Liverpool v Arsenal finished in a 4-0 win for the hosts, with Sadio Mane standing out as a star. This was the most Mane-like performance all season.
Sadio Mane has had a strange season. He’s scoring plenty of goals and generally playing well – but it’s not the same Mane that we’re used to.
We went into things in detail here. Essentially, Mane is down on virtually every stat this season as he plays a slightly different role.
Liverpool have moved their creativity more towards their right flank, leaning into Mohamed Salah, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Jordan Henderson to create chances.
It means Mane is primarily there to finish moves off, rather than break teams down himself. You could see that in his ‘7 goals, 0 assists, 3 shots per game’ stat-line.
But as we saw against West Ham United, that won’t always work. Teams can shut down the right side of the pitch, forcing Liverpool to create from elsewhere. That means Mane needs to step up.
Especially against Arsenal, in fact. Liverpool didn’t have Henderson for this one, nor could they count on Andy Robertson or Roberto Firmino.
Fortunately, we saw the return of Mane’s very best in an all-action display.
Sadio Mane stars for Liverpool v Arsenal
Mane was far more involved here, enjoying as many touches as Salah – that’s rarely been the case this season. The no.10 even assisted his teammate for the first time in the campaign, finally getting him off the mark.
But Mane’s numbers were up across the board. He created two chances, completed three dribbles and even won two tackles.
He averaged marginally fewer shots, though. Only the two at Anfield – Mane still managed to score, however.
This was great to see, the, and exactly what a depleted Liverpool side needed. Mane returned to his very best against Arsenal and that was a big part of the win.