Andy Robertson: Sadio Mané has raised his game in 2019
Liverpool left-back Andy Robertson has heaped praise on team-mate Sadio Mané for making his mark this year.
Andy Robertson highlighted Sadio Mané's last-gasp winner against Aston Villa as more evidence of how much the Liverpool star has raised his game in 2019. The Senegal international shone in Mohamed Salah's absence on Saturday, setting up one and scoring the other to inspire a remarkable late comeback at Villa Park.
Mané sets one up then scores injury-time winner
Liverpool trailed for over an hour before left-back Robertson met Mané's brilliant cross to fire home a powerful header at the back post as full-time approached. The winger then cleverly glanced in Trent Alexander-Arnold's corner in the fourth minute of added time as the Premier League leaders maintained their six-point advantage over Manchester City.
"It was a smashing goal," Robertson told Liverpool's official website of Mané's decisive header. "We worked on it in training, worked on the front post... the big moments happen in the 94th or 95th minute and he pops up. An incredible finish. Sadio has been magnificent since I've come in to the side but 2019 I think has been his year. He's really turned it up. He obviously shared the [Premier League] Golden Boot last year and he's off to a flyer this year."
Mané into double figures
Mané, who has now scored 10 goals in all competitions this term, was booked for simulation before half-time and has been accused of occasionally diving by City boss Pep Guardiola, a comment sure to stoke tensions ahead of next weekend's top-of-the-table encounter at Anfield. Jürgen Klopp felt that the yellow card was unfair, saying in his post-match press conference: "I think when you see it back it's not diving," he explained. "There's contact and everything but it's a decision we have to accept". The coach prasied Mané for keeping a level head as he was continually booed by the home crowd every time he received the ball. "The crowd tries to make you even more insecure and obviously that's not possible with Sadio, so he stayed in the game, even defensively so yeah, very good".
Liverpool's late shows
Liverpool will care little for now as they celebrate winning from a losing position for the third time in their past four Premier League matches. Robertson attributed the catalogue of rescue jobs to Klopp's demanding fitness regime. "Like we said last season as well, it's all about the work that goes into pre-season and we worked so hard to get fit and we believe we can go right to the end," the Scotland captain said. "We went 95, 96 minutes [at Villa] and that's why, when teams start to get tired, we kind of find our second gear and we start getting good chances."