Former Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas hailed Sadio Mane as the best player in the Premier League after Liverpool’s win over his old club.
In an early meeting between two of the main title contenders this season, it was the current champions who came out on top.
Mane scored a brace early in the second half to secure a 2-0 victory for Liverpool. His first goal was a header, and his second saw him react to a mistake before pouncing on a loose ball from Kepa Arrizabalaga and finishing.
The Senegal striker is widely viewed as one of the best players in the world, having come fourth in the voting for the 2019 Ballon d’Or.
And while he was beaten to the Premier League player of the year honours by Kevin de Bruyne and Jordan Henderson last season, Mane deserves to be held in the highest regard.
That’s the opinion of Fabregas, who was full of praise for the 28-year-old after his performance at Stamford Bridge.
Fabregas tweeted: “I’ll say it again. Mane, best player in the league.”
— Cesc Fàbregas Soler (@cesc4official) September 20, 2020
Sky Sports pundits were also unanimous in their praise of Mane during their coverage of the match.
Co-commentator and former Manchester United defender Gary Neville explained that Mane’s success comes from his work rate matching his talent.
“Well we’ll admire to start with, Sadio Mane,” he said (via The Mirror). “He is an exceptional talent but his work rate is equally exceptional.
“He presses, he harasses, he does everything you would want a football player to do on the ball and off the ball.
“He gives the ball away. And look at that reaction to given the ball away; the anger, the anticipation. Forget Kepa, we know he takes a chance.
“Mane knows he takes a chance. It’s brilliant from the Liverpool forward.”
Klopp thinks second goal encapsulates Mane
Manager Jurgen Klopp also pointed out Mane’s determination when reflecting on his second goal in his post-match interviews.
He said: “The goal says everything [about Mane] and it says a lot about the team as well. I loved these situations that we had quite a lot that we chased the goalie.
“Then, he was close in the first half to blocking him already and he just had to do it.
“I love it when we get the reward for these situations. Yes, you are right. The first goal was a nice piece of football and everybody involved pretty much the ball through, the cross in and Sadio comes in front of his man and got the goal to send the game in the right direction.
“That’s exactly what we have to show all the time and what we wanted to show. For us, it is really important. We only have to show ourselves and to be us.
“I saw us today playing the right football and it was completely fine. I loved it.”