Klopp praises 'fantastic' Mane
Lisbon: Liverpool Football Club head coach Jurgen Klopp heaped praise on his Senegalese winger Sadio Mane for his prolific performance against Porto in the first leg of the Champions League Round-of-16 fixture.
Mane scored a hat-trick to help his side thrash home club Porto 5-0 and take a healthy aggregate lead before heading to the second leg at the Anifield.
Porto, with two Champions League trophies on the shelf, dominated for the first 15 minutes of the contest at Estadio do Dragão on Wednesday and came close to scoring in the ninth minute on an Otavio strike that deflected off a defender before grazing the cross-bar, reports Efe.
But the five-time Champions League winners from Merseyside grew more confident as the minutes passed.
The breakthrough came in the 25th minute as Georginio Wijnaldum found Sane open on the left side and the Senegal international slipped the ball under Porto goalkeeper Jose Sa to put the Reds up 1-0.
The demoralised hosts conceded a second goal just four minutes later, when Mo Salah pounced on a loose ball and shook off a defender before beating Sa for his 30th goal of the season in all competitions.
"Tonight he (Sadio Mane) showed again what a fantastic player he is. He was always important, he was always fantastic for us, even in his not-that-good moments," Klopp was quoted as saying by Sky Sports on Wednesday.