Arsene Wenger hails ‘monstrous’ Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane for Liverpool pair’s stunning form since they went head-to-head at the AFCON final following stunning Champions League comeback win in Villarreal
- Wenger praised the duo’s resilience in the face of a challenging season
- Ex-Arsenal boss admits European’s would have complained of fixture pile-up
- Mohamed Salah leads the way in Premier League scoring and assist charts
- Sadio Mane breaks Didier Drogba’s Champions League goal scoring record
Arsene Wenger has hailed Liverpool duo Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane for their contribution in Liverpool’s Champions League semi-final win against Villarreal.
Both players were instrumental in Liverpool’s 3-2 comeback victory in Spain on Tuesday night which saw Jurgen Klopp’s side book their place in the final after a 5-2 aggregate win.
The former Arsenal manager described the pair’s performances as ‘monstrous’ as the Reds overturned a 2-0 half-time deficit by scoring three times in a 12-minute goal rush.
Arsene Wenger was full of praise for duo Sadio Mane (left) and Mohamed Salah (right)
Sadio Mane fires Liverpool in front against Villarreal on Tuesday night
Villarreal stunned the visitors as early as the third minute when Boulaye Dia opened the scoring before ex-Arsenal man Francis Coquelin levelled up the aggregate score.
A more accomplished second-half display from Jurgen Klopp’s men saw them draw level through Fabinho before goals from Luis Diaz and Sadio Mane completed the turnaround.
Salah and Mane have both endured a rigorous season which included participation in the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon, with Sane and Senegal overcoming Salah’s Egypt in a tense final.
Wenger directed praise at the pair for their efforts in helping Liverpool reach another final in addition to February’s Carabao Cup success and the upcoming FA Cup final against Chelsea.
‘Look at Salah and Sadio (Mane), who played the Africa Nations Cup final,’ said Wenger to beIN Sports. ‘What they have done since they have come back, it’s monstrous.
‘We would have complained in Europe that we played too many games, never a word. Tonight, Mane has been kicked all over the place, never a word.’
Salah and Mane squared off against each other in February’s African Cup of Nations final
Salah is the Premier League’s top scorer this season with 22 goals and also tops the assists chart with 13, in what has been a prolific campaign for the Egyptian.
Meanwhile, Mane has notched 14 league goals this term but does boast a better overall scoring record that Salah in Champions League knockout ties.
The Senegalese striker’s goal against Villarreal saw him overtake Didier Drogba’s record for goals scored in the knockout stages.
Mane has now registered 15 in the competition, one ahead of the former Chelsea man, whilst Salah is third with 11 goals and ex-Barcelona striker Samuel Eto’o is on 10.