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Liverpool boss Klopp reveals why Mane started against Burnley

2:28 AM GMT+8 14/02/2022
Sadio Mane, Jurgen Klopp
The Senegal international was handed a starter’s role against the Clarets and the German tactician explained that decision

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has disclosed why he named Sadio Mane in his starting XI against Burnley on Sunday at Turf Moor.

In the Premier League fixture, which the Reds won 1-0 thanks to Fabinho’s first-half effort, the Senegal international played for 67 minutes before he was subbed off for Diogo Jota.

During the post-match conference, Klopp explained why the reigning African Player of the Year started against Sean Dyche’s team.

Nevertheless, he lauded his performance as Liverpool extended their winning streak to five in all competitions.  

“Sad [Mane] played really, really well. As I said before [the game], it was not the plan to start him today because we know how intense everything was, but Diogo had a dead leg and couldn’t train yesterday, so we started Sadio,” the German tactician told the media as quoted by Liverpool website.

“Luis [Diaz] has adapted really well but this is a completely different game, like a ‘Welcome to the Premier League’, so we didn’t want to try it if we didn’t need it so that’s why we started like we started – and Sad did really well.

“He [Mane] worked incredibly hard and that’s exactly what we expected.”

For Mane’s contribution, he had two shots, three dribbles, 22 passes and a passing accuracy of 72.7 percent.

Klopp also raved about Fabinho’s strike while revelling about the Senegal superstar's contribution.

“Yeah, great! Actually, he probably would have already scored much more goals for Liverpool if I would have put him in the box in offensive set-pieces: only recently we put him in and since then he scores!” he continued.

“Great goal, an absolutely great goal. Yes, the space where the ball came to Sadio was the plan, but not in that height obviously so Sad made absolutely the most of it with a great header, great deflection, and then timing perfect with it.

“Fab is there for the first one, then scores a counter-pressing goal in the six-yard box which is absolutely outstanding.”

Thanks to this result, Liverpool remain second on the log after accruing 54 points from 24 matches in the 2021-22 campaign.

They welcome Norwich City to Anfield in their next league fixture on February 19. Prior to that encounter, they face Inter Milan in the Champions League.