Sadio Mane reveals the text message he sent Liverpool striker Roberto Firmino before PSG victory

Sadio Mane has revealed he text Roberto Firmino ahead of the Champions League tie (Picture: Getty)Sadio Mane has revealed he sent Roberto Firmino a text message ahead of Liverpool’s Champions League clash with Paris Saint-Germain urging the Brazilian to make himself available.

Striker Firmino did not train with his Liverpool team-mates on Monday after suffering a horrific eye injury during Saturday’s Premier League victory over Tottenham.

Jan Vertonghen unintentionally poked Firmino in the eye and, while there was no long-term damage, he required hospital treatment and was named on the bench for the match against PSG.

The French giants appeared to secure a draw after they came back from two goals down to level at 2-2, but Firmino came from off the bench to score an injury-time winner.

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‘I think Bobby doesn’t need his eye to play so I told him,’ Senegal sensation Mane said.

‘I sent him a message on Monday saying, “Hey Bobby, come on, we need you.” You’ve all seen the “no-look” goals, so I think he doesn’t need his eye to play.

‘I texted him saying, “You don’t need your eye!”.’

Liverpool are yet to drop a point in the Premier League this season and made a fine start to their Champions League campaign by scoring two first-half goals against PSG.

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First, England international Daniel Sturridge headed the Reds in front from Andrew Robertson’s inviting cross, before James Milner slotted home from the penalty spot.

Thomas Meunier pulled a goal back for the visitors before half-time and Kylian Mbappe looked to have secured a point when he beat Alisson with a late strike.

But Firmino settled the affair with a fine individual goal in injury-time and Mane hailed Liverpool’s performance.

‘I think it’s a big result honestly. It is very important for us to keep going on our good run,’ he added.

Firmino came from off the bench to help Liverpool beat PSG (Picture: Getty)More: Football

‘It was not an easy game because PSG are one of the best teams in the world but we played very well and deserved to win.

‘I think it is about desire and belief, it is what we try to do. We have quality in the team and the team is mentally free to go forward and believe it until the end.

‘It is what we tried and finally we scored the third goal, which was very important for the team.’

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Mohamed Salah responds to Liverpool fans calling Sadio Mane selfish

Mohamed Salah insists he has a strong relationship with Sadio Mane (REX)Mohamed Salah has dismissed suggestions that Sadio Mane is selfish and believes there is ‘solidarity’ between Liverpool’s attacking trio.

Mane was accused of snubbing Salah during Liverpool’s 2-1 win over Tottenham at Wembley on Saturday, with some supporters even speculating that the Senegal international is jealous of the Egyptian’s success from last season.

But Salah insists he does not care who scores more goals for Liverpool and reveals he is extremely close to Mane in the dressing room.

When asked about his relationship with Roberto Firmino and Mane, Salah told France Football: ‘We are friends, we talk a lot.

‘Generally, all three of us sit in the dressing room at the same place, right after the matches.

Salah says there is ‘solidarity’ between himself, Roberto Firmino and Mane (Getty Images)‘There is a real solidarity between us because we do not care who will score the most or who scores first.

‘Everyone works to make sure the other succeeds. And as you can see, we all score.’

Salah also spoke fondly of his relationship with Jurgen Klopp.

‘From my first day at Liverpool, he treated me like a friend,’ said the forward.

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‘We talked together and there was something very strong between us right away.

‘The current has passed from the beginning.

‘All I can say is that he knows how to treat each player mentally. Everyone feels good with him.’

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Georginio Wijnaldum responds to Liverpool fans after ‘liking’ post criticising Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane

Georginio Wijnaldum ‘liked’ a post on Instagram which criticised Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah (Getty Images)Georginio Wijnaldum insists he did not mean to ‘like’ a post on Instagram which criticised Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah after Liverpool’s win over Tottenham on Saturday.

Jurgen Klopp’s side sealed a 2-1 win at Wembley but could have won by a more convincing scoreline.

After the match, Mane and Salah were singled out for their wastefulness in front of goal, while some fans accused the Senegal international of being too greedy.

One particular post on Instagram read: ‘What characterised Liverpool’s attack last season was the teamwork and understanding between Salah, Firmino and Mane.

‘It didn’t matter who scores, but who is in the best situation to assist him a goal, but what happens this season is only single play.

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‘Especially from Mane, who showed up today in the Tottenham match not passing to Salah in more than one chance. I do not really know why!

‘Is it an ego?! I think Klopp should fix the situation quickly before it costs him important matches and maybe championships.’

Liverpool fans grew concerned after Wijnaldum ‘liked’ the post.

