Jurgen Klopp hailed Liverpool’s “little machine” Sadio Mane, who confounded pre-match expectations to play almost 90 minutes on his return from injury in Saturday’s thrashing of West Ham.
Mane set up the first and fourth goals of the 4-1 win at the London Stadium as the Reds’ slick counter-attacking tore the Hammers apart to leave Slaven Bilic clinging onto his job.
After returning from a month-long absence with hamstring injury this week, Klopp said pre-match that he expected Mane to make a 20-minute cameo at best.
But the Senegal forward lasted until the 77th minute and was on the pace of a lightning game, leaving Klopp impressed.
He said: “Sadio is a naturally fit player, he is a little machine.
“When we trained after the Maribor game – his first session on Thursday, [he] was a little bit stiff in the beginning but then you can see he starts enjoying the intensity.
“That’s why we decided we should try it. I asked him because I could not see how he felt after that session.
“I said in the press conference [on Friday] he is ready for 25 minutes, but obviously he was ready for 25 minutes plus. That’s good for us.”