Liverpool Turn on the Style in Win over Bayern Munich
Liverpool fans need to cross fingers, toes and everything else they can that Sadio Mane remains fit, after witnessing him help the Reds tear Bayern Munich apart in the Audi Cup.
Mane was a shining light in the first half of last term for the Reds, but an injury curtailed his campaign and Liverpool were a shadow of the side in the closing weeks of the season.
The Senegal international has returned fit and well for pre-season and judged on his display against Bayern, is ready to hit the ground running when the Premier League gets underway next week.
Mane scored the first and crafted the second as Liverpool made a statement of intent with a 3-0 win over Bayern.
With Jurgen Klopp’s history of coaching Borussia Dortmund, it was always likely that the German would place plenty of emphasis on the game. He sent out a strong side, and was rewarded with a hugely impressive performance.
The opening goal on six minutes was out of the Klopp coaching manual. Liverpool seized possession, turned play at a rapid rate and Mane was on hand to slot home.
Mane turned provider for the second for new signing Mohamed Salah on 34 minutes. The forward took possession on the edge of the Bayern box and teased and tormented Javi Martinez before playing an impudent backheel into the path of Alberto Moreno. The Spanish full-back’s shot was saved, but Salah was on hand to nod home the rebound.
The third goal came from Daniel Sturridge, who once again showcased his finishing skills with a brilliant chipped finish after being sent clear. Sturridge’s finishing has never been in doubt, but his fitness has and he limped away after scoring and could not finish the game.
The injury to Sturridge was the only downside to the game for Liverpool who will now face Atletico Madrid in the final.
It will be a much-changed side that Klopp sends out, and the players will have something to prove after the XI (plus the host of substitutions he made) who took on Bayern dispatched the German champions in such impressive fashion.
In Mane, Liverpool have an attacker capable of tormenting any defence; Salah has shown in pre-season exactly why the Reds were so keen to get him from AS Roma.
The doubts for Liverpool heading into the new season are the defence, they still look short at the back, and whether Philippe Coutinho can be kept out of the clutches of Barcelona.
If Klopp can keep the Brazilian and swell his defensive ranks, the future will be bright at Anfield.
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