Mane was criticised for being wasteful against Tottenham (BPI/REX)But the Dutch midfielder has calmed supporters after admitting that he ‘liked’ the post on Instagram by mistake.

‘I think I accidentally liked this comment while I was scrolling through the comments,’ said Wijnaldum.

‘So don’t worry, there’s no ego trip. We’re a team and we know that.’

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Sadio Mane names controversial ex-Liverpool star as his footballing idol

El-Hadji Diouf endured a forgettable spell at Liverpool (Picture: Getty)Senegal international Sadio Mane has admitted that his idol growing up was his compatriot and former Liverpool forward El-Hadji Diouf.

Heralded as a coup for Liverpool after signing following an exceptional World Cup in 2002, Diouf’s time at Anfield was instead marred by controversial incidents, the most famous of which was when he spat at a supporter during a UEFA Cup game against Celtic.

A total of six goals in 79 appearances for the club wasn’t much of a return on Liverpool’s sizeable £10m investment in Diouf while his negative comments about Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher since retiring have further diminished his reputation amongst Liverpool’s fanbase.

Diouf was sent off against Celtic for spitting at a supporter (Picture: Getty)In an interview on French TV, Diouf said he did not respect Gerrard as a player and labelled Carragher ‘s**t’. Despite his regular criticisms of the two Liverpool legends, though, Diouf is a hero to Mane, as is former Barcelona star Ronaldinho.

Speaking at length to Bleacher Report, Mane said: ‘When I was young, I had lots of favourite footballers, but Ronaldinho was my real favourite, along with El-Hadji Diouf from Senegal. They really inspired me.

‘Those two players were examples for me as a footballer. They were skilful players and good dribblers who beat their opponents easily.

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‘I was a very good dribbler as a young player, but now that I’ve got more experience, there are some useless things that I don’t do anymore.

‘It’s all about making and scoring goals for the team, like my idols did when they were at the peak of their powers.’

Diouf certainly had his share of controversial moments during his time in British football in spells with Liverpool, Bolton, Sunderland, Blackburn, Rangers, Leeds United and Doncaster United.

There were further accusations of spitting while he was playing for Bolton and Doncaster, while Neil Warnock labelled him a ‘sewer rat’ after he allegedly taunted Jamie Mackie after he had suffered a broken leg.

Nevertheless, despite his reputation in England, Diouf is revered in his homeland for his performances for the Senegalese national team, particularly during the country’s run to the World Cup quarter-final’s in 2002.

Sadio Mane scored during Liverpool’s 2-1 win over Leicester (Picture: Getty)Mane meanwhile has far surpassed Diouf’s accomplishments at Liverpool since joining from Southampton in a £36m deal in 2016, becoming an integral member of Jurgen Klopp’s side in attack, alongside Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah.

He is the leading goalscorer in the Premier League this season with four in as many games and will be looking to extend that record against Spurs at Wembley on Saturday.

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Sadio Mane hails ‘animal’ Roberto Firmino for making his life easier

Roberto Firmino is an integral member of the Liverpool team (Picture: Getty)Sadio Mane has praised the work-rate of his Liverpool teammate Roberto Firmino and said that the Brazilian is like ‘an animal’.

Mane has enjoyed a blistering start to the season, scoring four goals in as many Premier League matches while last season’s golden boot winner Mohamed Salah has netted twice.

In comparison, Firmino has registered just one goal in the league so far, although he has also weighed in with two assists to help Liverpool enjoy a winning start to the campaign.

Firmino and Mane both scored in Liverpool’s 2-1 win over Leicester (Picture: Getty)While Firmino hasn’t been as productive in front of goal as Mane or Salah, he does plenty of work off the ball that often goes unnoticed as Mane was keen to point out.

In a wide-ranging interview with Bleacher Report, Mane said: ‘Lots of people like to talk about me and Salah. It’s nice to hear those things, but the strength of this Liverpool team is the collective.

‘You also can’t forget that there’s a guy up front called Firmino who works like an animal for us and makes things easier. And the guys behind us do some extraordinary work.

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‘We try to benefit from that and help the team go forward.’

During his spell with Liverpool, Firmino has scored 51 goals in 148 games, averaging just over a goal every three games – a strike-rate that is inferior to the likes of Harry Kane and Sergio Aguero in the Premier League.

However, while the Brazilian chips in with his share of goals and assists, it is his selfless work-rate on and off the ball that is often highlighted as one of his biggest strengths with Jurgen Klopp labelling him ‘Liverpool’s engine’ last December.

