Liverpool produced one of the best performances of the season as the Reds thrashed Watford 6-1 at Anfield. Liverpool were unstoppable and could have scored more than the six goals that they scored! The Reds missed a number of chances before Sadio Mane put them ahead with an acrobatic header. Just three minutes later, Philippe Coutinho got the second and the floodgates were open! Emre Can added a third before half-time and Liverpool scored three more in the second half. Roberto Firmino added the fourth and then Mane got his second and Georginio Wijnaldum got the sixth in injury time. Watford did score a consolation goal through Daryl Janmaat, but it was no consolation really and to spoil Watford's day further, their first-choice goalkeeper, Heurelho Gomes, left the pitch on a stretcher.
It makes it easy when you've got really good teammates and everyone wants the same thing. Sadio Mane.
Is Mane Klopp's best buy so far?
The Liverpool manager, Jurgen Klopp, has turned the team's fortunes around. Since arriving at Anfield a year ago, Klopp has taken Liverpool to two Cup Finals and now to the top of the Premier League. It is the first time Liverpool are at the top of the Premier League in over two years and Liverpool fans are hoping Klopp can bring the League title to Anfield for the first time since 1990! Klopp hasn't changed many players since his arrival, only three players in the starting line-up against Watford were bought by Klopp. One of those players was Sadio Mane and the Senegalese international is already looking like the bargain of the season. With six goals and two assists in the Premier League already this season Mane together with Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino and Adam Lallana look like they will score many more goals this season.
Now, I'm lucky enough to be working with one of the best managers in football. Sadio Mane.
What do we know about Sadio Mane?
Sadio Mane was born on 12 April 1992 in Sedhiou, which is a town in Senegal, in West Africa. The town where Mane grew up is very small, only 15,000 people, and very remote, it is over 500 kilometres from the capital, Dakar. There were not many football facilities where Mane lived, so when he was 16 his parents decided to let him move to his Uncle's house, near Dakar. When in Dakar, he was spotted by local talent scouts and asked to play at the Generation Foot Academy, which has become one of the most famous academies in West Africa. It's the same academy where players such as Papiss Cisse (Newcastle) and Diafra Sakho (West Ham) made their names and is where Mane made his name. When he was 19, he joined French Ligue One club, FC Metz and a year later joined Red Bull Salzburg in the Austrian Bundesliga. After 2 seasons in Austria, Mane made the move to the Premier League to play for Southampton, on the south coast of England. In June 2016, Liverpool paid Southampton £34 million to take him to Anfield. This transfer fee is the most ever paid for a player from Africa.
I have followed Sadio for a lot of years. It's great that we have managed to sign him. Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool manager.
Why will Mane miss part of the Premier League season?
Mane has settled into the Liverpool team brilliantly, but at the beginning of January the Africa Cup of Nations kicks off in Gabon. Senegal, Mane's national team, have qualified for the tournament and he is nearly certain to be chosen for the squad. This could mean that he will miss a month of Premier League action. There are a number of Premier League clubs that will have the same problem. Manchester Utd could be without Ivory Coast's Eric Bailly, Arsenal without Egypt's Mohamed Elneny and West Ham without Ghana's Andre Ayew. One of the clubs hit the hardest will be Leicester City, they will probably be missing four players; Riyad Mahrez and Islam Slimani (Algeria) and Jeffrey Schlupp and Daniel Amartey (Ghana). The Africa Cup of Nations is a fantastic competition but it's not a competition that Premier League managers look forward to!
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What do you think?
Liverpool won 6-1 against Watford. What's the biggest Premier League scoreline you can remember? What about outside of the Premier League?
Sadio Mane will play in the Africa Cup of Nations in January. Do you think this tournament should be moved to the summer? Do you think the Premier League should stop for a winter break?
Sadio Mane is the most expensive player from Africa? Is he the best? If not, who is the best player to have played in the Premier League? Samuel Eto'o? Didier Drogba? Yaya Toure? Jay-Jay Okocha?