Jurgen Klopp has admitted he would have “lost everything” if he had made a bet on the length of Sadio Mane’s goal drought.
The Liverpool forward finally ended a barren run in front of goal which had stretched to 10 games prior to his strike against Crystal Palace last weekend.
Mane netted Liverpool’s second in the 7-0 drubbing – his first goal since the 5-0 away win vs Atalanta at the start of November.
But Klopp was not at all phased by Mane’s lack of goals, and even conceded he had not been keeping track.
“We didn’t even know!” Klopp told reporters on Thursday.
“I would have lost everything if I had to bet on how many games he hadn’t scored for.
“One of our best players in the world hasn’t scored for a while, who cares?
“He’s so difficult to defend – if Sadio has the ball, you need two or three on him.”
Mane’s goal at Selhurst Park takes his tally to only six in all competitions this season, though that is still enough to rank him third on Liverpool’s list of top scorers.
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It’s been an extremely interesting start to the season for Jurgen Klopp’s men.
They got their title defence off to a shaky start as they edged out a seven-goal thriller against Leeds, before going on to conceded seven in a hammering by Aston Villa.
Virgil van Dijk’s season was ended by injury in the 2-2 draw at Everton, leaving the title favourites looking far less secure at the back – especially with Alisson’s injury worries too.
But there’s no slowing down in what is going to be a busy campaign – with Klopp ensuring his men continue at full pace as they bid for more title glory.
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Only Mohamed Salah and Diogo Jota have been on the scoresheet more times than the Senegalese international.
Salah has been in a rich vein of form this season, scoring 16 times, but question marks have now been raised over his future at Anfield.
The speculation comes after Salah gave an interview to a Spanish newspaper admitting he was disappointed not to be given the captaincy against Midtjylland earlier this month.
Will Salah still be at Liverpool next season? Have your say below.
But despite reports now linking him with a move to Real Madrid or Barcelona, Klopp was quick to play down any rumours of discontent involving his forward.
“Mo is in a good mood, a good moment and really good shape – that’s the most important thing for me,” said Klopp.
“We did not have pictures [from the training ground] this morning but if we did you would have seen him laughing a lot.
“All the rest is nice for you [the media] to write about but, internally, nothing really.”