Liverpool star Mane apologises to former team Salzburg after Champions League elimination

The winger returned to his old stomping grounds and set up a goal that helped knock out his former team

Two former Salzburg players came back to haunt them as  Liverpool eliminated the Austrian side from the Champions League on Tuesday. 

Naby Keita and Sadio Mane both previously played for Salzburg and Keita scored the first goal in a 2-0 win that saw the Reds advance in first place from Group E, ahead of Napoli. Salzburg will be in the Europa League draw, having finished third.

Mane was delighted his current side had advanced, but had some sympathy for his former employers.

"It was a really tough game,” he told BT Sport . “We created many chances. I'm happy for Naby.

“We deserved to win. We are happy. It's always nice to come back here because this is where everything started for me.

“I'm really grateful to the club and fans. Sorry guys, but we have to do it.”

Things were not going to plan for the Merseyside club at half time with the game scoreless.

Mohamed Salah had been guilty of squandering chances in an open and entertaining game. The Egypt international made up for it in the second period with a stupendous goal , his 200th for club and country, that came 100 seconds after Keita’s.

Andy Robertson said he was unsure how Salah had scored from such an acute angle but that he’d always backed the mercurial wideman to score.

"Mo missed a couple of great chances. He and Bobby [Roberto Firmino] put so much pressure on themselves to score,” Robertson told BT Sport

"We kept saying 'the next one, the next one, the next one', then he goes and scores from a ridiculous angle. I don't know how he's got it in from there on his weaker foot.”

Overall the Scotland international was happy with the team’s performance, on the night and right throughout the tournament, where they are defending champions.

"All round it was an excellent team performance," he said. "People were saying that we were struggling, but we finished with four points more than last year and topped the group.

“We have got into the last 16 and know what we can do from there."