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Africans star in Liverpool historic league win

SPORTS CORRESPONDENT

THE AFRICAN awesome foursome of two strikers, a midfielder and defender played crucial roles that assisted Liverpool to win its first English Premiership league in 30 years.

Senegalese superstar Sadio Mane and Egyptian super striker Mohamed Salah played starring roles and scored goals that steered Liverpool to their historic league run – one loss in 31 games – which ended with the champions trophy. 

Guinea’s best player Naby Keita and Cameron defender Joel Matip made major contributions from the back and middle of the field to assist Jurgen Klopp’s men to follow up their 2019 UEFA Champions League trophy with outstanding glory in the English premiership.

There is no doubt, though, that Mane and Salah consistently showed throughout the year why they are amongst the best strikers in the world.

However, Mane was the undisputed star of Liverpool’s formidable frontline season. He scored 15 goals and provided many assists. The Senegalese striker’s hunger, football intelligence and his goal-scoring appetite made him one of the most dangerous strikers in the game. He scored critical goals, won decisive penalties and should be a contender for Liverpool’s player of the year award. 

While Mane’s star shone the brightest this season, Salah, his striking partner, was not far. The 2018/19 player of the year, is a world-class player and also scored a goal in crucial games, contributing to the march towards the historic league win. He is the English League’s leading goalscorer with 17 goals. Salah also made his own history this season, he marked his 100th league appearance by scoring his 70th league goal for Liverpool. Salah made his way into the Liverpool history books, becoming the first Liverpool player since Michael Owen 17 years ago to hit the 20-goal mark in three successive seasons. 

Keita did not make as many starts as he and the Liverpool supporters would have wished. However, when he was on the field, command in the middle of the park, marked by his penetrating runs and rare goals, showed glimpses of his full potential. Keita would be keen to celebrate, return to the pitch and demonstrate to coach Jurgen Klopp that he worth every cent of the 53 million pounds that the club paid for him.  Liverpool ended as champions because they had one of the best defenses in the league. Cameroonian Matip was at the heart of that defense. 

Playing alongside the inspirational captain in Virgil van Dijk, Matip’s contribution to Liverpool’s amazing run is legendary.  Despite the season marked by a serious knee injury, Matip bounced back more than once to make a handsome contribution to the league win.

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By The African Mirror

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