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Liverpool: Sadio Mane a shadow of his former self

Over the last few seasons, the stats have well and truly been in Liverpool’s favour. A Premier League triumph and Champions League coronation was enough to testify to that.

However, 2020/21 has been a campaign to forget for Jurgen Klopp and his players. They have looked considerably off the pace and their numbers are nothing short of diabolical.

The Reds have lost five games in a row at Anfield for the first time in their history whilst they’ve now gone more than ten hours at home without scoring from open play. Liverpool’s xG of 0.3 versus Chelsea, meanwhile, was their lowest tally at Anfield since they faced Manchester City in 2016.

This, therefore, was a torrid night. Liverpool had just one shot on target and failed to ever trouble a rejuvenated Chelsea side. Thomas Tuchel got the better of his fellow countryman which means the Merseyside outfit now sit in seventh.

Their players look beaten, fatigued and lost for words. No one typifies that more than Sadio Mane.

The forward has been sensational for Liverpool in recent years on his way to finding the net on 92 occasions in 204 matches. Yet, this season, he has been a shadow of his former self.

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Mane has scored just seven times in the Premier League this term, a tally that is some way off the normal number we’re used to seeing him produce.

He lacks a cutting edge in front of goal, something we saw at Anfield on Thursday in their 1-0 defeat. He had a wonderful chance to score in the first half when Mo Salah played a ball over the top. As it came towards Mane inside the area he got his feet in a mess and the chance went begging.

It summed up his campaign and indeed an arduous night. So often Liverpool’s go-to man in recent years, he had fewer touches (47) of the ball than goalkeeper Alisson (50).

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On top of that, Mane made just 19 passes, the lowest tally of any player to start the game for the Reds. Liverpool’s number 10 failed to have a single shot or provide a key pass either.

It was a surprise that he wasn’t one of the players withdrawn, especially with Salah going off after an hour. If anyone was going to make something happen, it was their dazzling Egyptian. Unlike Mane, he still looks capable of producing magic moments.

The Senegalese seems to be running on empty and should be fearful with Diogo Jota now back from injury. Mane simply hasn’t been good enough.

AND in other news, Great decision: Jurgen Klopp’s gamble with £99m-rated star is paying off for Liverpool…

Article title: Liverpool: Sadio Mane a shadow of his former self

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