- Former Anfield defender Jamie Carragher full of praise for Sadio Mane
- Tough Bootle-born Anfield hero says Mane is Liverpool’s most influential man
- Carra says: We talk about Philippe Coutinho but Mane is most important player
- Mane disagrees his red card during Manchester City defeat was a sending off
Liverpool’s most important player is Sadio Mane not Philippe Coutinho – so says Jamie Carragher after The Reds first game in the Champions League since 2014 ended in a 2-2 draw with Sevilla at Anfield.
In a re-run of the 2016 Europa League final, which the Spaniards won in Basel, Jurgen Klopp’s team went behind to a fifth minute Wissam Ben Yedder goal, before Roberto Firmino levelled 16 minutes later.
Mo Salah’s 37th minute looping effort made it 2-1 via a big deflection off Simon Kjaer. In a pivotal moment Firmino then struck a penalty against the left hand post before Argentine midfielder Joaquin Correa curled a 72nd minute equaliser past Loris Karius, as both sides had to settle for a point in their Group E opener.
Sadio Mane has been hailed for the quality of his performances for Liverpool Football Club
Anfield legend Jamie Carragher said 25-year-old Mane is Liverpool’s most important player
Mane also jokingly denied to Carragher that his red card at Manchester City was a sending off
— Viasport Fotball (@ViasportFotball) September 13, 2017
‘Carra’ believes it is Mane not Philippe Coutinho who is Liverpool’s most influential player
After the match Carragher – standing alongside Mane – spoke to Jan Age Fjortoft who was interviewing the pair for Nordic broadcaster Viasport said: ‘Mane was outstanding for Liverpool in the first half.
‘We speak a lot about Coutinho but Mane is the most important player for Liverpool.
#It’s a shame he’s going to miss the next three games.’
Mane added: ‘We were a little bit downbeat at half time after missing the penalty but we’re all professional and we’re all behind him [Firmino].
"Red card or not?" 😂
— The Anfield Wrap (@TheAnfieldWrap) September 13, 2017
Carragher speaks to interviewer and former Premier League footballer Jan Age Fjortoft
‘He’s a very important player for us and has scored a lot of important goals for us.’
Earlier, while Mane was warming up before kick-off, the Senegal-born 25-year-old was beckoned over to the touchline before he was asked: ‘Red card or not?’ in a reference to Mane’s controversial sending-off at the Etihad on Saturday during their 5-0 defeat.
The exchange was tweeted by the leading independent voice on Liverpool The Anfield Wrap.
Respected independent voice of Liverpool, The Anfield Wrap tweeted Mane’s exchange
The former Southampton player was shown a straight red by referee Jon Moss after landing a boot in the face of City goalkeeper Ederson as he tried to latch onto a through ball with the score at 1-0 in the 37th minute.
Pep Guardiola’s men capitalised on the incident scoring a further four goals against Klopp’s ten men – with Carragher insistent after the match it was a red card.
However, when Mane heard the question posed at Anfield on Wednesday evening he ran back onto the pitch with a smile waving his finger to indicate ‘no’ as an answer to the question.
Liverpool play Burnley on Saturday at Anfield.