Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer has lauded Sadio Mane after the Liverpool forward's exquisite performance helped knock the Bavarians out of the Champions League on Wednesday night.
The Senegalese international grabbed two goals and an assist as the Reds progressed to the quarter-finals with a 3-1 aggregate victory. Both were good finishes, but the first was truly astonishing as he rounded Neuer before delicately clipping the ball into the unguarded net. Mane has since received countless plaudits, with the German shot-stopper amongst those commending him.
Neuer was blamed by some for the 26-year-old's opener, but swiftly shifted the spotlight onto the goalscorer. Speaking after the match to Goal, he could not explain his decision-making in rushing out to try and stop Mane at source.
"Mane is in the inside channel and is running towards me, and I thought I could put him off," the former Schalke man admitted. "If he takes a normal touch, I get the ball, but he takes a world-class touch so the ball is right in front of his feet. He makes a body feint, goes around me and chips the ball into the goal."
The incident left Neuer red-faced and was yet another disappointing moment for the World Cup winner as he continues to struggle for form.
"If I had stayed in goal, Mane would have been one-on-one against me and had a clear chance to score" he added.
Jürgen Klopp's side face Porto in the next round, a team that they beat resoundingly by five goals during last season's Champions League. Mane hit a hat-trick in the first leg of that tie and, if recent form is anything to go by, could be set to add to his tally against the Portuguese outfit.