Sadio Mane surpassed Didier Drogba’s record to become Africa’s top scorer in the Champions League Round of 16.
The Senegal international was among the scorers as Liverpool overcame a two-goal deficit to beat Villarreal 3-2 in Tuesday’s semi-final second leg at the Estadio de la Ceramica.
In doing so, he set a new benchmark for African strikers in European club competition.
Mane the Liverpool man
As the Spanish outfit had to erase their 2-0 deficit in the first leg against the Reds, the Yellow Submarine quickly took the lead thanks to Boulaye Dia.
The Senegal international’s goal came after two minutes and 51 seconds, the first the Premier League side have conceded in the competition since April 2018 (after one minute and 57 seconds against Manchester City).
Unai Emery’s men doubled their advantage four minutes before 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 leveled Luis Diaz for the equalizer before Mane completed the comeback triumph in the 74th minute with Naby Keita providing the assist.
The Senegalese star surpasses the Ivorian icon
With that strike, the reigning African Player of the Year has now scored 15 goals in the tournament’s round of 16 to eclipse the Chelsea legend’s mark as the African with the most such goals in the tournament. history of the Champions League.
Egypt international Salah is third with 11 goals, while Barcelona legend Samuel Eto’o is fourth with 10 goals.
Since his first appearance in the competition (in 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 scheduled for May 28 at the Stade de France.