Sadio Mane wins Senegal showdown, Taiwo Awoniyi ends season in style

How Alisson transformed Liverpool following FA Cup heroics (1:25)

Steve Nicol speaks about how Alisson has helped Liverpool achieve their recent success after their FA Cup final win. (1:25)

Sadio Mane had his shootout penalty saved by Senegal compatriot Edouard Mendy in the FA Cup final but still claimed his trophy of the calendar year, while Mohamed Salah had yet another showpiece fixture to forget despite Liverpool's triumph.

Elsewhere in Europe, Nigeria strikers Victor Osimhen and Taiwo Awoniyi added to their impressive goal hauls for the season when they struck against Genoa and VfL Bochum respectively, and both can now look forward to continental competition next season.

Mane, Mendy and Salah have crossed paths in five major 'deciders' already in 2022, with the Senegal pair victorious at the Africa Cup of Nations and across the World Cup playoffs -- both of which ended in penalty shootout victories for the Teranga Lions.

Mane was the hero at the Africa Cup of Nations, stepping up to convert the decisive spotkick having missed a penalty during regulation; Salah was Egypt's fifth taker and didn't get the chance to take his the the result had already been decided.

Salah did take a penalty in the World Cup playoffs, but, with lasers being shone in his eyes by the home supporters, failed to convert. Again, Mendy and Mane took the day, and Senegal reached Qatar.

Salah did have some more joy in the League Cup final in February, converting Liverpool's fifth spotkick in an 11-10 shootout victory in which Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga -- who had replaced Mendy as a 120th-minute tactical ploy by Thomas Tuchel -- failed to save any Liverpool penalty before missing his own attempt.

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On Saturday, after a 0-0 draw across 120 minutes, these familiar foes again had to settle their differences from the spot, with Senegal brothers Mane and Mendy this time finding themselves on opposite sides.

Mane ultimately followed in the footsteps of Lauren and Riyad Mahrez to win the Nations Cup and the FA Cup in the same year, although he missed his opportunity to be Liverpool's hero on the day when his penalty -- Liverpool's fifth -- was saved by his international teammate despite the apparent sense of destiny that had accompanied the forward's stroll to the spot.

Mendy was unable to deny either Diogo Jota or Kostas Tsimakis, who converted the decisive penalty after Mason Mount had fluffed his lines with the Blues' seventh spotkick, to ensure the 30-year-old forward had the last laugh.

Victory for Mane caps his exceptional first half to 2022, with his aforementioned achievements with Senegal coupled with a series of decisive contributions to Liverpool's quadruple charge -- notably in recent meetings with Manchester City, the rout of Manchester United and both legs of the UEFA Champions League semifinal victory over Villarreal.

Mane's outing at Wembley wasn't particularly memorable, however; while his work rate couldn't be faulted, and he constantly sought space off the ball, he struggled to impose himself, lacked conviction when openings did present themselves, and failed to truly test Mendy.

By the time the contest was settled from the spot, Salah had long since limped to the dugout.

The Egypt forward was all smiles as Liverpool celebrated with the cup, but his groin was clearly causing him discomfort when he was replaced by Diogo Jota just after the hour mark.

Jota spurned two decent opportunities that an in-form Salah might have taken, but the Egyptian had looked off the pace during the opening 32 minutes -- a worryingly familiar sight in recent weeks -- and appeared shorn of the verve and inspiration that characterised his late-2021 form.

"I think Mo is a bit worse than [Virgil van Dijk], he is OK," Jurgen Klopp said after the match. "He felt it a little bit. I hope he will be fine. We have the squad."

It remains to be seen whether Salah will return to action in time for Liverpool's remaining league games against Southampton and Wolverhampton Wanderers or, indeed, the Champions League final against Real Madrid on May 28.

It's a concern for Liverpool, despite the recent form of Jota, Roberto Firmino and Luis Diaz, while Salah will surely be desperate to have the final say in season that hasn't quite panned out as it threatened to during the autumn and winter -- - despite his honours haul.

Salah also has unfinished business against Real Madrid in the Champions League final, having been withdrawn prematurely with shoulder injury as the tide turned against the Reds in 2018. Salah The injury sustained in that tangle with Sergio Ramos subsequently compromised Salah at the World Cup a matter of weeks later, affecting his ability to make an impact in Russia, and he'll surely be desperate to return to fitness in time to secure a measure of revenge against Real Madrid in Paris.

Until then, Mane and Salah, as well as Joel Matip and Naby Keita, have added their names to the long list of African FA Cup winners.

Also in England this weekend, the explosive Yoane Wissa heaped further relegation misery on Alex Iwobi's Everton when he scored in Brentford's 3-2 victory away at Goodison Park.

Everton had already been reduced to 10 men when Seamus Coleman diverted Wissa's cross beyond Jordan Pickford, and the Congo DR forward equalised just after the hour mark after Richarlison had given the Toffees the lead.

Victory for Iwobi and Everton at home against Crystal Palace on Thursday will guarantee their safety.

Ghana's Jeff Schlupp scored the Eagles' late equaliser as they drew 1-1 with Aston Villa on Sunday, while Rayan Ait-Nouri salvaged a point at home for Wolves as they and Norwich City drew by the same scoreline.

Mahrez missed the chance to take Manchester City one step closer to the title when his late penalty was saved by Lukasz Fabianski as Pep Guardiola's side were held 2-2 by West Ham United.

On the continent, Nigeria forwards Osimhen and Awoniyi will not want the season to end after they both extended their scoring runs.

The former opened the scoring for Napoli as they defeated Genoa 3-0 to send Italy's oldest club into Serie B for next season.

The victory guaranteed Napoli of third place in Serie A, and Osimhen's goal took his tally for the campaign up to 14 league goals -- one more than his previous career best (13 with Lille in 2019-20) and four more than he managed during his first year in Italy.

Osimhen and Napoli round off their Serie A campaign against Spezia away on Sunday.

Awoniyi's goalscoring in Germany this season has been more remarkable than Osimhen's campaign, not least because of his previous goal-shy reputation.

He finished the German Bundesliga season with a brace at home as Union Berlin defeated Bochum 3-2, ensuring they will play in European competition next season.

Awoniyi's winner two minutes from time was the final outstanding act of a tremendous campaign in which he has scored 15 league goals -- three times last season's tally -- leaving him sixth in the league's scoring charts.

Reported interest from West Ham, Newcastle United and Southampton is increasingly easy to understand.

There was disappointment for Ghana's Kevin-Prince Boateng at the other end of the Bundesliga table, the midfielder's hometown return to Hertha Berlin, 11 years after he clinched the Serie A title with AC Milan, ended with the capital club dropping into the relegation playoff spot.

Hertha now face Hamburg across two legs in a bid to retain their Bundesliga status.

In Spain, Youssef En-Nesyri 's 85th-minute equaliser for Sevilla was enough for them to take a point from Atletico Madrid in a 1-1 draw and secure a top-four finish -- and a Champions League ticket -- in LaLiga.