Liverpool forward Sadio Mane has revealed how he knew that Kepa would make a mistake in the game against Chelsea.
Mane scored twice in the 2-0 win at Stamford Bridge, with the second coming from Kepa kicking the ball straight to him to tap into an empty net.
The winger claims that Liverpool practice situations in training so that they can force errors from the opposition in order to score goals.
Speaking to Sky Sports (1:20), Mane explained how he extracted the error from Kepa. “Yeah, sure, these kinds of things are always what we try on the training pitch.
“When he got the ball, I knew it will be difficult for him to have an option, the only choice was to shoot it.
“So I was in front of him and he tried to pass it. Unluckily for him, he made a mistake. Lucky for me and I scored a second goal for my team.”
ANFIELD WATCH VERDICT
This just goes to show the level of detail Klopp and his coaching team go into during their training sessions. Liverpool are clearly looking to make the most out of every tiny detail in matches and it paid off big time in this instance.
Mane’s second goal killed off the game and made sure of the three points as Liverpool made it six points from six to start the Premier League season. His eagerness to press Kepa and force the error, born of the work on the training field, earned him a goal and, ultimately, the win. This shows how hard work really can go a long way and it is worth putting in the time to train yourself to anticipate these situations. Without the prior work, Mane may not have read the play and backed off of Kepa – allowing him to either play the ball short or take more time before sending it long to Timo Werner to make a run.
Chelsea went from having a chance to build from the back and counter-attack Liverpool to seeing the ball in the back of their own net in a matter of seconds. Liverpool, and Mane, will surely hope that they can continue to expose weaknesses in the opposition, as they did with Kepa, to keep up their winning start to the season.