribbling very effectively, too. He completed 11 progressive carries – that is, carrying the ball forwards at least five yards inside the opposition half. He got Liverpool going.
Only Alexander-Arnold beats that but Mane tops the pile for carries into the final third and he managed two into the opposition box. The 28-year-old was consistently moving Liverpool into dangerous areas.
It all led to seven ‘shot creating actions’. These are anything player does that leads to a shot from his side. It could be a dribble, could be a pass, could be winning a foul. Mane’s efforts resulted in seven of these actions.
No one else on the pitch managed more than four (Mohamed Salah and Joao Moutinho). You see it best in the fact Mane got the assist for Diogo Jota’s winner.
Now, Mane wasn’t perfect. He mis-controlled the ball seven times – over 3x more than any teammate. He was tackled twice, which again was the most in Red.
But at a time when not everything goes his way, this was an encouraging display. Mane is still taking the fight to teams and is still a driving force for Liverpool.
If he keeps this up, he should be back to his best in no time.