Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher heaped praise on “exceptional” Sadio Mane after the Liverpool forward starred in the 2-0 win over 10-man Chelsea on Sunday.
Mane opened the scoring early in the first half with a fine header before capitalising on a horrendous Kepa Arrizabalaga mistake to double his tally at Stamford Bridge.
And it was the Senegal star’s role in the second goal which impressed the Sky Sports pundits most, with Mane reacting to a mistake in perfect fashion.
The Reds ace gave the ball away deep in Chelsea’s half before chasing Kepa down, causing the Spanish keeper to make a rash mistake and Mane was ultimately able to tap home into an empty net.
Speaking during the match, Neville said: “Well we’ll admire to start with, Sadio Mane. He is an exceptional talent but his work rate is equally exceptional.
“He presses, he harasses, he does everything you would want a football player to do on the ball and off the ball.
“He gives the ball away. And look at that reaction to given the ball away; the anger, the anticipation. Forget Kepa we know he takes a chance.
“Mane knows he takes a chance. It’s brilliant from the Liverpool forward.”
Neville’s fellow pundit Carragher, the Anfield legend, was also in agreement and hailed Mane for never giving up on the ball.
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The top-flight rivals slugged out an engaging but goalless first half, but the Blues ended the opening period reduced to 10 men.
Andreas Christensen was sent off for little more than a rugby tackle on Mane when the Liverpool forward was clear in on goal.
Mane beat both Christensen and Kepa to Jordan Henderson’s rangy pass, and was initially awarded a yellow card by referee Paul Tierney.
But after a Video Assistant Referee check a red card was awarded, and with precious little protest from Chelsea.
Liverpool wasted precious little time making their extra man count after the break.
Mane headed in Roberto Firmino’s cross after the Brazil forward had exchanged passes with Mohamed Salah in the Chelsea area, to put the visitors 1-0 ahead.
The Blues had all 10 men behind the ball but to no avail, as Klopp’s Reds seized control.
Mane doubled his tally within minutes, capitalising on a horror show from Chelsea keeper Kepa.
The Spaniard delayed his clearance and played the ball into Mane’s path, and the Senegal international tapped home to make it 2-0 to Liverpool.