Sadio Mane inspires Liverpool into Champions League final

Sadio Mane was key in Liverpool’s win over Barcelona

Senegal international Sadio Mane produced an impressive performance to guide Liverpool into the Champions League final after stunning Spanish Champions Barcelona 4-0 at Anfield.

With the absence the key players like Mohammad Salah and Roberto Fermino, Mane took up the responsibility to lead Liverpool’s frontline and indeed he never disappointed.

Although he did not score this time round, his superb display of intelligent runs and hold-up play upfront tormented the Barcelona defence from start to finish.

Mane will be delighted to play his second successive champion league final having featured for Liverpool last year when they were beaten Real Madrid 3-1 to finish runners up in the competition.

Mane has had an impressive season with Liverpool after scoring 20 goals in the Premier League while he heads into the final of the champions league with 4 goals in the competition.

The Senegal international will be hoping to add his name on the list of African players who have ever won the champions league which include big names like Samuel E’too, Didier Drogba, Yaya Toure, among others.

Liverpool headed into Tuesday second leg with huge pressure to overturn a 3-goal deficit after conceding 3 goals at Nou Camp in the first leg without scoring a week before.

A bright start that saw Liverpool taking the lead in the 7th minute through Belgian International Divock Origi raised the players’ confidence and they did not look back.

There were two goals for Liverpool in the space of 122 seconds after the break that saw them becoming level on goal aggregate with the Catalan giants. Giorginio Wijnaldum scored both goals after coming on at half time replacing the injured Andrew Robertson.

Wijnaldum goals meant that the tie was now open and each of the two teams was pressing to score to ensure progress to the final. However, thee favor of the night was on Liverpool’s side when Divock Origi scored just 11 minutes from time to send Liverpool to Madrid in June. Trent Alexander Arnold passed a cheeky corner to the Belgian that caught almost all Barcelona defenders off guard and he made no mistake in tapping it into the net.

Liverpool will face either Ajax or Tottenham in the final who are playing their second leg semifinal on Wednesday. Ajax won the first leg 1-0 in London last week.

Tuesday victory saw Liverpool become the third team to play the highest number of European Cup/Champions League (9) after Real Madrid (16) and Bayern Munich (10).

The defeat meant that Barcelona have been eliminated the fourth times in the competition before reaching the final since 2015 when they beat Juventus to lift their last title.

The Catalan giants will be left puzzled having crushed out of the competition almost in the same fashion last year despite having such heavy talents at their disposal with the likes of Lionel Messi, Denis Suarez, Philipe Coutinho, among others.

Last season Barcelona beat AS Roma 4-1 at Nou Camp, their famous home but went on to suffer an embarrassing defeat in Italy where they lost 3-0 to crush out on quarter finals.

This year’s Champions League final will be played at Wanda Metropolitana stadium in Spanish Capital Madrid on 1st June.

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