Milner: “Mane’s first goal was ridiculous”

Sadio Mane’s opening goal that set Liverpool on the route for a brilliant 3-1 Champions League win at Bayern Munich was “ridiculous”, says team-mate James Milner.

The Senegalese forward struck on the 26th-minute by pulling off an exquisite touch to control Virgil van Dijk’s long pass before shuffling past Bayern keeper Manuel Neuer at the edge of the box and then superbly chipping the ball over two defenders into the empty net.

Despite Joel Matip’s own goal putting Bayern back level before the break, Milner’s corner-kick saw Van Dijk restore Liverpool’s lead with a header in the second-half.

Mane then stepped up once more for the Reds by scoring his 19th goal of the season to secure Liverpool a 3-1 second leg win over Bayern and a place in the quarter-finals.

“I thought it was a good performance away from home in Europe against a good team,” Milner told BT Sport.

“It’s never easy, they are going to have spells on top. We didn’t play our best but it’s about getting a result. We defended pretty well, didn’t give them too much, and the front three were outstanding again.

“Sadio is on fire. The first goal was ridiculous really, how he has finished it off – the calmness and the finish. He is on fire at the moment and, hopefully, that continues for the rest of the season.”

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Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson was forced to abandon the pitch due to an ankle problem in the opening 13 minutes.

But Jurgen Klopp’s side adjusted well upon the Fabinho’s arrival from the bench.

“It says a lot about the team and the boys on the bench ready to come on, the squad we’ve got,” said Milner.

“Obviously you work leading up to the game on a plan and how you’re going to play. To lose the captain that early was difficult but we dealt with it well, Fab came on and did very well.

“We’ve got quality all through the squad and that’s what you need when you’re playing against these sorts of teams and in this competition.”

Liverpool will next take a trip to Craven Cottage to face Fulham in a Premier League match on Sunday before the international break starts.

MUNICH, GERMANY – MARCH 13: Sadio Mane of Liverpool (10) celebrates as he scores his team’s third goal with team mates during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 Second Leg match between FC Bayern Muenchen and Liverpool at Allianz Arena on March 13, 2019 in Munich, Bavaria. (Photo by Alex Grimm/Bongarts/Getty Images)

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