Sadio Mane did experienced a bit of a dry spell for Bayern Munich after a sparkling start to the competitive season, but he’s back to scoring goals. He has scored in Bayern’s last three Champions League games, as well as two goals in the Bundesliga since returning from the September international break. In all, he has scored 10 goals and provided one assist from a total of 19 appearances in all competitions so far — Not means an unimpressive return for a new signing.
During Bayern’s run of four games without a win in the Bundesliga, Mane, although he did not only The Bayern player is to blame, he missed a lot of credible opportunities from that series of games. He seemed to struggle to find goal and, especially in the 1-0 defeat at Augsburg, his touches seemed to be too heavy, a step behind or a step ahead, although safe it was not for lack of effort and haste. In the Bundesliga, his returns are slightly below what his xG stat reads (according to Understat), as he is 1.26 goals behind his xG of 6.26 and 0.40 behind his xA of 0.40 — his only recorded the assist came in a 5-0, Champions League win over Viktoria Plzen.
However, Julian Nagelsmann is not worried about any of that. According to a recent edition of Sport Bild (via @iMiaSanMia), Nagelsmann was full of praise for the Senegal forward a day after he came second behind Real Madrid and France’s Karim Benzema in the Ballon d’Or rankings in Paris. He also refused to criticize the player in any form for some chances he missed in previous matches earlier in the Hinrunde.
Fast forward to now, and Mane is still missing some opportunities, but he’s getting into the right areas, continuing to create opportunities for both himself and his teammates, and scoring goals. His goal in the recent 3-0 win over Barcelona in the Champions League exuded confidence in front of goal; the pace to beat Hector Bellerin to Serge Gnabry’s through ball, the composure to take a few touches and the wherewithal to turn Marc-Andre ter Stegen from a few yards out. He has also shown during his time at Liverpool that he can break a rut at any moment, and was of particular help last season when Mohamed Salah had a baron run in front of goal throughout the stretch as Jurgen Klopp’s side pushed for what would be a truly historic four that they won the Premier League and the Champions League along with the Carabao and FA Cups.