Jurgen Klopp was keen to pay tribute to the other attributes aside from finishing that make Sadio Mane such a special player on the day he reached 100 goals for the Reds.
Mane opened the scoring on Saturday as Liverpool beat Crystal Palace 3-0 at Anfield, his close-range effort shortly before half-time momentous for more than one reason.
Not only did he set a new Premier League record with this a ninth successive goalscoring appearance against the same opposition, but it took him to 100 goals for the club in 224 games.
He is the 18th player to reach the milestone for Liverpool and the 10th fastest, quicker than the likes of Kenny Dalglish (241 games), Ian St John (270) and Kevin Keegan (318).
Mane’s goalscoring accomplishments understandably drew much of the focus after the game, though Klopp wanted to highlight other aspects of the Senegal forward’s play.
100 – Sadio Mané has scored his 100th goal for Liverpool in all competitions, 10 of which have come against Crystal Palace, his most against a single opponent for the Reds. Centurion. pic.twitter.com/gJ4x7qNl34
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) September 18, 2021
For example, since the start of 2019-20, just six forwards have been involved in more duels than Mane (1,010), while only Richarlison (82) has won more tackles than him (66).
Roberto Firmino (66) and Mohamed Salah (61) are the only forwards to record more than Mane’s 58 instances of winning possession in the final third, while he ranks fifth for most dribbles attempted (304) over the same period.
In short, Mane boasts tremendous work ethic and Klopp felt the need to ensure that side of his game is appreciated as well.
Speaking to reporters, Klopp said: “People forget around these 100 goals that Sadio also worked incredibly hard, defended high, pressed high and counter-pressed.
“One hundred goals is just one number alongside all the others, but I am just really happy for him, it is a massive achievement in this glorious history of this club [because] only 18 players could score 100 goals.
“Nowadays players are not normally as long at clubs so I am really happy I could work so long with him during these five years.”
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