A sign of how hard Firmino works for his side is that only left-back Andrew Robertson with 12 has made more successful tackles than his nine in the Premier League this season while he also ranks second for fouls committed – a sign of his pressing from the front.

Jurgen Klopp has called Firmino Liverpool’s ‘engine’ in the past (Picture: Getty)As well as his propensity to press opposition defences, Firmino’s intelligence is also key to Liverpool’s attacking play as he often drops into deeper positions to create space for Mane and Salah to run into in the final third.

Liverpool are the early pace-setters in the Premier League this season but will need their front three firing if they are to maintain their 100 per cent start to the season against Spurs on Saturday.

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Leicester vs Liverpool TV channel, live stream, kick-off time, odds and head-to-head

Harry Maguire scored a late winner for Leicester at Southampton last weekend (Picture: Getty)Liverpool have the chance to extend their lead at the top of the Premier League when they take on Leicester at the King Power Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The Reds have won all three of their league contests so far this campaign and are yet to concede a single goal, putting them top of the table on goal difference.

Leicester have also started impressively, winning two from three, but they are distant second favourites for this one, despite having home advantage.

Jamie Vardy remains suspended for the Foxes whilst Liverpool remain without the pair of Dejan Lovren and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain through injury.

Jurgen Klopp has had an enjoyable start to the season with Liverpool (Picture: Getty Images)When is Leicester vs Liverpool?

The match is on Saturday, 1 September with kick-off at 12.30 at the King Power Stadium.

What TV channel is Leicester vs Liverpool on and is there a live stream?

Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Premier League will be showing the game live with coverage on the former starting at 12.30pm and the latter at 11.30am.

Sky Sports customers can stream the contest on Sky Go, or if you don’t have a subscription you can buy a Now TV Sky Sports Day Pass to stream the match.

Claude Puel has picked up two wins in his opening three Premier League games this season (Picture: Getty)What are the odds? (Courtesy of Betfair)

13/2 Leicester

4/1 Draw

4/9 Liverpool

Mohamed Salah has continued his fine goal scoring form from last season (Picture: Getty Images)More: Football

Head-to-head in last five meetings

30 Dec 2017 – Liverpool 2-1 Leicester – Premier League (Salah x2)

23 Sep 2017 – Leicester 2-3 Liverpool – Premier League (Okazaki, Vardy) (Salah, Coutinho, Henderson)

19 Sep 2017 – Leicester 2-0 – Liverpool – League Cup (Okazaki, Slimani)

27 Feb 2017 – Leicester 3-1 Liverpool – Premier League (Slimani) (Salah, Coutinho)

10 Sep 2016 – Liverpool 4-1 Leicester – Premier League (Vardy x2, Drinkwater) (Coutinho)

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Sadio Mane reveals why he rejected Manchester United before joining Liverpool

Sadio Mane had the chance to join Manchester United. (AMA/Getty Images)Liverpool forward Sadio Mane admits he rejected Manchester United because it was ‘not the right club’.

Louis van Gaal wanted to sign the Senegal international during the summer of 2015 and even held talks with the 26-year-old who was playing for Southampton at the time.

But Mane opted to remain with the Saints for one more season before he decided to join Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool.

‘Honestly, I could not believe it,’ Mane told the Premier League Today show.

‘Some teams wanted me – Manchester [United] – the wrong team wanted me.

Louis van Gaal wanted Mane at Manchester United. (Getty Images)‘Of course, I spoke with Van Gaal, and they even made an offer.

‘But for me it was not the right club, it was not the right moment.

‘To feel this – the right moment, the right coach, the right club.’

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Mane also believes that Liverpool are capable of reaching the Champions League final for a second successive year.

‘It was a very big sign for us. It was a bonus for us to learn and get those kinds of experiences,’ he told Liverpool’s official website.

Mane scored in Liverpool’s Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid. (Reuters)‘We have played [big games] already and we know how.

‘Now we have to do the same work on the pitch and the experience we had in the past will help.

‘It’s very early to speak about it but it’s why we’re always here working: to do anything possible.

‘We have the quality and everything to go throughout [the tournament], so why not? Why not?’

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Sadio Mane finally knows how good he is, claims Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp

Sadio Mane scored during Liverpool’s 2-0 win over Crystal Palace on Monday. (Picture: Getty)Jurgen Klopp believes that Sadio Mane’s confidence is sky-high following the Senegalese forward’s blistering start to the season.

Mane scored twice in Liverpool’s 4-0 demolition of West Ham on the opening day of the campaign and followed that up with another strike in Monday’s 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace.

