It was just a few short weeks ago that Liverpool icon Mohamed Salah became the latest member of the Premier League 100 goals club. Now, his long-time wing partner Sadio Mane joins him to become the second player already this season to reach the landmark.
Much like Salah, Mane has become a Premier League champion, African footballer of the year recipient, and a Liverpool legend. Unlike Salah, though, Mane had a relatively established career in the English top flight before arriving on Merseyside, having spent the first two years of his successful Premier League career at Southampton.
Now, with 21 league goals for the Saints and 79 (and counting) for Liverpool, Mane is into his eighth season in English football and continuing to flourish, cementing his Premier League legacy with a couple of records achieved along the way. Here we look back on some of the Senegal international’s most iconic goals and moments since arriving on these shores.
Sadio Mane – The Best Goals
1. First goal: Vs Stoke City (25th October 2014)
Having bagged his 100th goal this week, Mane’s latest strike comes near the seven-year anniversary of his first, which was scored whilst wearing the colours of Southampton.
After being somewhat unfortunate to have a debut goal in the 8-0 thrashing of Sunderland re-classified as an own goal, Mane put it right just a week later by scoring the winner in a narrow victory over Stoke City.
After strike partner Graziano Pelle had hit the post following a well-executed set piece, the ball rebounded to Mane in the box, who reacted quickly to side foot a shot past Asmir Begovic and in via the underside of the crossbar.
As well as sealing a 1-0 win and underlining Mane’s abilities as a goal poacher, it moved the Saints up to a lofty 2nd place in the table at the time.
2. 100th goal: Vs Watford (16th October 2021)
Salah stole the show and Firmino bagged a hat trick in the latest in a long line of scintillating performances from Liverpool’s long serving front three, but Sadio Mane claimed some history for himself when he opened the scoring against Watford and claimed his 100th Premier League goal in the process.
Just seven minutes into the match at Vicarage Road, Mane latched onto the end of a stunning pass from Mohamed Salah and swept home a simple finish. It sent the Reds on their way to a ruthless 5-0 win, avenging the team’s infamous 3-0 loss in the same fixture two years prior.
For Mane personally, he became just the third African player to reach a century of Premier League goals, and the first Senegalese player to reach the landmark. All in a day’s work for Liverpool’s number 10.
3. Best goal: Vs Arsenal (14th August 2016)
Having moved to Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool in the summer of 2016, it wasn’t long since he’d put pen to paper that he introduced himself to the Anfield faithful with a stunning debut goal, arguably his best ever in the Premier League.
Making his Liverpool bow in a challenging fixture away at Arsenal, Klopp’s Liverpool ran riot and blew away the hosts with lethal counterattacking football. Picking up the ball on the right-hand side, Mane charged down the wing, cut inside between two Arsenal defenders, and made his way into the box before pulling the trigger with a brilliant left-footed drive that arrowed into the top corner.
The strike put the Reds 4-1 up to secure a memorable opening day victory and was certainly a sign of what was to follow as Mane became an instant Liverpool hero.
4. Most important goal: Vs Bournemouth (7th March 2020)
It goes without saying that Mane has scored many decisive goals in crucial moments and fixtures, albeit without ever having an Aguero moment that stands out among the rest. However, his winning strike for the Reds against Bournemouth in March 2020 arguably sits at the top of the pile in terms of its importance.
Having just suffered their first league defeat in a near perfect season up until that point, the following weekend Liverpool found themselves 1-0 down at home to Bournemouth – a moment to trigger fear among the long-suffering fans despite their massive lead in the title race.
After the Reds equalised, Mane produced a fine finish from Virgil Van Dijk’s through-ball to complete the turnaround as Liverpool moved to within five points of the title. Being Liverpool’s final goal and victory before the postponement of the Premier League season and the beginning of national lockdown, it was the goal that essentially confirmed the title’s arrival on Merseyside, even if it was not yet a mathematical certainty.
5. Most memorable goal: Vs Aston Villa (16th May 2015)
Goal after goal has flown in from Mane’s boot since arriving on Merseyside, including several strikes in big fixtures against the likes of Everton and Manchester City. But for his most memorable moment, we once again return to his Southampton days and the setting of a Premier League record.
At the end of a successful first season in England following his move from Red Bull Salzburg, Mane kicked things up a notch when he broke the record for the Premier League’s fastest ever hat trick in a 6-1 thrashing of Aston Villa. After netting two in two minutes, Mane received a cutback on the edge of the box and placed a pinpoint first time shot past Shay Given and into the top right corner of the Villa net.
It was a goal that sealed a treble for the winger in under three minutes, breaking Robbie Fowler’s record of a four-and-a-half-minute hat trick that had been set 21 years earlier. With it, Mane not only set a new record but also claimed a piece of Premier League history which stands to this day, and is unlikely to ever be bettered.
Manchester City and England fan. Writer of opinion and features on all things Premier League and beyond.