As far as Jurgen Klopp is concerned it will be all love between him and Sadio Mane when he pulls the forward for a brief chat this afternoon at Kirkby. The German simply smiled last night at Old Trafford when quizzed on why Mane snubbed the chance to shake his manager’s hand after the full-time whistle.
Although Liverpool had recorded arguably their most important Premier League win of the season, Mane was evidently frustrated.
Klopp explained that he’d made a late change to the lineup following Wednesday’s training session, as Mane dropped to the bench.
He played just the final 16 minutes of action and clearly did not feel like part of the momentous victory.
That’s why he shook his head and stropped as Klopp reached out his hand last night on the Old Trafford turf.
Henderson was subbed in the second half by Klopp and tapped in Xherdan Shaqiri before applauding the away fans as he walked past his manager
Klopp reacted angrily when he felt Henderson ignored a handshake and confronted his midfielder for an explanation as he made his way to the bench.
Cameras overheard him saying “you didn’t touch my hand!” Henderson protested his innocence.
Klopp later cleared up that the clash was simply a misunderstanding and although there was clearly more anger behind Mane’s reaction, it just goes to show that these incidents are water under the bridge, particularly in the heat of the battle.
“In terms of the situation, it was a pure misunderstanding. That’s clear,” said Klopp in 2018. “For me, when a player leaves the pitch, it’s clear, we shake hands.
“But I’m in the situation as well. I didn’t say you have to wait for me until I look at you again as I was with Shaq talking and then Hendo left. He was saying thank you to the crowd.
“I thought he didn’t [go to shake hands] and that’s why I turned and told him to [go back and shake my hand].
“But everyone else told me ‘no, no, no, he wanted to shake your hand but you were not ready’. That’s how a misunderstanding works. That’s all. It was nothing.”
Mane has also lost his rag with Klopp before when he was subbed instead of Salah in Liverpool’s 3-0 win at Burnley in 2019.
The competitive spirit amongst the Liverpool squad has kept their top-four alive and Mane is certain to play a big part as Liverpool attempt to get over the line with three wins from three.