After being overshadowed somewhat by Mohamed Salah’s exploits in 2017-18, Mane has emerged as Liverpool’s key player in the opening weeks of the season and Klopp says he finally appreciates how good he is.

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Speaking ahead of Liverpool’s match against Brighton, Klopp said: ‘Now he’s much more secure that this is his level. The players surprise themselves sometimes. ‘Wow, really? That’s how good I am?!’

‘We all need to show our best and get used to it. It’s quality. We have to make sure we can show that every week. Who scores the goals is not too important, but it was very important for us and very nice for him that he could do it in the last game.’

Mohamed Salah has scored one Premier League goal this season. (Picture: Getty)Much has been made of the potency of Liverpool’s front three with Salah, Mane and Roberto Firmino, all reaching double figures for goals in both the Premier League and Champions League last term.

However, Klopp was keen to highlight their defensive qualities too with all three playing a key role in Liverpool’s pressing from the front.

‘Sadio’s a very consistent player for us. His work-rate is great,’ Klopp added.

‘We have a very strange 4-5-1 formation with Sadio as a midfielder, Bobby [Roberto Firmino] being a midfielder more or less and Mo [Salah] being a striker, even though he plays in a little different position.

‘We talk about the defensive work-rate they put in, that’s really important.’

Mane will be looking to increase his goal tally when Liverpool host Brighton at Anfield on Saturday in a fixture that they won 4-0 on the final day of the 2017-18 season.

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Only two Liverpool players would get in Manchester City’s team, claims Danny Murphy

Jurgen Klopp will be leading Liverpool’s title challenge this season. (Getty Images)Only two Liverpool players would get in Manchester City’s strongest starting line-up, according to Danny Murphy.

Pep Guardiola’s side are favourites to retain their title this season but Liverpool are looking to close the gap after significantly strengthening in the summer.

Jurgen Klopp has spent £65 million on signing Alisson as his new first-choice goalkeeper, while Fabinho and Naby Keita have arrived to strengthen the midfield.

In attack, Xherdan Shaqiri was signed from Stoke City to give Klopp another option to his sublime trio of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino.

But Murphy, who made nearly 250 appearances for Liverpool, believes only Mohamed Salah and Virgil van Dijk would get in City’s best team.

Xherdan Shaqiri is looking to hit the ground running alongside Mohamed Salah. (Getty Images)More: Football

‘Fabinho, Keita, Alisson are all good players and they give Liverpool strength in depth and competition for places, which does increase performance, but would any of those players get in City’s team?’ Murphy told talkSPORT.

‘Salah and Van Dijk would get in City’s team. Other than that, probably no others [would get in].

‘You can’t base your transfer policy on buying better players than City have. It is nearly impossible. You can’t buy a better player than [Kevin] De Bruyne in midfield, so you have to compete in a different way.

Virgil van Dijk will be a key part of Liverpool’s defence. (Getty Images)‘What I like that Klopp has done is he has signed quality where he has needed it – the middle of the park they were lacking – there is great competition for places and he did it early.

‘Shaqiri is a good ‘un as well. That is not bad business the money they have spent there. He had a good World Cup and he will create competition for places.

‘Liverpool have done really well and will bridge the gap with City.’

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Liverpool open talks with Sadio Mane over new long-term deal

Sadio Mane is set to be rewarded with a new deal (Picture: Getty)Liverpool are in talks with Sadio Mane over a new long-term deal at the club as the Reds look to tie the forward down to Anfield for the peak of his career.

The winger joined Liverpool from Southampton in 2016 for a fee of around £34million and has thrived in a front three alongside Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah.

Mane has three years to run on his deal at Anfield but the club feel he is deserving of improved terms and don’t want to allow one of their key assets to run down his deal.

Liverpool have enjoyed a carefree pre-season, unlike lat summer when intense speculation surrounded Philippe Coutinho’s future.

Mane has three years to run on his deal (Picture: Getty)The club are keen to keep their star men happy and the Telegraph report they are confident of agreeing a new deal with Mane.

Klopp believes the club’s ability to retain their top players speaks volumes for the direction the Reds are moving in.

‘When I have spoken about the mood in the club, it’s not only in the stands – we are Liverpool as a team and the boys want to be part of it,’ said Klopp.

‘That’s really cool and it’s a big achievement for the club because these boys, Bobby Firmino, Mo Salah and Sadio Mané, and a lot of the others as well, could play for pretty much any team in the world.

‘That’s how it is and a good sign for the club. It is an improved situation that these players don’t use us and then go. It’s cool but now we all together have to deliver. Sign your contracts but now, go again.’

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