Has Sadio Mane overtaken Mo Salah as Liverpool's star man?

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THE EGYPTIAN KING AND THE SENEGALESE SUPERSTAR

Sadio Mane headed Liverpool into the Quarter Finals of the Champions League on Wednesday night as his side eliminated Bayern Munich from the competition at the Allianz Arena.

It was the Senegalese winger who stole the headlines with a brilliant brace, his first being a wonderful chipped shot over two defenders into an empty net after he had completely wrongfooted Manuel Neuer with some incredible close control.

Mohamed Salah assisted Mane’s second of the night with a wonderfully precise cross to the back post for the number ten to nod home on a night which will go down as one of the finest in the Reds rich European history.

However, one debate that has been sparked from this match, and recent form, is whether Sadio Mane has now overtaken Mohamed Salah as Liverpool’s main man and become a better player than his teammate as Salah continues to struggle in front of goal whilst Mane flourishes, scoring twice per game in three of his previous four appearances.

Sadio Mane Liverpool

WHO IS MORE IMPORTANT TO LIVERPOOL?

The statistics do not lie, Mohamed Salah still has a better goal-scoring ratio and more assists than Sadio Mane this season despite his poor scoring form over the past few weeks or months.

The Egyptian international has played two more games than Mane and netted once more than his fellow winger, with the number eleven on 20 goals for the campaign so far while the former Southampton man has bagged 19 up to now. Salah’s minutes per goal ratio reads 164, whereas Mane’s is 175 minutes per goal.

In terms of assists, it is Salah who has supplied more goals for teammates with seven on the board which is far more than what Mane has provided as he has made just one goal over the course of the season thus far.

When talking defensive workrate, Mane’s statistics are far more favourable than Salah’s as the left winger has made eight clearances and twelve interceptions, while also succeeding in making 26 tackles during the campaign, which means that 81% of tackles he has attempted have come good. Salah on the other hand does not offer as much when keeping the opposition out, with four clearances and four interceptions, completing only 47% of his attempted tackles.

Jurgen Klopp will see this as a reason to prefer Mane over Salah, however defensive workrate does not determine how impressive the overall abilities of a forward player are when comparing to another.

Mohamed Salah

WHO COMES OUT ON TOP?

The attacking statistics do favour Mohamed Salah, as he has had 48 shots on target, 64% of his total attempted shots, while Mane has only 33 shots on target which is 59% of his total attempts.

Salah has created far more chances than his counterpart with 56 key passes overall up to now compared to just 31 from Sadio Mane, though the latter slightly edges it when looking at passes completed by a factor of 1%, with Salah accurately passing the ball 77% of the time, while Mane has done so 78% with 55 more passes played.

This debate began from recent form however, as Egypt’s main man has not scored in any of his last six appearances while Mane has been Liverpool’s spark of imagination in virtually every fixture for the past month and more, bagging six goals in his last four.

It would be unwise to determine absolutely who is the more talented individual between the two as they have differing qualities to bring to the table, although currently it is Sadio Mane who is putting those qualities on show more often than last season’s Premier League top-scorer.

Without question, these two are fantastic individual performers and have turned up numerous times for Liverpool and regardless of who is considered to be the better of the pair, they will go on and create more magical moments for those watching.

Mohamed Salah Sadio Mane Liverpool
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