Mane's on fire - Milner hails Liverpool match-winner

By Sports Desk March 13, 2019

James Milner has challenged Sadio Mane to maintain his devastating form until the end of the season after his double helped Liverpool down Bayern Munich in the Champions League.

Jurgen Klopp's side became the fourth Premier League side to reach the quarter-finals with a 3-1 in the Allianz Arena, with Virgil van Dijk on target in-between Mane's solo effort in the 26th minute and diving header during the closing stages.

Mane also scored braces in Liverpool's back-to-back home wins over Watford and Burnley in the Premier League and Milner believes the Senegal forward will be vital as the Reds battle for the top prizes at home and abroad.

"We didn't play our best but it's about getting a result," he told BT Sport. "The front three were outstanding. Sadio is on fire.

"The first goal was ridiculous, how he's finished it off. He's on fire at the moment and I hope he keeps it up until the end of the season."

Liverpool beat Premier League champions and current title rivals Manchester City 5-1 on aggregate in the quarter-finals of the Champions League last time around.

However, with Manchester United and Tottenham also in the hat, Milner suggested he might prefer to be paired alongside another continental foe in Friday's draw – with Barcelona, Juventus, Ajax and Porto the options in that regard.

"It's good for English football. That's what you want. I don't really think we want to play each other in the next round," he added.

"We'll see who we get. We've got good feelings from last year and hopefully we can carry that on and go as far as we can in this competition."

Along with captain Jordan Henderson limping off due to an ankle injury early on, Andy Robertson's stoppage-time yellow card means the left-back will miss the first leg in the next round.

"Yeah, it happens in games," Van Dijk, who missed the goalless first leg versus Bayern due to a ban of his own, said on BT Sport. "He's a bit unlucky.

"We need to cover it up and we will. We have plenty of quality in the squad."

Related items

  • Fans to receive 82 per cent of Euro 2020 tickets Fans to receive 82 per cent of Euro 2020 tickets

    Fans will receive 82 per cent of the tickets available for matches at Euro 2020, UEFA has announced.

    The governing body has revealed the details for next year's competition, which will see 24 teams playing in 12 countries across the continent.

    UEFA confirmed that 2.5million tickets have been reserved for supporters of participating nations and the general public, more than the total number available for Euro 2016, which was staged in France.

    Across the 44 matches, 1m tickets will be available for €50 or less and 40,000 supporters will pay fewer than €100 to attend the semi-finals and final at Wembley.

    In the first sales window, which opens for a month on June 12, 1.5m tickets will be available to the general public.

    UEFA has come under fire recently regarding the allocations and prices for entry to the Champions League and Europa League finals.

    Liverpool face Tottenham in the Champions League in Madrid on June 1, with less than half of the 68,000 tickets allocated to the two Premier League clubs.

    The Reds revealed their supporters could buy tickets in four categories ranging from £60 to £513.

    At the Europa League final, which takes place in Baku on May 29, London clubs Arsenal and Chelsea have received a combined ticket allocation of 12,000 at a 68,700-seater stadium. 

  • Kompany appointed as Anderlecht player-manager Kompany appointed as Anderlecht player-manager

    Vincent Kompany will take on a player-manager role at Belgian Pro League club Anderlecht after calling time on his 11-year spell at Manchester City.

    It was confirmed on Sunday that Kompany would be leaving Premier League champions City, with the Belgium defender ending his career at the club by winning a domestic treble.

    Now his next move has been revealed, with the 33-year-old announcing that he is to take his first steps into coaching at Anderlecht, the club where he started his career, signing a three-year deal as player-manager.

    And Kompany says Pep Guardiola has served as the inspiration for his decision to re-join Anderlecht, stating that the City boss allowed him to rediscover his love of football.

    "The end of this season couldn’t be more memorable. I have lived the dream here," Kompany wrote on his official Facebook page.

    "I have learned so much the last three years from an incredible manager. Pep Guardiola reignited my love for the game.

    "I've witnessed, participated, analysed, absorbed, studied. Man City play the football I want to play. It is the football I want to teach and to see played.

    "I have decided to take up the challenge at Anderlecht. Player-manager. I want to share my knowledge with the next purple generations. With that, I will also put a bit of Manchester in the heart of Belgium.

    "This may come as a surprise to you. It's the most passionate yet rational decision I've ever made. As a footballer, I was born and raised at Anderlecht. Since the age of six, I have been one with that club. A history of 34 league titles, they are second to none."

    Kompany left Anderlecht to join Hamburg in 2006, spending two seasons in Germany before transferring to City in 2008, going on to win four league titles, two FA Cups and four EFL Cups.

    RSCA had a disappointing campaign under Hein Vanhaezebrouck and then caretaker Karim Belhocine, finishing fourth in the league, and sixth in the subsequent play-offs, as well as failing to make inroads in either the Belgian Cup or the Europa League.

    Kompany explained it was a chance meeting that set the wheels in motion for what looks set to be an emotional return to his boyhood club.

    "I stopped at their training grounds on my way to international duty last year, just to say hello," he continued.

    "Marc Coucke, the chairman, and Sports Director Michael Verschueren asked my opinion regarding the difficult situation the club was in.

    "I shared my thoughts and listened to their vision for the future: ambitious, courageous and determined to get back to number one. I offered my help, no strings attached, should they need it.

    "Anderlecht has a tradition of having fantastic youth. You could say they have the past and the future but struggle with the present."

    Kompany went on to put together some sessions with Anderlecht's technical director Frank Arnesen – formerly of Hamburg, Chelsea and Tottenham – on "how to build a strong playing identity", work that apparently left a strong impression.

    "Not so long ago, I took a call from Anderlecht. Quite unexpectedly, they offered me the position of player-manager. Michael and Frank explained to me in detail how they saw it working in practice. They had thought it through," he added.

    "Mr. Coucke, the owner, pledged full support: time, budget, framework, staff, facilities. I was left not only impressed, but also intrigued by this sign of confidence in me."

  • BREAKING NEWS: Kompany appointed as Anderlecht player-manager BREAKING NEWS: Kompany appointed as Anderlecht player-manager

    Vincent Kompany will take on a player-manager role at Belgian Pro League club Anderlecht after calling time on his 11-year spell at Manchester City.

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.