Jurgen Klopp informed reporters that they shouldn’t stress about Mohamed Salah. Fifty-five days after he scored his 49th goal for Liverpool, he managed to score his 50th goal to transform what seemed like a nervous draw against Southampton into a phenomenal 3-1 victory on Friday that allowed Liverpool to reclaim the Premier League top spot for at least another nine days.
Mohamed Salah on His 50th Goal for Liverpool
Mohamed Salah seemed jittery all evening. Nothing he tried was on point. His passes were a little off, the ball seemed to get caught under his feet, and he was stumbling here and there for most of the game. Similar to previous games, he seemed desperate to score a goal, frantically attempting to put a stop to his poor form of late.
However, when he eventually got the ball from the header of Jordan Henderson, he made a run for goal on a counterattack, and it seemed like he entered a state of trance 50 yards away from goal. Although he had several passing options, he decided not to use it and instead go for glory. Salah was never going to miss this little opportunity. While the world was on pause, he selected his spot and drove the ball into the back of the net like a real football star.
“I never considered passing the ball as you need to score when you are a striker,” stated Salah after the match. He provided the perfect combination of nerve and technique when he made his way down the pitch to score his 50th goal. It was even more impressive when Henderson managed to score the third goal of the game which was considered the nerve-settler of the match. Also though he is not regarded as the most exceptional player in the team, he provides the necessary caution that brings with it certainty and control.
Jurgen Klopp’s Decisions with Liverpool
Klopp initially wanted to provide his captain the evening off, leaving James Milner and Jordan Henderson on the bench, while Fabinho and Naby Keita were brought onto the field. However, when Southampton made another run down the pitch passed the wispy midfield of Liverpool, changes had to be made, and Henderson was brought onto the field to make an impact. It worked beautifully in Klopp’s favour as Henderson provided the crucial goal to ensure Southampton couldn’t end the game in a tie.
You can easily make a case that this match was the most difficult when compared to the remaining games Liverpool still need to play. The revival of Southampton included wins against Arsenal and Tottenham. This is quite impressive when you consider that Southampton was below Huddersfield when Ralph Hasenhuttl arrived at the club.
Liverpool now needs to face Wolves, Newcastle, Huddersfield, Cardiff City, and Chelsea in the Premier League before the campaign comes to an end. They will also need to face Porto on two occasions in the Champions League before then.