Robin van Persie has told BT Sport (broadcast on 21/10; 22:11) that it was a joy to watch Sadio Mane during the first hour of Liverpool’s Champions League win over Ajax on Wednesday.
The Reds have opened their group-stage campaign with a narrow victory. An own goal from Nicolas Tagliafico during the first-half proved to be decisive.
Jurgen Klopp’s men were put under pressure at times. And there were a few nervy moments for the visitors on their way to victory.
Van Persie admitted that Liverpool rode their luck on a few occasions. But following the game, the former Premier League striker singled out Mane for particular praise.
“For me, in the first hour, it was a joy to watch Mane,” he told BT Sport.
“His movement, how he holds up the ball, his link up play. I would pay to watch him. He’s a fantastic player to watch.”
Mane played a role in the winning goal. It was his attempt that was turned in by Tagliafico. Of course, it was a scuffed shot from the 28-year-old. But he deserved a slice of luck.
As van Persie alluded to, he was the player who looked most likely to make something happen going forward.
Liverpool are blessed with a group of world-class attacking players, who seemingly have an unbelievable ability to step up when their teammates are having less luck.
Mane looks to be the player who is stepping up right now. And he somehow appears to have taken his game to another level this term.