Jurgen Klopp has acknowledged that Liverpool forward Sadio Mane’s season may be over.
Mane is waiting for the results of a scan after suffering knee damage during the second half of Saturday’s 3-1 Premier League victory over Everton.
It means that Klopp will be without three key players for Wednesday’s home match against Bournemouth, as captain Jordan Henderson is still recovering from the foot injury that has caused him to miss the last five matches, while forward Adam Lallana is missing because of a thigh problem sustained on England duty late last month.
Liverpool 3 Everton 1 player ratings
Liverpool 3 Everton 1 player ratings
1/22 Simon Mignolet – 6 out of 10
Made a handful of important saves – only beaten by Pennington’s close range strike.
2/22 Nathaniel Clyne – 5 out of 10
Was pulled out of position at times and made a habit of playing very narrow.
3/22 Joel Matip – 6 out of 10
His work rate was relentless and he kept Lukaku out of the game.
4/22 Dejan Lovren – 7 out of 10
Committed to every challenge and loose ball – courageous defending throughout.
5/22 James Milner – 6 out of 10
It was a classic Milner display – passed well, held his shape and worked hard.
6/22 Emre Can – 4 out of 10
Ruthlessly crashed into challenges, tackled half-heartedly and lost possession continuously.
7/22 Lucas – 6 out of 10
Read the game very well – dropped deep and opened up space in the midfield.
8/22 Georgino Wijnaldum – 5 out of 10
Drifted in and out of the game at times, but in possession he showed impressive vision and ability.
9/22 Sadio Mane – 7 out of 10
His opening goal was an example of his endless individual ability. Subbed off due to ankle injury.
10/22 Roberto Firmino – 6 out of 10
Worked hard to win possession, but his final product was sloppy at times.
11/22 Philippe Coutinho – 8 out of 10
Was Liverpool’s best player today – he was energetic, determined and his goal capped off a sublime performance.
12/22 Joel Robles – 4 out of 10
Was a victim of Liverpool’s sublime strike force but seemed out of position for all three of the home side's goals.
13/22 Matthew Pennington – 6 out of 10
Unexpectedly scored the equaliser, but then he was beaten by Coutinho for Liverpool’s second.
14/22 Ashley Williams – 6 out of 10
Tackled relentlessly and made countless clearances. However, some of his tackles looked dangerous.
15/22 Phil Jagielka – 7 out of 10
He cleared shots off the line, leaped in front of shots and saved the Everton side on numerous occasions.
16/22 Mason Holgate – 5 out of 10
Showed glimpses of brilliance going forward, but his countless deliveries into the box were over hit and out of control.
17/22 Tom Davies – 6 out of 10
Oozed with confidence and once again proved his prospects for the future. Still has plenty to learn, though.
18/22 Idrissa Gueye – 6 out of 10
Was a key element to Everton going forward, but he did drift out of position at times.
19/22 Leighton Baines – 5 out of 10
Played very deep, which resulted in a lack of width and menace for The Toffees on the front foot.
20/22 Ross Barkley – 6 out of 10
Should have been red carded just before the interval, but his performance improved sufficiently as the game progressed.
21/22 Romelu Lukaku – 4 out of 10
Showed no sign of being the Premier League’s scorer and caused few problems for the Liverpool defence.
22/22 Dominic Calvert-Lewin – 5 out of 10
Lacked service from the midfield, but the striker was invisible at times.
The manager is adamant, though, that the absence of Mane must not be used as an excuse as Liverpool attempt to secure qualification for next season’s Champions League.
His team are third in the table after collecting 10 points from their last four matches, having returned to form after a lull during January and February.
Asked if Mane’s season was over, Klopp said: “Unfortunately, that’s possible, but I can’t say it now, so why should I? I don’t know.
“It’s possible when the knee is swollen and you have to wait for the final assessment. That’s it.
“My job is to find solutions, and I work on solutions all the time. That’s what I will do this time.”
Klopp has acknowledged that the former Southampton striker will be missed, but feels he has enough players to step up, with Divock Origi in contention after coming on as a substitute for Mane to score against Everton.
He added: “We don’t think what we miss, we only think what we can do to win this football game.
“As a manager I can’t really remember the last time I had all the players available and the decisions to make were really difficult.
“The only job to do is play the best you are able to and not think about who you miss.
“We have the possibility to change formation. I am not sure we can line-up similar to the last game but we have different options.
“There are a lot of different things but do we miss Sadio? Yes. Do we miss Adam? Yes. Do we miss Hendo? Yes. But they are not for this game because they are not here.
“We have 59 points, we are in a nice position. Yes, a few teams have games in hand, but they cannot win them all, that’s for sure, because a few of them play against each other.
“I really want to use this position. The whole season is to prepare for the finish. We have eight games to go. Nobody asks for your problems. Everybody only wants results. We feel the same. We want the same. We expect results from ourselves. We want to fight for everything.
“As long as we still have 11 players to start and a few to bring on, everything is fine.”
Liverpool struggled badly while Mane was at the Africa Cup of Nations with Senegal in January, being knocked out of both domestic cup competitions and failing to win a league match in his absence.
Klopp said: “The big problem was in January was not only Sadio missing – everyone would miss Sadio. Southampton probably still miss him, Red Bull Salzburg miss him.
“It was such a hard moment in January. We had all these games, it was not the freshest moment of the season.”Reuse content