Andy Robertson Says 'Composure' Key to Sadio Mane's Liverpool Improvement

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistNovember 25, 2019

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 23: Sadio Mane of Liverpool FC looks on during the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Liverpool FC at Selhurst Park on November 23, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images)
Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images

Andy Robertson has hailed Liverpool team-mate Sadio Mane for his improvement in front of goal during his time at Anfield.

Mane opened the scoring in Liverpool's 2-1 win over Crystal Palace on Saturday.

Per the Mirror's Darren Wells, Robertson said of the "fantastic" Mane:

"Even when I came he was amazing, but maybe did not have as much composure as he does now in front of goal. Now every time he is there you don't think he will miss.

"The chance he had at the start of the second half, we were surprised he did not score, and that is the type of player he is. Then he has popped up with another crucial goal.

"It has been a fantastic year for him, and let's hope he can keep going for a full season instead of a calendar year. He has taken his game to another level."

The Senegal winger broke the deadlock at Selhurst Park when he controlled a Robertson cross and fired past Vicente Guaita early in the second half. Moments earlier, he had shot wide after being slipped in by Jordan Henderson.

As The Independent's Melissa Reddy observed, he had been Liverpool's most threatening player:

Palace had trouble containing the 27-year-old:

Mane was prolific from out wide at Red Bull Salzburg, where he scored 45 goals in 87 appearances.

After making the step up from Austrian to English football in 2015, he netted 25 goals in 75 matches for Southampton.

As Robertson observed, he has improved at Anfield, though. His goals-per-game ratio at Liverpool is almost the same as it was at Salzburg, as he has racked up 71 in 141.

Football writer Michael Yokhin and OptaJoe gave insight into Mane's strike in Liverpool's 3-1 win over Manchester City earlier in November:

Mane has returned more goals with each passing season at Anfield. Last term he bagged 26 in 50 appearances, while this campaign he's already on 12 in just 18 matches.

He's at or rapidly approaching the peak of his powers, and he's now the team's biggest goal threat.

Mohamed Salah has nine goals this season, while Roberto Firmino's winner against Palace was just his fourth strike of the campaign in all competitions.  

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