Sadio Mane, Mo Salah And Roberto Firmino: The Premier League's Greatest Ever Trio
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Some see three as a crowd while others deem it to be a magic number. Liverpool fans will no doubt be in the second boat after hosting quite possibly the Premier League's greatest trio.
For years, Sadio Mane, Mo Salah and Roberto Firmino caused absolute chaos for opposition defences, tying them up in all sorts of knots and bagging goals for fun.
In total, the trident scored a staggering 338 goals and assisted a further 137 in five seasons. Those numbers are not normal.
Salah developed into an absolute goal-machine and a real killer for Liverpool in his second crack at English football following his £36.5 million move from AS Roma. He's scored 156 and assisted 58 - quite ridiculous statistics.
Then you had Firmino, who took on a more unselfish role to let both Salah and Mane thrive from wide areas. The Brazilian even once gave up a hefty £45,000 bonus after refusing to nick Mane's goal away at Stoke City.
Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mané scored 338 goals in their five seasons together at Liverpool:— Squawka (@Squawka) June 17, 2022
◉ Salah: 156 goals (58 assists)
◉ Firmino: 75 goals (49 assists)
◉ Mané: 107 goals (30 assists)
It's the end of an era. 😭 pic.twitter.com/LQGfaNOwQa
Playing as a false nine for Jurgen Klopp with Mane and Salah supporting, the former Hoffenheim man has scored 75 goals and assisted 49 times since the summer of 2017.
Yet he also led the line with distinction. In Liverpool's, Champions League and Premier League-winning campaigns, it was Firmino who set the tempo with his energy and pressing from the front.
'Bobby', with his knack for no-look passes and goals, essentially demanded that his teammates followed him in chasing down defenders and squeezing up the Anfield pitch.
Many were already aware of what Mane was about when he joined Liverpool. He'd ripped it up at Southampton and memorably scored the fastest hat-trick in Premier League history.
But the levels he reached at Liverpool were simply incredible. Senegal's Africa Cup of Nations hero scored 107 times from the point he linked up with Salah and Firmino, as well as contributing further with 30 assists.
🗣️ "I really like this club!"— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) June 23, 2022
🇸🇳 Sadio Mané at Bayern. Good move?#UCL pic.twitter.com/y9268yZIML
The Premier League has seen its fair share of devastating front threes but nobody blew teams away like Mane, Salah and Firmino.
Liverpool's midfield acted as more of a base for the attackers to strut their stuff and it worked a treat, with the trio proving to be utterly electric. Nobody was safe.
It was consistent world-class performance over five decades and it's clear that the Reds would not have had the success they did without them. Klopp himself even said as much and thanked God for the three gifts he received.
"A lot of times in my life I had sensational players always, [but] not world-class players," Klopp commented a few years back.
"Now, thank God I have them and they make the difference. We don't have to talk about that.
"Sadio Mane, Bobby Firmino, Mo Salah – these guys in the last situation are really outstanding."
They didn't have a nickname like 'MSN' or 'BBC' but they didn't need one - their brilliance in the final third did the talking.
Mane's departure to Bayern Munich, where he has signed a three-year contract in an £35 million move, marks the biggest break-up on Merseyside since The Beatles called it a day in 1970.
The former Red Bull Salzburg man is good value to experience Paul McCartney-like solo success in the Bundesliga, while Salah could follow suit next year if his contract situation is not sorted out.
It’s been quite a ride! Thank you for all the good times and I wish you all the best in your new adventure! You will be missed by all of us. pic.twitter.com/zndPry1mfg— Mohamed Salah (@MoSalah) June 22, 2022
But there will never be a three-piece so dynamic, cold and consistent and Mane leaving really does represent the end of a special era in Premier League and European football.
Between them the triad won everything there is to win: the Premier League, Champions League, Carabao Cup, FA Cup, UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup.
There were also multiple individual awards and PFA Team of the Year inclusions, as well as four Golden Boots between Salah and Mane.
Name a front three better than Mane, Salah and Firmino? We'll wait.
Featured Image Credit: Image: PA
Topics: Sadio Mane, Liverpool, Premier League, Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah