Sadio Mane could not wait to show Luis Diaz some love after his Liverpool team-mate’s brilliant performance on Tuesday.
Recent signing Diaz put in a man-of-the-match showing against Benfica at the Estadio da Luz, scoring and assisting as his side won 3-1 in their Champions League quarter-final first-leg tie.
Ibrahima Konate nodded in his first goal for the club before Liverpool doubled the lead when Diaz teed up Mane perfectly from Trent Alexander-Arnold’s sumptuous pass.
Although Darwin Nunez pulled one back shortly after the break when Konate erred, the Colombian winger scored with three minutes left to give the Reds a crucial two-goal advantage ahead of next week’s return leg at Anfield.
And Mane interrupted Diaz’ post-match interview to personally congratulate his team-mate.
Diaz, giving his thoughts after the final whistle, received a handshake and warm embrace from Mane, before continuing with his interview.
The 25-year-old was Liverpool’s only January signing in what was a marquee, statement move which could rise to £50million if the conditions for £12.5m in potential add-ons are met, in addition to the up-front £37.5m fee.
Diaz broke through this season at Porto, scoring 14 goals in just 18 league games this campaign to convince Jurgen Klopp to bring him to Anfield.
Mane, 29, had made the spot on the left side of Liverpool’s attack his own, with Mohamed Salah on the right and Roberto Firmino typically in the centre of their famed and feared front three.