Bayern’s Mane may be suffering same problem as ex-Liverpool team-mates

Sadio Mane unveiled as Bayern Munich player after leaving Liverpool

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Bayern Munich star Sadio Mane may have something in common with his former Liverpool team-mates as tiredness appears to be hampering their 2022/23 seasons. The Senegalese forward was hauled off on Tuesday evening with Bayern boss Julian Nagelsmann expressing concerns after a win over Barcelona. 

Barca hit man Robert Lewandowski had plenty of first-half chances to inflict pain on his former club, but they all went begging as Bayern stood firm. Nagelsmann’s men started turning the screw in the second half and goals from Lucas Hernandez and Leroy Sane sealed a statement 2-0 victory over a fellow European heavyweight. 

Mane started on the left wing but didn’t complete the full 90 minutes, with Serge Gnabry brought on to see out the final 20. Five goals in 10 games is hardly a torrid way for the 30-year-old to begin life in Bavaria, but Nagelsmann suggested that a taxing campaign on Merseyside may have left a lingering effect. 

“He put in so much for Liverpool,” said the Bayern boss. “He’s a new signing. He just needs to adapt. He was trying. I’m certain he will succeed for us.”

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Fatigue from 2021/22 would be understandable given that Mane made 51 appearances at club level across all competitions – his highest-ever total in a Liverpool shirt. The Reds were chasing an unprecedented quadruple until the closing weeks of the season, when prospects of winning the Champions League and Premier League slipped away. 

Nagelsmann’s tiredness case would appear to be backed up by Liverpool’s own patchy start to the new campaign. Jurgen Klopp’s side left it late to beat Ajax in the Champions League on Tuesday with Joel Matip popping up to become an unlikely hero with a late header. 

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Three points on the board were sorely needed by the Reds after they were humiliatingly hammered 4-1 by Napoli last week. A run of two wins in their first six Premier League games has already left them six points off table-toppers Arsenal after coming within a whisker of pipping Manchester City to the crown last term. 

Former Benfica striker Darwin Nunez was signed by Liverpool in a big-money move during the summer to compensate for Mane’s departure, although he has blown hot and cold so far. Klopp chose to look on the positive side following a morale-boosting win over Ajax this week, however, insisting that ‘nothing is over’. 

“It was a nice celebration and showed what the boys thought today,” he told BT Sport. “Nothing is over, neither negative nor positive. It’s an important step for us and now we have a strange break.

“We hope and pray that the boys return to training healthy and Brighton is waiting. I’ll have to watch the Ajax goal back. You can’t avoid all balls in behind. That always happens in football. If Alisson has to make a save then something went wrong beforehand.”

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