After what can only be described as a horror few months, Sadio Mane looked back to his best against Crystal Palace.
With the pressure cranked up on the last day of the season, Mane produced his best performance of the campaign. The Senegal star scored a double to ensure that Liverpool will play Champions League football in 2021/22.
It wasn’t just his goals that mattered. His general play was also much improved. He looked the sharpest he has in months, while his decision-making was bang-on for the most part.
The intensity of his play was raised to suit the occasion. This was seen with his dribbles and his defensive numbers.
Fans were quick to praise him on social media, which is a far cry from what has become the norm recently.
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While he had a decent start to the season, Mane’s goal contributions began to dry up around November. Even then, his general play was good and he looked dangerous in basically every game.
However, even that abandoned him after a while. His touch was poor, he was making the wrong choices on the pitch and not making runs off the ball. It no longer looked like Sadio Mane.
Fans were left wondering whether he had reached the end of his prime. Players can go through bad form, but Mane is 29, so many feared that he may not recover.
Mane proved that he can get back to himself
So it will come as a relief to all reds that Mane still does have the ability to perform to a world-class level.
He can still be the electric, elite-standard winger that he has been for the last number of years.
We must remember that the £34m signing (BBC) has played an insane amount of football recently. And he has given maximum effort every single game.
With Diogo Jota out injured, Liverpool could not rotate their frontline like as had intended. It meant that Mane was playing basically every minute in this chaotic season.
Of course he was going to suffer a dip at some stage.
Now, he has a summer off. He can relax and rehabilitate. A break should do him the world of good so he can come back next season and hit the ground running.
Hopefully, Jota will stay fit for 2021/22. The Reds look set to add another attacker too.
This means that Mane will have the benefit of being allowed rest when he needs it. That way, he can be 100% ready whenever he is on the pitch.
He will be 30-years-old by the time next season ends. So we haven’t all that long left of Mane at his peak.
But one thing for sure is that he is not done just yet.