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Mane overtakes Drogba's Champions League record as Liverpool beat Villarreal to reach final

Sadio Mane has overtaken Didier Drogba's record to become Africa’s highest goalscorer in the Champions League knockout stages.

The Senegal international was among the goalscorers as the Liverpool overturned a two-goal deficit to beat Villarreal 3-2 in Tuesday’s semi-final second leg showdown at Estadio de la Ceramica.

In doing so, he set a new landmark for African forwards in the European club competition.

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Mane the man for Liverpool

With the Spanish outfit needing to erase their 2-0 first leg shortfall against the Reds, the Yellow Submarine took an early lead thanks to Boulaye Dia.

The Senegal international’s goal came after two minutes and 51 seconds, the earliest the Premier League side has conceded in the competition since April 2018 (after one minute and 57 seconds vs Manchester City).

Unai Emery’s men doubled their advantage four minutes before the half time as Francis Coquelin headed Etienne Capoue’s cross past goalkeeper Alisson.

Jurgen Klopp’s side launched a comeback in the second half. First, Fabinho pulled one back for the visitors two minutes after the hour mark thanks to Mohamed Salah’s assist.

Five minutes later, Trent Alexander-Arnold teed up Luis Diaz for the equaliser before Mane completed the comeback triumph in the 74th minute with Naby Keita providing him with the pass. 

Senegal star overtakes Ivorian icon

Thanks to that strike, the reigning African Player of the Year has now scored 15 goals in the tournament’s knockout stages to eclipse the Chelsea legend’s mark as the African with the most such goals in the Champions League’s history.

Egypt international Salah is third with 11 goals, while Barcelona legend Samuel Eto’o occupies fourth place having garnered 10.

Since his maiden appearance in the competition (during the 2017-18 season), only Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema (16) has more knockout stage goals than former Southampton man Mane. 

Liverpool will face either Manchester City or Real Madrid in the final billed for May 28 at Stade de France.

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