‘Finally, he’s back’: Jurgen Klopp hails hat-trick hero Sadio Mane after shrugging off recent poor form

Jugen Klopp hailed hat-trick hero Sadio Mane and declared: “Finally, he’s back!”

The Liverpool winger produced a sensational match-winning display to blow away shell-shocked Porto, and give his side the prospect of a second leg stroll through into the last eight.

And his manager was beaming with pride, as he detailed the hard work the Senegal international has put in to come through a slump in form, and rediscover his world-class best.

Klopp said: “He gave the right answer. I said to him after the last game ‘finally, you are back.’

“Tonight he showed it again. He was always important, he was always fantastic for us even in his ‘not that good’ moments. That’s real quality.

Sadio Mane jumps for joy after netting a hat-trick
(Image: REX/Shutterstock)

“If you are not at 100 per cent but still involved in goals that’s really important. Then it will come, if you keep working really hard like he did.

“Tonight, the first was a little lucky, but the other two – the second one was about being in the right place and he used his fantastic skills on the third one so it’s good, really good. I’m so happy about it.”

Liverpool’s five star display took their tally to a staggering 99 goals in all competitions already this season, and Mo Salah’s inevitable strike made him only the 13th different Reds player to reach 30 goals in a single campaign.

(Image: AFP)

FC Porto 0-5 Liverpool player ratings as Sadio Mane returns to top form in Champions League

And with Roberto Firmino also on the scoresheet, the Reds’ front three now have 21 Champions League goals between them this season.

It makes Liverpool the top scorers in the competition, but Klopp insisted the praise should be shared.

“Absolutely it was a team performance. We defended really well and that was important tonight. Both centre-halves and full-backs, really spot on. Robbo tonight wow, what a performance.

Jurgen Klopp congratulates Sadio Mane
(Image: John Powell)

“All the midfielders were fantastic and most important the three boys up front helped us.

“Mo has played a good season, I think I recognise that already! But it’s very important for us. Each goal was kind of a winner. That’s important tonight.”

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