Jurgen Klopp reserved special praise for Sadio Mane after he joined the Premier League’s elite ‘100 Club’ by scoring the opening goal in Liverpool’s crushing 5-0 win over Watford.
The 29-year-old made his mark only eight minutes into the win, before inspiring his teammates to follow suit in a complete battering at Vicarage Road. The goal was Mane’s fifth in eight games this season, and more importantly, brought up a century of strikes in the English top flight.
After the game, Klopp was quick to acknowledge Mane’s achievements, describing the accolade as ‘special,’ while noting that the forward has reached this figure without the advantage of taking penalties.
“And the special thing is, we should not forget that Sadio Mane – I’m not sure if he scored penalties for Southampton, not that I know – scored 100 goals without a penalty, so that makes a difference for sure. It’s a special number, absolutely. He should be and will be, hopefully, proud of that.
“That doesn’t happen for a lot of players. You don’t have to talk about Sadio’s quality – he’s a world-class player as well. It’s incredible how good he is. Big day for him, 100 per cent, and I’m really happy for him.”
Mane opened his Premier League account for Southampton against Stoke City in 2014, and went on to score 21 goals over the course of two successful seasons at St Mary’s. Those impressive displays saw him land a move to Liverpool, and he has become one of the most prolific players of the past half-decade.
The winger claimed the joint-Golden Boot alongside Mohamed Salah and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang with 22 goals in 2019, and then scored 18 times to fire the Reds to a first Premier League title in 30 years the following season.
Mane’s heroics on Saturday made him only the 31st player to become a member of the ‘100 Club’ since the Premier League’s inception in 1992, following in the footsteps of Mohamed Salah – who is also a recent inductee.