Liverpool duo labelled ‘monstrous’ by ex-Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger following win over Villarreal

Former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger heaped praise on Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane after Liverpool knocked Villarreal out of the Champions League.

The Champions League semi-final second leg between Liverpool and Villarreal took place in Spain on Tuesday night.

The English side took a 2-0 aggregate lead into the return leg. Liverpool’s advantage was wiped out before the break though as Boulaye Dia and Francis Coquelin netted.

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Jurgen Klopp’s side recovered in the second half though. Fabinho, Luis Diaz and Mane scored as Liverpool ended up winning 5-2 on aggregate.

They will face Real Madrid or Manchester City in the final of the Champions League.

Salah and Mane have shone for Liverpool this term. They also competed at the African Cup of Nations between January and February. The duo were lauded by Wenger after Liverpool’s victory over Villarreal:

“Look at Salah and Sadio (Mane), who played the African Nations Cup final. What they have done since they have come back, it’s monstrous.” Wenger told beIN Sports.

“We would have complained in Europe that we played too many games, never a word. Tonight, Mane has been kicked all over the place, never a word.”

Elsewhere, Michael Owen has claimed that Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk is better than Rio Ferdinand was and is the “best centre-half of all time”.

When asked what makes him better than Ferdinand and other defenders, Owen said: “He probably scored a few more goals, not much, but we’re talking about the greatest here.

“As I’ve said, Rio was the best centre-half I ever played with. But with Van Dijk, as a centre-forward I look at him and think: what do you do against him?

“He’s bigger than everyone, he’s faster than everyone, he’s stronger than everyone, he’s brilliant on the ball, he scores goals. I’ve never seen anything like it.

“The only thing that goes against Van Dijk at the moment – and I stress, at the moment – is his winners’ medals. He’s only won one Premier League and one Champions League.

“People like Rio and [Paolo] Maldini and [Franco] Baresi and people like that who you might consider the greatest, they’ve all got numerous. So that’s the only thing that goes against him.

“But as a one off, I look at him and think: how can you get any better than that?”


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