James Milner has challenged Sadio Mane to maintain his devastating form until the end of the season after his double helped Liverpool down Bayern Munich in the Champions League.
Jurgen Klopp’s side became the fourth Premier League side to reach the quarter-finals with a 3-1 in the Allianz Arena, with Virgil van Dijk on target in-between Mane’s solo effort in the 26th minute and diving header during the closing stages.
Mane also scored braces in Liverpool’s back-to-back home wins over Watford and Burnley in the Premier League and Milner believes the Senegal forward will be vital as the Reds battle for the top prizes at home and abroad.
“We didn’t play our best but it’s about getting a result,” he told BT Sport. “The front three were outstanding. Sadio is on fire.
“The first goal was ridiculous, how he’s finished it off. He’s on fire at the moment and I hope he keeps it up until the end of the season.”
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) March 13, 2019
Liverpool beat Premier League champions and current title rivals Manchester City 5-1 on aggregate in the quarter-finals of the Champions League last time around.
However, with Manchester United and Tottenham also in the hat, Milner suggested he might prefer to be paired alongside another continental foe in Friday’s draw – with Barcelona, Juventus, Ajax and Porto the options in that regard.
“It’s good for English football. That’s what you want. I don’t really think we want to play each other in the next round,” he added.
“We’ll see who we get. We’ve got good feelings from last year and hopefully we can carry that on and go as far as we can in this competition.”
Along with captain Jordan Henderson limping off due to an ankle injury early on, Andy Robertson’s stoppage-time yellow card means the left-back will miss the first leg in the next round.
“Yeah, it happens in games,” Van Dijk, who missed the goalless first leg versus Bayern due to a ban of his own, said on BT Sport. “He’s a bit unlucky.
“We need to cover it up and we will. We have plenty of quality in the squad.”
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