Mane equals Drogba’s Champions League record with Villarreal strike

Mane equals Drogba’s Champions League record with Villarreal strike

Sadio Mane has equalled Didier Drogba’s record as the highest-scoring African player in the Champions League knockout stages scoring a goal against Villarreal on Wednesday night.

And in so doing, Mane netted his 14th goal in the Champions League knockout stage, equalling Chelsea legend Didier Drogba as the African with the most such goals in the competition’s history.

The strike also saw Mane bring up 20 goals for the season in all competitions, the fourth time he’s done that in the last five seasons.

Liverpool took a giant stride towards another Champions League final with a commanding victory over Villarreal at Anfield.

Jurgen Klopp’s quadruple-chasing Reds had to demonstrate patience to break down a Villarreal side well organised by European specialist Unai Emery.

Liverpool were held at bay despite creating all the chances and needed a touch of fortune to break the deadlock after 53 minutes when Jordan Henderson’s cross was deflected beyond Villarreal keeper Geronimo Rulli by Pervis Estupinan.

Sadio Mane increased Liverpool’s control when he touched Mohamed Salah’s pass beyond Rulli two minutes later.

The second leg in Villarreal is still to come next Tuesday but Liverpool now look firmly on course to meet either Manchester City or Real Madrid in the final in Paris in May.

Liverpool now turn their attentions back to the Premier League pursuit of Manchester City when they travel to in-form Newcastle United on Saturday.

The historic quadruple is still on and the celebrations at the final whistle here suggested the Kop genuinely believe that what most observers thought was impossible is now a genuine possibility.

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