However, Mane, who was stretching to reach the pass, lead with his foot, and accidentally connected with the face of the Citizens onrushing no.1 in a nasty collision.
On Saturday, it was not finishing their chances that game Liverpool the problem, as they had the run of play and the game's best chance to score in the early going when Salah was sent clear.
Whatever the fall out from his written transfer request, back injury, tears in Brazil and ultimately his lack of movement to Barcelona - the Liverpool manager is keeping things behind closed doors.
The hosts' performance represented a notable lifting of the tempo after a solid opening to the campaign while Liverpool's impressive start was brought to a sudden halt.
"We always have the same decision to make, 'does he need training or can he play?' and all that stuff".
Coutinho has not yet played for Liverpool this season, with the club citing a back injury, but he joined his national side for World Cup qualifiers and made two substitute appearances against Ecuador and Colombia. "I hope people see it for what it is".
Whatever comes of this, Mane will still be banned for the next three matches.
"If we can play the pass, then Salah is away". His attempt to finish, though, was telegraphed-too obvious-and stopped by the goalkeeper.
"That is the difference with last year".
Gundogan will play his first Premier League game since December if he does feature against the Reds. "It would be another waste of time, like the game today".
"We managed to move the ball very quickly, and we found ways to get past them, which was important". He's good with balls to feet, he's good attacking space. He fits really well in the squad and really well in different line-ups.