Soccer

Liverpool’s Sadio Mane admits being benched for Chelsea game was a ‘difficult moment’

Liverpool star Sadio Mane speaks out on being benched against Chelsea
Sadio Mane argues with Jurgen Klopp after the Chelsea game (Picture: REUTERS)

Liverpool star Sadio Mane has admitted it was ‘not easy’ to learn he would not be starting against Chelsea on Saturday.

Jurgen Klopp made the shock decision to bench two of his most influential players against the Blues, with Mane and Roberto Firmino named among the substitutes.

It was a gamble that did not entirely pay off for Klopp with Chelsea grabbing a late equaliser and Mane only getting four minutes to affect the game from the bench.

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Mane was visibly upset with his manager on the pitch after the draw and the Senegal international has now spoken about the incident.

‘It was not easy for me,’ he said.

Sadio Mane points to a position in a warm-up
(Picture: REUTERS)

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Jurgen Klopp leans in to hear what Sadio Mane is complaining about
(Picture: Reuters)

‘It was a difficult moment. But it’s part of football and it can happen.

‘It’s important for me to come back now. I’m feeling very well.’

Mane had played and scored in the mid-week draw with Sevilla and has been a nailed on starter at Liverpool ever since arriving a year ago.

Liverpool star Sadio Mane speaks out on being benched against Chelsea
(Picture: Getty)

Liverpool 2017/18 Fixtures

Stoke (A) – Wed 29 Nov
Brighton (A) – Sat 2 Dec
Spartak Moscow (H) – Wed 6 Dec (Champions League)
Everton (H) – Sun 10 Dec
West Brom (H) – Wed 13 Dec
AFC Bournemouth (A) – Sat Dec 17
Arsenal (A) – Fri Dec 22

Injuries have forced the 25-year-old to sit out parts of the season so far, but Mane insisted he was back to 100 per cent, fitness-wise.

He said: ‘I’m completely recovered, yes.

‘I’ve been fine for around a month and that’s why I’ve been in training with the team and playing games.’

Jurgen Klopp tries to hug an angry Sadio Mane
(Picture: REUTERS)

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Sadio Mane waves to the Liverpool supporters
(Picture: Getty)

Klopp dismissed concern surrounding his on-field argument with Mane and insisted it was merely a miscommunication.

‘I was shouting at him because he was in the centre,’ said Klopp.

‘He said to me that Mo [Salah] wanted to come into the position but Mo had 90 minutes in his legs.

‘I wanted Sadio on the right wing. Everything is now sorted immediately.’

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MORE: Michael Oliver denied Liverpool substitution because he thought Jurgen Klopp was trying to time-waste

MORE: Jurgen Klopp reveals why Sadio Mane was upset after Liverpool’s draw with Chelsea

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