Liverpool forward Sadio Mane has revealed how he helped persuade Roberto Firmino to play against Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday. Firmino sustained an abrasion to the cornea in his left eye in the weekend win at Tottenham after a clash with Jan Vertonghen and did not train on Sunday or Monday as a result.
Even manager Jurgen Klopp admitted he thought the 26-year-old had “no chance” of playing against PSG in the Champions League opener when he saw him on Monday, but Mane was not prepared to give up on his team-mate.
Firmino was named on the bench but came on to score the winner in injury time as the Reds won a thriller at Anfield 3-2.
“I think Bobby doesn’t need his eye to play so I told him,” the Senegal international said.
“I sent him a message on Monday saying, ‘Hey Bobby, come on, we need you’.
“You’ve all seen the ‘no look’ goals so I think he doesn’t need his eye to play. I texted him saying, ‘You don’t need your eye’.”
Mane was relieved to get the win over the French champions but knows it is just the start in Europe this season.
He added: “It’s a great start. It is too early to speak about anything, but it is very important for us to focus more because we are Liverpool, we are a stronger team, and we will try to do our best every game,” added Mane.
“I think it’s a big result (against PSG) honestly. It is very important for us to keep going on our good run.
“It was not an easy game because PSG are one of the best teams in the world, but we played very well and deserved to win.”