Liverpool star Sadio Mane is not going to let his collision with Ederson in last weekend’s Premier League defeat to Manchester City change his style of play despite leaving the Brazilian with several facial wounds.
The incident occurred when Mane chased a ball behind the City defence in the 37th minute and raised his foot in an attempt to nudge it past Ederson, but the goalkeeper got there first to head clear.
Mane’s studs impacted on the side of the 24-year-old’s face, drawing blood and forcing him to receive lengthy medical treatment before eventually leaving the pitch on a stretcher.
Referee Jon Moss produced a straight red card resulting in a three-match ban, for which the FA rejected Liverpool’s subsequent appeal, though Mane did express regret over the incident.
“I was going for the ball,” he said. “I didn’t have intention to hurt him because I am not that kind of player, so I wish him a quick recovery.
“I was focusing more on the goalkeeper than the card [after the collision] so when I saw the red card I was surprised because I was expecting maybe a yellow card. I will accept it and try to forget.
“I think the next time I will get the ball before him, I will do my best. My intention was not to hurt the goalkeeper.
“It was bad and I wish him the recovery to come back healthy. I am happy for him that he could play again [for City at Feyenoord on Wednesday] and help his team.
“It is not what I wish. I think it was a challenge for the ball. I made contact and it was not what I wanted to do, so I apologised to him. It is part of football and I cannot change anything.
“I don’t have his number so I just posted messages for him and I think he has seen them.”
The Reds begin their Burnley preparations… pic.twitter.com/3drXU5GHeK
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) September 14, 2017
Due to his suspension Mane will not feature again in the Premier League for Liverpool their trip to Newcastle United on October 1, but the forward believes Philippe Coutinho’s return to action, following a back injury and speculation around his future, will be a big help.
“It is always nice to welcome him [Coutinho] back because he is one of our best players,” Mane said.
“He will not only help my game but I think he is a very important player for Liverpool and he will help us to get better and better.
“[But] it [missing games] is not easy for me because I always love to play football and to enjoy, especially to help my team to win games.
“But we have a great team and great qualities and I think the boys can do it. I would love to be on the pitch all the time and help my team but I will also accept [the punishment] and try and be ready for my comeback.”
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