“It’s all that gym [he does],” the captain said, “the neck muscles to generate the power for the header!”
The goal kept Liverpool’s title hopes alive, at least briefly, sealing a 2-1 victory over Steven Gerrard’s Villa as Mane continued his remarkable form at the business end of the season.
As revealed by the official Premier League Twitter, Liverpool are only the second side in the league’s history to see three players score 15 or more goals in a single season:
? Mohamed Salah (22)
? Diogo Jota (15)
? Sadio Mane (15)@LFC are just the second team in #PL history to have three players reach 15 goals in a single campaign, after Man City in 2013/14 ?#AVLLIV pic.twitter.com/OCXzzfQfVV
It is fitting that Man City, who saw Edin Dzeko (16), Sergio Aguero (17) and Yaya Toure (20) score more than 15 in 2013/14, are the only other club to have done so.
The variety of reliable goalscorers has been one of the key features of Klopp’s Liverpool, particularly this season with nine players scoring three or more in the league and eight scoring five or more in all competitions.
Mane’s landmark goal highlighted the 30-year-old as the latest to step up while others endure a dry spell, with neither Salah or Jota netting frequently of late.
“In the moment when everybody obviously has a few yards in the legs, like you can see it with him to be honest, [he can do this],” Klopp told Sky Sports on Tuesday.
“Top goal. Just a fantastic, world-class player.”