How Mohamed Salah would love a slice of his luck in front of goal right, as the Egypt forward endures an uncharacteristically barren spell, while Mane’s international teammate Edouard Mendy made one outstanding save as Chelsea booked their place against Liverpool in the FA Cup final.
No African star has dazzled in this calendar year quite like Mane, who netted the decisive goal in the Africa Cup of Nations final as Senegal won their first continental crown and then helped the Teranga Lions qualify for their second consecutive World Cup.
At club level, he has already bettered his Premier League goal tally from last season and he was was the star performer as the Reds reached the first FA Cup final of Jurgen Klopp’s tenure with a 3-2 victory over Manchester City at Wembley on Saturday.
Only a week after scoring against City in the league, Mane doubled the Merseysiders’ lead by capitalising on a gross error by stand-in keeper Zack Steffen to finish from close range in the 17th minute after Ibrahima Konate had headed the 2020 league champions into the lead.
Mane added his second, and appeared to have killed off the tie, before the break, when he picked up a sensational long-range pass from Thiago Alcantara — the only player who could complete with the Senegal forward for the Man of the Match prize — to volley home at the near post.
Steffen, again, should have done better, but the goal was a fitting and deserved reward for Mane’s performance that characterised his persistence, guile and intensity, which, despite passing 30, show no sign of dimming.