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Klopp praises Mane, Liverpool’s ‘massive’ performance at Villa; Fabinho injury update

Sadio Mane hits the bottom corner with a clinical glancing header to give Liverpool a come-from-behind lead against Aston Villa.

Sadio Mane’s game-winning goal put Liverpool back on level points with Premier League-leading Man City on Tuesday, leaving Jurgen Klopp to heap praise on the player linked with a summer move to Bayern Munich.

“He’s a machine,” Klopp said. “I told him after the game. He is a massive player. His physicality is brutal. He is a mix of technique, desire and physicality when at the moment everyone has a few yards in the legs. You can see it with him to be honest. Top goal, he is just a fantastic world-class player.”

[ MORE: Three things we learned from Villa 1-2 Liverpool ]

Klopp was very happy with the defeat of Villa, calling the effort “massive” as a result and performance.
“Not a good start, we needed time to adapt but made a very good response to going 1-0 down,” Klopp said. “We cannot do more than winning. I am pretty sure that a lot of people again thought this could be a struggle for us and how the boys sorted that is absolutely outstanding.”

Not unlike how Man City had to bounce back from its Champions League exit, the Reds had to respond to putting the title impetus fairly firmly in City’s hands. Given that there was only one match to settle things down before the cup final, this was mission accomplished even if it wasn’t a typically dominant Liverpool side.

Fabinho injury update

Will Fabinho be ready for the FA Cup Final?

The influential midfielder took himself out of the 1-0 win over Villa, and Klopp was hopeful about the Brazilian’s status for Saturday’s match with Chelsea at Wembley Stadium.

But he also said he’s “hopeful it’s not bad” in calling the injury “a big blow for us,” so we suppose it depends on whether you’re riding with the Sky Sports’ post-match interview or the BBC post-match interview.

Follow @NicholasMendola