Former Manchester United defender turned pundit Rio Ferdinand was full of praise for Liverpool after their 4-0 Champions League win over Red Star Belgrade, and singled out Sadio Mane as a star performer, commending him as a 'nightmare' for defenders.
Mane returned to the side after sitting out Saturday's win over Huddersfield with a hand injury and turned in a typically dynamic display, winning a penalty for Liverpool's third goal, before redeeming his later penalty miss with a goal of his own to round off the scoring.
And Ferdinand, when asked on BT Sport (via the Mirror) if Mane was crucial to the Liverpool side, said: “Yeah, 100%, and I think that was highlighted at the weekend.
“He missed the game at Huddersfield at the weekend. He gives them legs, and the willingness to run behind. For a defender, that is a nightmare.
“And when he does that, it opens the spaces for the likes of Firmino to drop in.
“I just think that extra bit of dynamism, that bit of pace, is something that is a huge threat for defenders. It puts them on the back foot and allows space for midfielders.”
Mane has struck up a famed chemistry with fellow forwards Firmino and Mohamed Salah since the beginning of last season, and although they have dealt with some criticism in recent weeks after failing to hit the heights they did last campaign, they were decidedly back in form against Belgrade.
A Salah double - his 49th and 50th goal for Liverpool - sandwiched in between strikes from Firmino and Mane, gave the Reds a much needed Champions League win after losing their last group match against Napoli.
They will look to build on the win with another victory at Anfield against Cardiff City on Saturday, as they continue to establish themselves as a threat to Manchester City's Premier League crown.