Someone wasn’t happy about being benched…
While the rest of his Liverpool teammates were celebrating a 4-2 victory over fierce rivals Manchester United, Sadio Mane cut a frustrated figure and refused an enthusiastic high five attempt from manager Jurgen Klopp.
Mane was replaced by Roberto Firmino in Klopp’s starting XI for Thursday’s trip to Old Trafford and it was a selection that is hard to question as the Brazilian forward scored either side of half-time.
Mane came off the bench with 15 minutes remaining but he failed to impact the game as Liverpool’s three other forwards – Diogo Jota, Firmino and Mohamed Salah – found the net in the 4-2 win.
Several supporters spotted the awkward post-match moment when Klopp’s attempts to celebrate with Mane were ignored as the Senegalese forward left the pitch shaking his head after tossing his wrist-tape away in anger.
— beIN SPORTS (@beINSPORTS_EN) May 13, 2021
Mane has made no secret of his frustration this season, describing the campaign as “the worst of his career” in a recent interview, with the 29-year-old also admitting that he underwent medical tests in the hope of identifying why he is struggling in comparison to previous seasons.
After the match, Klopp played down the incident and explained that his decision to start with Jota, Firmino and Salah was a last-minute one which left Mane disappointed.
“No, there’s no problem,” Klopp said in his post-match interview on Sky Sports.
"There is no problem there…" 👀
Jurgen Klopp explains why Sadio Mane refused to shake his hand at FT at Old Trafford pic.twitter.com/2v5ZTa9J1z
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) May 13, 2021
Jurgen Klopp on Mane
“I made a late decision yesterday in training to go for Diogo. The boys are used to that. I usually explain things but there was no time for that, that’s all. It’s all fine!”
Thursday night’s victory leaves Liverpool four points outside fourth spot but the Reds have three games remaining, compared to the two of Leicester and Chelsea.
Next up for Klopp’s side are trips to West Brom and Burnley before they close the season out by hosting Crystal Palace at Anfield on the final day.