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Sadio Mane's Late Goal Powers Liverpool Past Manchester City in 2018 ICC

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJuly 26, 2018

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - JULY 25: Daniel Sturridge #15 of Liverpool fights for the ball with Brahim Diaz #55 of Manchester City during their match at MetLife Stadium on July 25, 2018 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

A battle between two of the top teams in the Premier League resulted in a 2-1 win for Liverpool over Manchester City in the International Champions Cup.

Sadio Mane scored the game-winner on a penalty in the 94th minute, which came about 30 minutes after Mohamed Salah's equalizer in Wednesday's match at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, United States.

Both teams lost to Borussia Dortmund in their first match of this event, but at least Liverpool was able to get a positive result in its second contest.

       

Mo Salah's Brilliance Proves He Has City's Number

Fans were eagerly awaiting Salah's return after his relatively quiet showing for Egypt in the World Cup, and they were not disappointed once he came onto the pitch.

The star entered the match in the 62nd minute with his club down 1-0, and less than a minute later, he was on the scoresheet with an impressive header.

ESPN Stats and Info noted his dominance against Manchester City last year:

ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo

One minute after entering the game, Mohamed Salah scores a goal for Liverpool. In 4 games vs Manchester City last season, he scored 3 goals

He clearly remains a threat against last season's EPL champions, completely transforming the match as soon as he stepped on the pitch.

In addition to his goal, Salah had two more close attempts that nearly went into the net. He followed it up with strong passes that pushed the action and helped Liverpool dominate over the final half hour of the match.

Kristian Walsh of Liverpool Echo put it in simple terms:

Kristian Walsh @Kristian_Walsh

I think I forgot how good Mohamed Salah is.

Liverpool is expecting to contend with Manchester City for the Premier League title this year, and Salah's success against this squad should help achieve this goal.

           

Sadio Mane Looks to Be in Midseason Form

Even though it was off a penalty earned by Dominic Solanke, Mane was cool and collected from the spot and came through with the game-winner.

Of course, he did more than just score the final goal.

The forward played the entire second half and was aggressive throughout the day, drawing fouls and taking quality shots on the opposing net.

This is especially encouraging considering Mane is coming off knee surgery in April. He was only cleared to play last week before making his return Wednesday night.

While Liverpool was relatively quiet in the first half, Mane and Salah looked as good as ever when they were playing alongside each other. This is a great sign for the Reds and scary for everyone else in Europe.

   

Manchester City Shows Its More Than Just Starting XI

Although Manchester City couldn't get a result in this match, it's much less concerning than it would be during the Premier League season. These squads have a lot of talent at full strength, but they were very different on paper going into what was essentially a friendly.

While Liverpool had many of its biggest stars on the pitch, Manchester City instead let its younger players get a chance to play. In fact, 15 of the 16 players to enter the World Cup are still not back on the squad.

Those on the pitch took advantage of the opportunity, especially 22-year-old Leroy Sane.

The winger showcased his speed on the opening goal of the match, chasing down a beautiful pass from Bernardo Silva and coming through with a quality finish.

Julie Stewart-Binks noted the impact of Sane:

Julie Stewart-Binks @JSB_TV

Leroy Sane with one helluva run and beautiful goal. Haunting Joachim Low’s dreams at this point. #ManCity

Oleksandr Zinchenko also had a strong showing before coming out, proving he can be valuable at the holding midfielder spot.

Considering even Joe Hart performed well against tough challenges, it was an encouraging day for Manchester City despite the loss.

            

What's Next?

Each team has one more match in the ICC before returning to Europe.

Manchester City will take on Bayern Munich on Saturday in a potential Champions League preview, while Liverpool will face another English squad in Manchester United.

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