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All for one mentality can take Liverpool to Champions League final, says Sadio Mane

Sadio Mane of Liverpool celebrates scoring (Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Sadio Mane of Liverpool celebrates scoring (Michael Regan/Getty Images)

SADIO MANE insists it is the all-for-one mentality in Liverpool’s magic front three that has them on the verge of the Champions League Final.

The Reds take a 5-2 lead to Italy on Wednesday after Mane, Mo Salah and Roberto Firmino ripped Roma to shreds at Anfield.

Salah led the way again with two goals and two assists. But it was the same tally for Firmino, while Mane chipped in with the fifth goal.

No wonder the winners of the other semi-final between Bayern Munich and Real Madrid are watching on nervously at the exploits of Liverpool’s front three.

The Reds have scored an electrifying 44 goals in 11 Champions League games this season, and the Three Musketeers in attack have contributed 30 of them.

Salah has received the most plaudits and was named PFA Player of the Year last weekend. But there isn’t a hint of jealousy about those personal accolades from his team-mates.

According to Mane, having fun and helping each other are the keys to success for Jurgen Klopp’s team.

“Honestly, I always love to play alongside these great players,” says the Senegalese forward.

“We understand each other and we try to move for each other.

“It’s fun and you have to enjoy it. It’s our job and we love to do it.

“You need to be friends and we are friends out on the pitch. We love to play together, to make assists and help the team.

“Arrogance never helps the team.

“This is something that helps us to enjoy and to give an assist to your friend and they score the goal.

“Ego has never helped any team, or club, to go forward. Our big secret is to love to give each other assists.

“You can see on the pitch that I always want to give the ball to Mo and Mo always wants to pass to me as well. This makes us a better team.

“For me, Mo’s goals are something incredible. He is like that in training, so it is becoming normal for us.

“We are just trying to help him score more goals.”

Having such a devastating front three certainly makes life easier for the rest of the team.

Despite the late lapse in the first leg, that saw Roma score twice in the final 10 minutes when the tie could have been dead and buried, Liverpool will be confident of scoring in the Stadio Olimpico.

And such has been the outstanding performances of Salah all season, midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum is almost surprised when the Egyptian doesn’t find the net.

“We try to feed him as often as possible,” says the Dutchman.

“He’s on form and he needs to get the ball. He helps the team because two or three opponents will have to mark him. That frees up space for others.

“Even in games when he’s not playing, Mo still scores. He only needs one good moment and he can still do it for us.

“It gives him – and us as a team – that extra confidence.

“Of course, you could immediately spot his quality in training when he arrived. But he wasn’t the finished article.”

He is now.

“Mo has got better and better during the season. Self-belief played a big role. He grew in confidence over time,”he adds.

“But it’s a case of good fortune for us to have three players who can make the difference.

“Because Mo is the dangerous player he is, Sadio gets more space. If Sadio is on fire, Mo gets a bit more space.

“And, in my view, Firmino is excellent in his role as a false No. 9.”

While the focus is almost always on Liverpool’s attack, they will have to do their jobs in defence in Rome.

The Italians’ 3-0 victory over Barcelona in the quarter-finals mean the Reds can’t take anything for granted, so they will look to £75m man Virgil van Dijk to marshal the back line.

“Since Virgil came, it has gone better defensively,” says his international team-mate.

“I thought he was the right player for us. Of course, you have to prove it. A lot of people were not sure because it was a lot of money the club paid for him.

“What makes it easier for the other defenders is that Virgil speaks a lot.

“He is a leader in that way and helps the defensive line and the midfielders.”