Liverpool forward Sadio Mane is fast becoming football’s new Mr Nice Guy – and he further enhanced that reputation with his comments following the Super Cup triumph over Chelsea
The Senegal superstar netted a brace for the Reds as a shoot-out triumph saw the Anfield club taste continental glory in Istanbul by overcoming Frank Lampard’s Blues.
The Turkish city will always have a special place in the hearts of Reds fans after the Champions League final in 2005, when Rafael Benitez’s side snatched victory from the jaws of defeat against AC Milan.
Liverpool, just like that memorable night 14 years again, emerged triumphant on spot-kicks as recently-signed reserve keeper Adrian denied Tammy Abraham as Jurgen Klopp’s side won the shoot-out 5-4 having settled for 2-2 after extra time.
And while most of the plaudits went to the stand-in goalkeeper, there’s no disputing the importance of Mane’s double – but the former Southampton star was quick to praise his team-mates including Roberto Firmino.
“To be honest, I think I was just a lucky boy,” Sane told UEFA.
“I think all the credit should go to my team-mates, especially Bobby – he could have scored but he preferred to give it to me.
“I think this is how we play at Liverpool. We play for each other and we always enjoy playing for each other and to give each other passes. I think that makes us strong.”
Firmino showed great awareness to lay off to Mane to cancel out Olivier Giroud’s opener, with Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga pulling off a fine double save to keep the Champions League holders at bay.
Substitute Mason Mount saw a goal ruled out for offside as the match went into extra time, which was just five minutes old when Mane rifled home impressively.
But Chelsea were not to be denied as referee Stephanie Frappart pointed to the spot, with Jorginho – or ‘Jorghino’ as his shirt read – coolly slotting home after the decision was cleared by the video assistant referee.
Adrian was guilty of bringing down Abraham for the penalty, but secured hero status by denying the substitute with the final spot-kick of the shootout.