'Lucky boy' Mane diverts attention away from audacious backheel goal for Liverpool

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The Senegal international recorded a stunning effort for the Reds against Watford but has hailed the involvement of others in a much-needed victory

Sadio Mane has sought to play down the impact of his audacious backheel goal for Liverpool against Watford, claiming he was merely a “lucky boy” in a stunning collective showing.

The Senegal international had already opened the scoring for the Reds at Anfield on Wednesday when he produced the highlight of the evening.

His touch inside the box left him facing the wrong way, as Ben Foster closed in behind him, but the 26-year-old produced a moment of inspired improvisation to find the target and double Liverpool’s lead.

Mane’s stunning effort dominated the post-match discussion and headlines, as Jurgen Klopp’s side cemented their standing at the top of the Premier League with a 5-0 win, but he was quick to divert attention afterwards as he preferred to focus on a fine all-round performance.

Discussing his goal with Liverpool’s official website, Mane said: “Trent [Alexander-Arnold] made a very good cross and I was in the box, I was a lucky boy and I scored. It’s one of [the most adventurous goals I’ve scored], yes!

“But the most important thing is the three points and we got it, so I’m happy.

“It was my first time since I came to Liverpool I played centrally. I always said I’m here for the team, so I try to play any position the coach asks me to play to help the team.

“We started fast in the game, we moved quickly with and without the ball and created many chances. We scored five goals and we deserved the win.

“The team was fantastic, everybody played well. It was the key.”

A crushing victory over Watford has kept Liverpool one point clear of defending champions Manchester City in the title race – with Pep Guardiola’s side edging out West Ham 1-0 on Wednesday courtesy of a Sergio Aguero penalty.

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The Reds are aware that they have little margin for error in the battle for top-flight supremacy, with their next test taking them to Goodison Park on Sunday for a Merseyside derby duel with neighbours Everton.

“The win gives us more confidence,” added Mane.

“We know playing against Everton is never easy. But we are a great team and we are used to playing this kind of game. We’re going to go there and try to do everything to win there.”

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