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‘I’m wearing a Liverpool shirt now’ - Mane ‘sorry’ for downing Southampton but has to ‘deal with it’

19:52 EAT 17/08/2019
Sadio Mane Liverpool 2019-20
The former Saints star was among the goals during his latest visit to St Mary's, with Jurgen Klopp's side edging their way to a 2-1 win

Sadio Mane has said “sorry” for helping to lead Liverpool past Southampton, but the former Saints star makes no apologies for having done what is required of him.

The Senegal international broke the deadlock on his latest return to St Mary’s .

His effort on the stroke of half-time paved the way for Liverpool to grind out what became a nervy 2-1 win.

Mane left the south coast for Merseyside back in 2016, but still holds fond memories of his time with Southampton.

He is eager to point out that he was merely doing his job when downing Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side, with his full focus now locked on Liverpool and the pursuit of precious Premier League points.

Mane told BBC Sport : “I'm sorry it is against my old team and sorry I have to score but I'm wearing a Liverpool shirt now.

“Southampton was a very good step for me, I have big respect for this club.

“It is an amazing place. I learned a lot here and they are very nice people. But it is part of football and you have to deal with it.”

Roberto Firmino added to Mane’s effort to put Liverpool in control against the Saints, but they were left hanging on towards the end.

“What a game, it was not an easy game but you have to expect a tough game like this at this stage of the season,” said Mane.

“After playing 120 minutes on Wednesday [in the UEFA Super Cup] it was not easy and we know it would be difficult. It was not easy and it took us a little bit of time to get going.

“But we got the three points and I think we deserved it. Once we scored the first goal it was easier for us.”

An error from back-up goalkeeper Adrian made life difficult for Liverpool, as he crashed a clearance into former Reds striker Danny Ings and saw the ball end up in the back of the net.

Southampton pushed hard for a leveller in the final seven minutes, but Klopp’s visitors hung on to head home with the spoils and back-to-back victories to open the 2019-20 Premier League campaign.

Mane added on the late drama: “I was nervous because it wasn't over. We had another 10 minutes to go.

“It was tough for us and of course we expect that here. it can happen, it is part of football.”