Naby Keita and Sadio Mane both kicked off their AFCON campaigns with 1-0 wins for their countries. Mane scored a 97th minute penalty as Senegal beat Zimbabwe. Keita dominated in the midfield as Guinea dispatched Malawi.
The pair scooped the man of the match awards for their respective displays. This isn’t a surprise given the importance of both Keita and Mane to their teams. But it’s always nice to see Liverpool players excelling in international competitions.
It is especially positive news for Keita. The 26-year-old needs a good run of games to build up some rhythm after another stop start season. Hopefully the good start gives him a platform to kick on for the rest of the tournament.
Mane will also be delighted to have got off to a scoring start. He went 10 games without a goal for Liverpool before finally scoring against Chelsea in his last game before heading to Cameroon.
The Egyptian King ready to join the party
Of course Liverpool have a third player participating at AFCON who needs no introduction. Following Mane and Keita’s success on Monday, Liverpool fans are expecting a man of the match performance from Mohamed Salah to complete a Liverpool clean sweep.
@MoSalah, You’re next.— Samuel (@SamueILFC) January 10, 2022
Salah next 🤞— 🇸🇳 (@ftblfamz_) January 10, 2022
It would hardly be a surprise to see Salah claim player of the tournament let alone for a single match. The FIFA The Best finalist is in the form of his life.
But his Egypt side will go into the game on Tuesday as second favourites to a fancied Nigerian team with a strong Premier League presence. If The Pharaohs are to get anything from the game they’ll need Salah at his very best.
No pressure Mo!