African All Stars

Liverpool's Alisson reveals Afcon impact on Mane's season

17:32 SAST 2022/05/11
Liverpool celebrate Sadio Mane goal at Aston Villa 2021-22
The Brazil goalkeeper has attributed the African star's top form to his Nations Cup success with Senegal

Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker has claimed that Sadio Mane's successful Africa Cup of Nations campaign could be the inspiration behind his excellent recent form with the Reds.

The Senegal international scored the winning goal against Aston Villa on Tuesday, helping the Reds keep the pressure on Premier League leaders Manchester City, having earlier bagged in both legs of the successful Champions League semi-final against Villarreal.

"Sadio is amazing and all the time he is helping us," Alisson told the club’s website. "I believe he is even more confident because of the Africa Cup of Nations title.

"He is scoring and helping us in the games, playing in a different position to what he was used to playing. A fantastic player for us and I’m really happy to have him on my team."

The Brazilian also spoke about the hectic Premier League run for the Merseyside giants: "Yes, sometimes it’s like this," he added.

"Sometimes when you are tired, you just need to put it into your mind you can go for extra. And if you go with passion and do everything that you can, you see normally that you have a little bit of energy.

"When you look at the players on your side as well, they play with intensity. Our team is a team that needs to play with passion because when we look at each other, it’s something that helps you and gives you extra energy."

Mane was also lauded by his club captain, Jordan Henderson, after the hard-fought win against Villa.

"We won the ball back in the middle of the pitch, good pressing, then great play with Luis [Diaz] on the wing, beating his man and getting his cross in," Henderson described how they scored the second goal.

"Then it was a fantastic finish from Sadio."

The goal meant Mane has been directly involved in 11 goals in his last nine appearances against Aston Villa in all competitions, with nine goals and two assists during that period.

Additionally, the Reds have now scored 43 away goals in the Premier League this season, only managing more in a league campaign once before, in 2013-14 (48) when they finished second in the top flight behind Manchester City.